Back pain is a condition that so many people suffer from. Damage can result from strain, medical conditions or poor posture. If you’ve experienced any kind of back pain, you know how debilitating it can be and would do anything to prevent it from happening.
Did you know that your back pain may actually be caused from your feet? If you are wearing incorrect footwear, it could be contributing to your back pain. Wearing shoes with even just the slightest heel (this includes men’s dress shoes and athletic shoes) shifts your center of gravity forward. To compensate, the upper body is forced to lean back which causes an arch in the spine. Your alignment is thrown off and this unnatural position puts constant strain on the muscles of the back.
So how can barefoot shoes help with this pain?
Barefoot shoes are also referred to as zero-drop shoes. A zero-drop shoe is one that keeps the heel the same level to the ground as the toes are, just as if you were standing in bare feet. This puts the body in proper alignment and puts less stress on the ankles, knees, hips and lower back. With weight being distributed evenly, the body doesn’t need to compensate and this can result in a more stable foundation.
A zero-drop shoe also encourages a more natural action of toe-striking. This results in a more efficient forward stride and less stress on the joints than heel-striking which is common in people who wear thick-soled shoes.
The wide toe box and thin sole of a barefoot shoe also allow the foot natural movement through a full range of motion. This full range of movement helps keep the body in a natural alignment, improving posture and reducing strain on the back.
Wearing barefoot shoes can help strengthen the feet, give you a more efficient gait and get your body moving in a more effective manner. However, if you are new to barefoot shoes, you will want to ease in slowly. It will take some time to rebuild the strength in the underused muscles of the feet and to get used to the body being in proper alignment. Start with a few minutes a day and as your strength increases, extend the amount of time. It could take up to a few months before you are able to wear these shoes all day.
I have personally made the switch to Leguano Barefoot Shoes and notice a big difference. Not only has my lower pain disappeared but I love the non-constricting feeling of these shoes. I wear them for running errands, walking the dog, and they are the perfect travel shoe!