Laura Sides, L.M.T.

PA Lic.MSG000005 Main Line Massage Studio

XeroShoes Affiliation

I recommend this shoe brand because it is the only shoe I have experienced that protects the foot but allows it to do a darn good job being a foot.  The foot has a job to do and we have interfered with its ability to do that job.

In observation of my own feet and many clients over the course of my massage therapy practice for 22 years, I believe we, as intelligent beings, need to examine and reconsider our modern footwear and how it prevents our feet from developing their full potential in their ability of strength and balance.

Historically, shoe wear was designed for many socially driven reasons that have nothing to do with foot health and we ended up with our present array of inflexible or thick-soled Herman Munster shoes.  Societally, we are choosing health as our priority.  We need to seriously re-evaluate our footwear so they cause no harm.  Feet are a magnificent design.  We need to let them do what they do-unhindered. I think most of us agree, something is just not right about common footwear.  

My vision is that one day we will design only healthy shoes that will no longer injure and we can keep nimble into old age with our strong feet and ankles.  I observed many people in nursing homes and I really think this is a huge social problem that can be corrected. 

With some healthy potential, your feet will build strength and health over time that will amaze you and make you feel like a kid again.  It took me a year to regain full rehabilitation.  I was floored how much better my feet feel.  Some may have bony or painful changes that can be accommodated in the shoe to achieve their maximum foot health potential.

My recommendation:  Start with ordering from XeroShoes -the men's ''Hana' or the woman's 'Lena' shoe.  They run about a half size small.  Follow the advice on their website if you need guidance through the adjustment phase. 

We have de-conditioned our feet with shoe wear that is too supportive, too inflexible, and over cushioned. When our feet can't feel the ground, the entire body has to respond to all this interference creating stiffness.  

It appears to be that modern athletic shoe wear is created to manipulate muscles to employ the larger muscles to gain speed by isolating the foot bones to employ the calf more.  Ever wonder why your calves are so tight?  I believe they design sneakers this way so you can move seemingly with less effort.  This helps you to go faster and longer.  Ever wonder why it is so easy to stride as soon as you put your sneakers on?  

 I have found Xero shoe to be the most comfortable and durable with a terrific sensual sole and breathable canvas upper.  The 'Hana' shoe gave me my strong feet back and my hips and knees are stronger and solid in their movement because I am no longer pivoted forward.  My joints are in their proper optimal alignment from the ground up.

I am stealthy, strong and move gracefully because my feet can feel the ground and the body responds to the new information.  

If you need help adjusting to the flatness, some have chosen to insert an insole like a flexible Spenco insole.  This can help you adjust more gradually if necessary.  

At first, you will most likely walk slower and your stride will be shorter. Have patience with your body as it strengthens.  I had plantar fasciitis and it is gone gone gone because the interference is -you guessed it, gone!

Gentle rhythmic foot movement can help as well.  It may take time for the lower leg to feel relaxed.  Massage and myofascial release can help your body with the transition too.  Walking and dancing is very helpful.  Your feet will toughen up and get a lot less sore.  

Your whole being, in a solid natural contact with the earth surface can mysteriously make you physically harmonious again.

I plan to have classes explaining more about my experience for those of you that need more information about this subject but there is nothing like first hand experience and putting them on your feet.  Wearing a shoe that does not interfere with your foot function will be the best way to truly understand this information.  Xero Shoes run approx. $80

Laura Sides LMT

PA Lic. MSG 000005


Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
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