Gait Training

Sounds funny, right? Does it seem odd that you doctor might be telling you that you “walk wrong?” Well, it’s true: many people are walking wrong. The problem is that most modern shoes discourage good walking mechanics and encourage bad habits and poor biomechanics. These bad walking habits, along with muscle imbalances (like a tight calf or weakness of the intrinsic muscles of the foot) are the cause of many of the foot and ankle problems Dr. Hoopes treats on a daily basis. These problems can be treated with surgery, but sometimes these problems can be solved by reversing the bad habits of a lifetime. Solved by: “walking right.”

Some quick tips to get started:

A. Toes straight ahead

1. This will take some mental and physical effort for the first few weeks or even months

2. Then, after a while, you won’t have to think about it anymore and you’ll be fixing yourself with every step, instead of hurting yourself

B. Roll off toes that are widely splayed out (see this video, which is also below where Ray McClanahan demonstrates this correct positioning)

1. This is most easily done barefoot

2. You can do this in shoes, but they have to have a very wide toe box (Such as with Altra or Lems shoes)

3. Think about pushing off of the pads of the toes and NOT the tips of the toes

C. Toe-off from the base of the big toe, then the big toe last

1. Instead of pushoff from the “ball” of the foot (the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal heads)


Information from Vivobarefoot on standing and walking mechanics

Vivo Walking


Ray McClanahan DPM Demonstrating perfect foot posture and the way your foot should look while walking


And a short video by Lee Saxby of Vivobarefoot


This article is a great read and summarizes much of the recent findings on treating our bodies the way they were designed to be treated.

You walk wrong