and what have we been saying for the last several years?

“The development of bone marrow edema after transitioning from traditional running shoes to minimalist footwear is associated with small intrinsic foot muscle size, according to research from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT.

The findings, epublished in late October by the International Journal of Sports Medicine, suggest that runners with small intrinsic foot muscles may benefit from strengthening exercises prior to attempting the transition to minimalist running.

Investigators randomized 37 habitually shod runners to 10 weeks of running in minimalist footwear or their own shoes, and performed magnetic resonance imaging at baseline and after the intervention to detect bone marrow edema and assess intrinsic foot muscle size.

Eight of the runners in the minimalist group had developed bone marrow edema at 10 weeks, as well as one in the control group. Those who developed bone marrow edema had significantly smaller intrinsic foot muscles than those who did not.

In addition, running in minimalist footwear was associated with a 10.6% increase in abductor hallucis cross-sectional area, a statistically significant change”.


Johnson AW, Myrer JW, Mitchell UH, et al. The effects of a transition to minimalist shoe running on intrinsic foot muscle size. Int J Sports Med 2015 Oct 28. [Epub ahead of print]

Welcome to News You Can Use!

Today, Dr Ivo talks about how to test and exercise the long lesser toe extensors to increase skill, endurance and strength. 

It will literally take just over a minute of your time. Try it and then go teach others!

News you can use!

Welcome to Monday, folks. In this video, Dr Ivo talks you through The Gait Guys modification of the FIM (foot intrinsic muscle) or what is sometimes called the “short foot” exercise.

Now go do it!

The mighty Quadratus Plantae! Here is a video short on this awesomely important muscles function, testing and exercise. Enjoy!

Simple Foot Exercises are effective!

Conclusion “These results suggest that the toe spread out (TSO) exercise can be recommended for preventing or correcting HV deformity at an early stage.”

We know and teach that foot exercises work. Here is a nice objective paper (click underlined for abstract) on two exercises we prescribe often.

Here is our variation of the TSO exercise we call the “Lift, Spread and Reach” exercise

Stand comfortably with your feet about shoulder width apart

Stand on your foot tripod with your toes extended. Concentrate on feeling pressure at the center of the calcaneus, the head of the 1st metatarsal and the head of the 5th metatarsal

Lift your toes as high as possible

Spread out (abduct) your toes as much as possible

Reach forward with your toes as far as possible

Place your toes back don on the ground as flat as possible.

repeat 10 X

You can augment the exercise with a rubber band around the toes to provide resistance after you can perform the exercise competently.

Happy exercising!

Ivo and Shawn

Kim MH1, Kwon OY, Kim SH, Jung DY.: Comparison of muscle activities of abductor hallucis and adductor hallucis between the short foot and toe-spread-out exercises in subjects with mild hallux valgus

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2013;26(2):163-8. doi: 10.3233/BMR-2012-00363.

comments from a follower of the gait guys.

From a reader …..

“From what I’ve gathered from your posts/videos, I have some major issues with my foot function… ie weak Tib Anterior and Extensors.  You have one video up where you demonstrate that a competent foot should be able to keep a solid arch and lower your big toe without losing arch integrity.  I come no where close to this.  In fact, I think it’s pretty amazing at what the foot is supposed to do which is demonstrated by you.  When looking at what Dr. Allen’s foot does and looks like compared to most everyone else’s his seems much more muscular and solid unlike the case studies you put up.  I almost liken most peoples feet to looking like a skeleton with very little muscle mass and function.”

Dr. Allen’s response…….

It has taken me quite a bit of time to get my foot to function this well.  I am lucky in that i know what it is supposed to do and what exercises to implement to get it there.  We have some exercises that we do which we are compiling and will eventually put in DVD format.  We are completing our 3 part shoe fit and foot function DVD for the December Austin Texas IRRA program launch and the completed package should be available end of  January 2012.  Yes, finally they will be done ! There is another reason my foot functions as well as it does……. and we will be sharing some thoughts on this in several weeks once we can compile the information. Hint, awareness and encouraging skill is a big key.  It all starts with Skill……. then build Endurance, and then Strength.  S. E. S. as we say.