Barefoot shoes are now becoming more and more popular.
One of the main reasons why this is happening, I believe is the spreading idea that having the feet, seated in a tight box all day, is not so beneficial.
So, what can be beneficial about going around barefoot? Or having barefoot shoes?
Well, the foot is made up of 20 muscles, and 30 ligaments. That’s a lot for such a small body portion.
Now, in order to have those muscles working and the ligaments playing their function, to hold the joint together and allow the joint stability to be efficient, both those 2 groups of body connective fibres have to be stimulated.
So, that’s where the tight box fails.
Having rigid shoes on all day, with or without a high heel, is not supportive, it is actually numbing the muscles.
Said so, it is true that shoes can protect the feet from damage.
In certain environments, shoes, especially rigid protective shoes are mandatory, like in the construction industry or in a factory.
But even through that, we don’t spend all day at work, isn’t it?
Are you saying that barefoot wearing is for everyone?
No, is not.
There are specific conditions, that may not allow you to wear barefoot shoes.
But, if you are in doubt about what’s the right thing to do, I would get in touch with a podiatrist, and he specific if you are in Melbourne I would contact Andy.
I did that myself.
My journey actually started in 2018 when I was in Thailand studying with Pichest.
He always points out students about their feet and wrinkled toes.
He would refer to shoes and sox as cages for feet.
As in Thailand, there is no need for shoes, as is really hot, he would be barefoot or use flip flops all day. ( I then realise that not even flip flop is a solution, anyway).
Said so, once I left Chiang Mai back then I did decide to start using sandals all year round.
Even though I have to say that occasionally in winter, I did wear close shoes.
The years did pass by and I did notice my pinky toes were not changing shape after all these years compared to the other 4 toes.
The pinky toes were still seating quite close to the 4th toes and would not go out straight.
Simultaneously, my Instagram account did start to come up more frequently with posts of barefoot shoes and barefoot sandals.
From there then, I did realise that wearing sandals with a narrow front was not going to make much of a difference.
Also, the sandals I was wearing, were quite rigid anyway.
So that would basically not make much difference for my foot, I found out later.
That’s when I went to see Andy, in Feb ’22.
Andy is a really carrying and smiling man.
I like his approach to the question I was asking and took a quiet pragmatic approach to my feet/body presentation.
After several assessments on the spot, I was told that wearing barefoot was not going to be a problem.
And actually, another thing that I was told was that my left foot, which is flat compared to the right was not a problem either.
And that was the main reason I went to see Andy actually. To find out how I could fix that flat foot.
And with my surprise, I was told that flat foot is there because the body compensates for structural scoliosis.
So If I was going to change my left foot shape, probably I would create an issue then in my back or hip.
In conclusion, since Feb 22 I start wearing barefoot shoes. I did opt for Vivo barefoot.
So far, can’t complain.
I can see my feet changing shape, and even when I go for hikes and long walks I have no foot pain or discomfort.
I don’t see myself going back to wearing conventional shoes any soon.
And since then I start recommending to my client too about barefoot wearing.
I always suggest them having a chat with Andy or a podiatrist who can see the potential of barefoot wearing, and for those who took up the change, so far, haven’t heard any complaints but only good stories.
Another way to dig more about barefoot wear is also visiting SoleMechainc, a shoes shop down in Hampton, where you can find a broad range of barefoot wear and fantastic client service.
In conclusion, if you are foot is in pain, massage therapy would still help. But as often happen, massage therapy by itself is not enough, so exercise, and change habits.