One of my elite age-group TOTT runners (Kerry Howse) had been suffering through a series of nagging ‘itis’ injuries since last fall when I suggested she get a set of the Barefoot-Science Active inserts. From the 1st moment of testing (a 300 step test) in her running shoes, there was a series of immediate positive changes:
1. from a toe-out action on her right foot to a squared-up, toe-in action
2. an immediate firing from her left hams & gluts (earlier identified as a major problem by her physical therapist)
3. a more balanced, squared-up alignment
4. and, most importantly, ZERO knee pain at the IT band insertion (up to that point so bad that Kerry could not run)
After the trial session, we tentatively progressed with her running schedule (the Boston Marathon was beckoning only 5 weeks hence). Kerry was able to run 10-12 kms pain-free for the 1st time in many months but was still concerned re: extending the distance and increasing the pace. Entered in the 30 km Around The Bay race on March 24, Kerry decided to start at the 10 km mark and run the final more difficult 2o kms. Well, she the 25 km mark where I joined her. The pace was 4:40/km with NO pain and little physical stress. She had plenty in the tank and was pain-free at the finish. This carried over into our track workout this past Wednesday – our 1st track session since last spring. With the inserts in place, Kerry hammered through a tough 60 minute programme again pain-free. She now is confident heading into Boston that injuries are a thing of the past. Two things got her back on track – the use of Barefoot-Science inserts and a renewed focus on my squat-scoot style of mid-foot running.
Also, during my recent business trip to South Africa (March 9-23), I introduced the Barefoot-Science inserts. Three of my business colleagues who are active runners & cyclists decided to give the inserts a test. They had been suffering from Achilles, pirifomis and/or IT-Band injury issues for ages, limiting their ability to remain physically active. In all cases, they noticed significant activation from the feet from the moment of inclusion. Beyond that, their posture aligned better and they felt hamstring/gluteal activation immediately (where none existed previously). The great news?? They were finally pain-free running and biking for the 1st time in months. We are now looking into distribution channels for the Barefoot-Science systems in the Republic!
My personal preference is still running barefoot and this will continue unabated. When I DO where something on my feet, the Barefoot-Science inserts are always added. They are the only system I have found that simulate my barefoot running action and, as you have read above, contribute to pain-free physical activity via improved neuro-muscular proprioceptive stimulation of the feet.