Posture is very important for our overall health. Good posture can improve energy and prevent muscle tension and back pain. There are many daily activities that can have a negative impact including sitting hunched at a desk all day or carrying heavy bags, but did you know that the type of shoes you wear can be bad for your posture?
Good posture starts from the ground up. Any shoe that has a raised heel can contribute to bad posture. Most men’s and women’s dress shoes, boots and athletic shoes have some type of heel lift. Even the smallest lift can affect posture over time. When the heel is raised above the toes, it puts the body in an unnatural alignment and forces the body to compensate. Weight is pushed onto the ball of the foot causing the body to lean forward and putting strain on the lower back, hips, knees, ankles, and feet.
A barefoot shoe (also known as minimalist or zero-drop) puts the ball of the foot and the heel the same distance from the ground. This keeps the body in a neutral alignment and keeps body weight centered over the feet. Barefoot shoes also have wide toe boxes that let your toes splay out, giving you a sturdier base and better balance. This allows you to stand taller and have a more upright posture with the correct alignment. This improved balance can assist in everyday chores, athletic movements and even walking. Good posture helps maintain a healthy spine and reduce the risk of back pain that so many experience at some point in their life. Proper posture also improves breathing, digestion, and can even make you look skinnier!
It is important to slowly transition into barefoot shoes if you have never worn them. Years of wearing overprotective and improper footwear cause the feet to become weak. A barefoot shoe has a thin flexible sole that allows the foot to go through a full range of movement, strengthening the feet over time. This gradual transition will help prevent injuries.
Check out Leguano Barefoot Shoes for a wide range of styles and colors in both men’s and women’s (most are unisex).