Transitioning to Minimal Footwear: Insights from Carl Ashmore


Carl Ashmore, Senior Physiotherapist & First Contact Practitioner at the White House Clinic recently shared his expertise in The Podiatrist magazine, discussing the intricacies and benefits of runners transitioning to minimalist footwear.

The Minimalist Footwear Debate

The minimalist running trend began with the book Born to Run, which suggested that minimalist footwear could lead to injury-free endurance running by promoting a natural running style. However, the evidence remains inconclusive, and the rate of running-related injuries (RRIs) is still notably high. The transition from traditional, cushioned shoes to minimalist footwear requires careful consideration to avoid injury.

Carl's Advice

Carl Ashmore has observed many patients adopting minimalist shoes, often too quickly, leading to overload injuries due to the increased demand on the foot and ankle. He recommends a gradual transition to prevent such issues:

1. Start Slowly: Begin with a semi-supportive shoe with a 6mm drop, gradually moving to a zero-drop shoe.

2. Gradual Transition: Incorporate minimal footwear into daily walks before starting short runs.

3. Listen to Your Body: If you experience pain or discomfort, it's a sign to slow down.

Carl highlights a study indicating that walking in minimalist shoes can be as effective as foot strengthening exercises in increasing foot muscle size and strength. His top tips for transitioning include being guided by comfort, opting for lightweight shoes, and avoiding sudden changes.


For those considering the switch to minimalist footwear, Carl’s insights are invaluable. The key is a gradual approach, prioritising comfort and foot strength.

For more detailed advice on running check out the Running section on our Advice Centre or contact the White House Clinic today to book in with one of our running specialists.

Carl Ashmore

Senior Physiotherapist & First Contact Practitioner

Carl completed his undergraduate Physiotherapy degree in 2014 and very quickly followed his passion and specialism into Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and Sports Rehabilitation. Since then, Carl has had extensive training in this specialist area and prides himself on providing care using the latest evidence-based treatments and rehabilitation that gets results.

Carl Ashmore

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