Taiji Walking
Applying the basic principles of taiji to everyday walking

Overview of the course

Your Foundation
The feet are the foundation of the physical body. Any weight-bearing exercise program should begin with assessing your foot health, getting your feet into shape, and finding shoes that will promote foot health. And yet in western culture, the feet are the most abused and misunderstood part of the body. This makes no sense.

Foot Health Information
For those of you that are interested in learning more about foot health, the education section of the Natural Footgear website is a great place to start. It has a very comprehensive, well organized collection of articles by healthcare professionals and excellent short videos by podiatrist Dr. Ray McClanahan. They also sell selected shoes from several companies that feel they can recommend. The site is run by a naturopathic physician and a chiropractor.

Below are some resources for finding good shoes.

Xero Shoes I own Z-trek sandals and Prio athletic shoes from this company. They also sell huarache sandal kits which are a great way to get health-promoting footwear at a fraction of the cost of ready-made. And it's an easy, fun do it yourself project.

Lems Shoes I own a pair of Boulder Boots wore them every day this winter. I also own a pair of Primal 2's and have started wearing them regularly now that the weather has warmed up.

Softstar Shoes I purchased a pair of winter shoes for my two year old grandson from this company last November. They specialize in shoes for kids, but also make adult styles.

Dr. Ray McClanahan's list of recommended shoes

Making your own huarache sandals (cheap)
Not so sure about this minimalist shoe thing? You can make your own very inexpensively to give it a try. All you need is a pair of cheap zori (flip-flops) and some polyester cord. You can get suitable zori (make sure the soles are nice and flexible) at Walmart for 98 cents a pair and some 5/32" paracord for a few dollars at either Walmart or Michaels. Cut the uppers off the zori and use the existing holes to add your own laces. Lacing instruction videos can be found at Xero Shoes. It's easy and fun--give it a whirl.