What are Barefoot shoes 101
In this blog post video, we’ll give you the basics of barefoot shoes, what they are, and point out their advantage over mass-produced shoes. The main parameters of shoes that are defined as barefoot are:
1. A wide toe box that follows the natural curve of the foot.
2. Flexible and thin sole that does not lift at the arch.
3. Zero drop or zero unevenness between the heel and the top of the foot.
Why is this so important for a shoe and why do we call walking in it barefoot?
- The wide toe box in the front part allows the toes to spread freely without being pinched and allows them to take their natural position. In most conventional shoes, there is a narrowing in the toe which leads to compression and subsequently a change in the bone structure. As a result of the narrowing, the foot cannot perform its primary function of supporting your body weight, which usually results in back and lower back pain, leg pain (both in the foot and knees), misalignment of the toes, especially in thumb, ingrown nails and many more.
2. The thin sole, on the other hand, is extremely important for the proper loading of the feet. It helps build muscle while walking. Also, the thin sole does not allow us to push our feet excessively as would be the case with a conventional shoe with a soft heel. And excessive bending of the legs when walking or running inevitably leads to injuries in the knees, spine, hips, neck. When we are barefoot we instinctively step on the top of our foot to protect our body from improper loading. The thin sole allows our bodies to continue this same type of movement but also when walking with a shoe. It probably sounds crazy, but due to the greater sensitivity of the toes compared to that of the heels, walking with bare shoes our body receives a lot more information about the surface we are walking on which helps us to take a correct posture for movement. The soft sole allows our foot to assume its natural shape when walking. The simplest example is when walking on stones – with bare shoes, the foot will take its natural shape and this will lead to evenly distributed tension throughout the body.
3. The basis of correct body posture is correct footwear. Flat shoes (zero drop) guarantee a correct position of the feet, which in turn helps us to maintain a correct posture and reduces the pressure on the joints. A very slight heel lift affects your posture, shifts your hips forward and overextends your back. Back pain is a result of this posture. With a raised heel, there is also a shortening of the movements of the leg, which leads to its improper functioning and immobilization. Maintaining the arch is also something superfluous that our body does not need.The arch is also a very strong structure in architecture that does not require additional maintenance. In the presence of such, our legs become lazy, and our muscles begin to function improperly. In fact, the muscles that hold this arch up stop functioning. It is not by chance that the arch rises after the first few months after switching to bare shoes. And lazy legs and weakened muscles inevitably lead to injuries, whether during sports activity or daily movements.
We all have different shapes of the feet, the toes, the comb, which is exactly why there is a classification according to this shape. All barefoot shoe manufacturers are highly specialized in producing shoes for a certain type of foot. There is almost no manufacturer that covers every single foot shape. In case you are new in the barefoot walking, it is extremely important to verify what is your foot shape and foot type. Having that information you will easily find what is the best shoes company producer that fits with you.
You can find more information about what is your foot shape HERE.