What in the world are barefoot style shoes and why should I be interested?? Are you wondering this right now... or maybe you have heard of zero drop, foot shaped shoes?
"Barefoot" shoes allow your feet to move as if you are barefoot. They are completely flat or zero drop - which refers to the angle between the heel and the toe of the shoe. If it's zero drop, this means there is no raised heel so it mimics the foot in its natural position. A high heeled shoe is an extreme example of a shoe that is NOT zero drop. But most shoes, casual or athletic, have some degree of a heel raise. Why can this be problematic? Heeled shoes bring us forward over our toes and as a result, we compensate in our pelvis and spine. This can lead to some parts that get over worked and others will be underworked.
They are also foot shaped - meaning the shoe design follows the natural curve of the foot, allowing toes to properly splay out. Barefoot shoes will look somewhat asymmetrical compared to conventional shoes which tend to come to a point over the second and third toe. Squished pointy shoes can contribute to foot pain and the formation of bunions and other deformities.
Our feet our flexible so it makes sense that our shoes be flexible too! Barefoot shoes allow the foot to move naturally so all those muscles in our feet can stay strong and supple. And this is so important because the feet are our foundation - we have a kinetic chain from our toes to our spine and head! We need strong, supple feet to have a solid, supportive base which will allow us to move and play. See our previous post about feet which explains this further and has links to foot-strengthening videos.
Barefoot style shoes come in a range of cushioning and transitioning properly is important. We can increase the amount of time we spend actually being barefoot slowly and start incorporating exercises to strengthen the feet along with wearing barefoot style shoes.
We have started selling Xero Shoes at the clinic.
You can email us to book a time specifically to check out the shoes or you can have a look when you come in for a massage therapy treatment. Check out some reviews here.
For more information, checkout anyasreviews.com. Anya truly is great at providing many details about the benefits of these shoes and she gives great reviews about all the various brands around the world. We also love Katy Bowman... check out her articles and her book "Whole Body Barefoot". It's also available from the Calgary Library.