Updated: Feb 20
Oh we love shoes... pretty shoes, expensive shoes, supportive shoes, cushioned shoes, stylish shoes...
Scroll right to the bottom for the top 3 things to look for in healthy shoes!
In total, I can't even admit how many shoes I own at the moment. But how many of those shoes are healthy for my feet? I can tell you that answer... 10 pairs in total.
Yes, I wear them all winter, granted I am still looking for the ideal cold & snowy pair of boots.
What do your shoes do for you? Do they help your body or do they hinder movement?
Did you know you have 26 bones in your feet and 33 joints? That allows for a lot of movement and awareness to come from our feet. What happens when that movement and awareness is restricted? Your feet are just like the rest of your body, what isn't used gets weaker and less mobile.
So here I am to tell you that you need to move around in your barefeet more... not less. Our regular little foot coffins have created some serious issues with foot pain, knee pain, hips, our lower back...
I'll admit, when my friend Steph told me about switching to minimal shoes... I was super skeptical, so I did some research. And with all the major back pain issues I was having at the time, I committed to starting out walking barefoot... on the cement. Now, you need to know something about me, I have Princess feet (yes, I capitalized that on purpose). My feet don't like being in shoes that are too small and they really don't like walking on grass, sand, dirt, anything that makes them dirty. So walking around barefoot was a huge deal for me on many levels.
So what happened when I started walking barefoot on sidewalks? It was usually about a 10 minute walk and my back loved it, so did my sensitive feet. The feeling of the heat in the cement, the texture, the splay of my toes! It did honestly feel fabulous on my feet and for my back! So when I came across the Vibram 5 finger shoes a month later, I bought them. Now my feet really loved these! It was like walking barefoot, but with the safety of a thin tire on the bottom.
So now, after a good 6 years of slowly switching over to minimal shoes, my feet have never felt better. I even went on an 18km hike last summer in my 5 fingers. Yep, my feet were tired after, but it felt so good!
This post could be super long... but I'll cut this short for now. What should you look for in shoes? I break it down to 3 things:
Flexible sole of the shoe. You should be able to bend it easily, maybe even roll them up!
A zero drop... meaning that your heel should be the same height as your fore foot. Not higher like many shoes are designed.
And last, but certainly not least! A larger sized toe box. You should be able to spread out your toes, not feel like they are all being pressed together.
Now there are many brands to chose from, 6 years ago there were very few and most looked super weird (like my 5 fingers, but I love getting asked about them!).
Here are my 3 favorite brands at the moment:
Wildlings. They are great shoes, and though I haven't done this yet, if you put a wool liner in the bottom they make great cold weather shoes. And they have kids sizes too!
Vivo Barefoot. These are more stylish in terms of a 'normal' looking shoe. I like to put elastic laces in mine. These ones are pricey... there is a site that resells newer, cleaned up Vivos... Revivo.
Want to talk more about feet? Message me and let's get you back on the path to wellness!