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Are bunions genetic? A video from our favorite doc!

Roland and I are working on our new book. In this new half a bible sized health book, there are several chapters on feet, transitioning to healthier shoes and helping your body deal with the effects of modern sedentary life.

Over and over, we address the fact that bunions are not genetic.

A bunion – also known as hallux valgus. This deformity appears as we lose the strength in our foot and the whole limb collapses onto the inside of the ball of the foot with every step you take. Think of it this way, instead of moving back behind you in one straight clean line, the leg rolls in and the mechanical forces of gait slam that poor bone into the ground, where the body eventually ends up building extra tissue to protect the foot and the abnormal joint. Often, a bunion begins with shoes that sport a toe box that’s too tight, a front that is lifted too high or a positive heel, then later continue to be formed and deformed by the forces of gait.

Women often come to me, complaining of bunions. When I ask them about their shoes, they tell me it’s not their shoes, but genetic. “My mom and grandma had bunions, too.”

One lady went so far to say she is from Croatia and all Croatians have calluses and bunions.

Sure, you might have a genetic predisposition to have bunions, but it’s not like going bald, getting grey, or having blue eyes. You have a bunion because your shoes are forcing your feet into a position that creates a bunion, making you walk in a way that creates a bunion and exercise in a way that creates a bunion. If you had the chance to move without the restriction of shoes, experience nature and an appropriate amount of movement, you’d probably never have a bunion. Perhaps your choice of shoes or your gym routine is genetic, too?

With a risk to piss some people off and give others hope, here is a video from our favorite food doc:

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Ready to read something new AND set your feet free? My teacher and mentor Katy Bowman just released a new book on transitioning to minimal footwear and letting your feet function like Mother Nature intended!