Updated: Jan 16
Let's talk shoes! To be more specific, barefoot shoes. I will be the first one to admit that I have a ting with shoes. First of al how they feel, comfort first, especially when you walk on them all day. Second how they look, they sure can add something to an outfit.
The past few years my choice of shoes has changed quite a bit. From high, thick heels (for the people who didn't know, I used to be into gothic lolita and classic lolita) to a heel no higher than 5, maybe 6 centimetre. But most of all I prefere a flat shoe. And when I say flat, I mean flat. A zero drop please. Meaning, no difference in height between the heel and the toe of the shoe. This way the weigth is evenly spread over the foot. Your heel and forefoot get to withstand the same amount of weigth instead of the forefoot having to carry most of the weight.
Also, it will most likely result in instead of hitting the ground heel first like when your heel is elevated, you are more likely to hit the ground first with your forefoot or the middle part of your foot. Why that's a good thing? Your foot is designed to absorb the shock when walking or running using your muscles. When you hit the ground forefoot first, you have your arch, ankle joint and then your knee and hip to absorb the shock. When you hit the ground heel first, that shock goes straight into your knee and hip. So you miss part of your natural shock absorption which could cause problems.
THIN & FLEXIBLE
There are a thon of sensory nerves in your feet and not without reason. Your feet are designed to take you from A to B and to do so safely they need information.
Change in temperature and changes in the surface you are walking on give a whole lot of information to your brain which helps you to change the way of walking to the surface you walk on. For example, on a slippery surface you are going to walk different then when you are walking on a surface that has plenty of grip to it. Walking on gravel is going to be different from walking in grass. A thin and flexible sole is going to help you to feel the surface you are walking on but also to actually use the muscles in your feet the way they were build to be used. The way your foot moves does help you to get a better grip and to keep your balance. Oh and you are less likely to trip (at least that is what I notice when I wear my barefoots).
Also I will be honest, I just really like to feel the difference in the surfaces I walk on, it makes me happy. It feels like a massage for your feet and strangely my feet don't get as tired when I feel a change in surface every now and then.
I have always had relatively wide, short feet. I wear a size 36 (Europian size). And to be honest, that might actualy be a 35,5 or even a 35 but that depends on the brand, besides most brands don't go smaller than a 36. So 36 it is. Besides the fact that my feet are quite wide what makes them feel trapped in most shoes, having some wiggleroom for my toes in the shoes is a must. If I can't wiggle my toes when wearing a pair of shoes they are not an option. Barefoot shoes are quite ideal when it comes to this. They have a relatively wide toebox so you can spread your toes as you are walking. You know, what your toes are made to do. Besides that it just feels good to spread your toes it also helps you with your balance. It increases the surface you can stand on and they help to correct your balance.
And then those shoes are also nice and light. I personally like it because is makes walking around less tiring. You simply don't have the extra weight of your shoes to carry around.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
If you aren't used to walking around barefoot you will have to take it slow when you decide to give barefoot shoes a go. Your muscles aren't used to it and you will most likely have to adjust your way of walking slightly. So start slow around the house. If you have always worn shoes that cushion and support your shoes in every imaginable way, you will have to build up your own natural support again, the muscles most likely have gotten a little lazy.
I have had snap in my knees for years that later moved up to my hips. I think it's called a "snapping hip". In the beginning I won't feel much, just that it's there but if it keeps snapping it can get quite painful. I noticed it helps a lot when I practice yoga regularly. Now it only comes back when I am walking longer distances and I noticed wearing my barefoot shoes helps a lot. My fysio said that when you wear shoes with a flexible sole, your foot kan move more fluent which means you don't lock your muscles. That is probably where it can go wrong for me. I also think I might be walking different when I wear my barefoot shoes what might have something to do with keeping the snapping away.
I am not a podologist. What you just read is based on my own experience and what I have read myself through the years. If you aren't sure if barefoot shoes are something you should try you can always ask your doctor or another specialist. In the meanwhile you might find it interesting to watch this video and this one for sure. Besides that you can find a whole lot of information on the websites of brands that sell barefoot shoes. I think vivobarefoot has some good information on their website.
That was it for today. Goodluck with the next steps on your bridge. I wish you all the happiness and an amazing day.