Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 25, 2021
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I run. I fly. I carry-on

More airlines are operating smaller planes on longer routes. Aircraft like Bombardier’s CRJ series and the even smaller Brazilian Embraer E-Jet family often show up on longer hops. The aircraft are well appointed and comfortable but the overhead racks only seem to get smaller.

My carry-on is a 56-centimetre, hard-sided four-wheeler. It no longer fits in some overheads. I now either leave it at the aircraft door to be retrieved at the other end or, even worse, check it in. On a recent flight I had to wait 45 minutes for my “carry-on” to appear on the Montreal carousel. So I’m in the market for a small bag. The dilemma: will everything fit?

My running shoes take a lot of room. In warmer months I pack my FiveFingers (, shoes that fit over each toe and are akin to running barefoot. They take little space; they’re not, however, appropriate for colder climates so, for much of the year, I tote a pair of standard New Balance, which are big and bulky.

Now there’s a compromise. The Nike Free 5.0 ( combines the feel of a barefoot runner with the support and padding of a traditional shoe. They’re light and crushable -- perfect for cramming into a tight space.

But this shoe has a lot more going for it than just compactness. The first thing you notice when you try the shoe on is how light it is; the second is how closely it moves with your foot. The ribbed sole literally cleaves to the bottom of your foot. People who run marathons credit them with faster times and are surprised at their support and durability. You may experience some calf-strain after your first few outings but this quickly disappears.

The only caveat users cite is that the shoes are built small so it’s best to try them on at a store rather than ordering online. Many people find they need a half size bigger than what they usually wear. Available for both men and women in a terrific range of colours. The Running Room ( is a good place to see the variety.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.


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