As a society we are led to believe that shoes with thick support will protect our feet and joints from pain and injury. When you think about it, wearing shoes with cushioning is actually comparable to putting our feet into a cast which can cause more damage than good. After countless hours, days, and years of attempting to walk without allowing your feet their full range of motion and flexibility, the muscles can atrophy and the ligaments can weaken. Ever heard of “use it or lose it”? It applies here…
Here are 5 reasons to walk barefoot or wear shoes with minimal cushioning and support:
1. Improved Posture & Balance
Without the artificial support, extra cushioning, and heel lift of typical sneakers, the feet are in what can be considered a more neutral position. This tends to allow the joints of the body to re-align naturally, which can lead to improve posture and stability.
2. Strengthens Feet
The feet are able to move freely instead of being forced into a stationary position. This constant movement can actually allow the muscles and ligaments to strengthen, providing a more natural shock-absorbing system for our joints. Therefore, our joints may actually get less of a pounding sensation during movements such as walking and jumping.
3. Increased Neurofeedback
Without stiff shoes cutting us off from the earth, the nerve endings of our feet are once-again able to sense the differing surfaces and materials we walk on. This can have a positive impact on the alertness of our brain and body. Increased neurofeedback combined with stronger feet can make us more aware and responsive to our environment which can help prevent injuries (ex. Rolling an ankle).
4. Reflexology Benefits
Walking barefoot may stimulate the pressure points of the feet associated with various health benefits, including decreased tension and stress, decreased blood pressure, improved sleep quality, and headache prevention and relief.
5. Improved Circulation
With greater flexibility of the feet comes greater blood flow! This can prevent varicose veins, improve foot and leg health and keep our toes warm in colder weather.
If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to chat.
Co-Owner, Leguano Inc.