It’s funny. When I posted that I got a pair of Vibram Fivefinger shoes I got a ton of comments. The funny part is there was no middle ground in the comments. People either loved them and owned some, hated them and thought I was a freak of nature (that part is still debatable).
I received comments ranging from “be careful” to “nerd”. It’s just footwear people =)
I TOTALLY love these things and my foot love them too.
Why did I do it and why might you consider doing the same?
1. I’m flat footed. That means I don’t really have an arch under my foot. Wearing these builds the muscle to build the arch back up. Wearing hard soled shoes or shoes with arch support totally weakens a foot. It never moves! (Arch support can alleviate pain while you wear them because they are changing the angle of your foot — or you can strengthen the correct muscles you won’t need support to do it for you)
Imagine wearing a cast on your arm for 3 months. After you take it off the arm is super weak huh? When you wear shoes same thing happens.
2. I noticed I walk differently when I wear these. I watched myself in the mirror and I thought to myself “I’m in public but it seems like I’m walking around after the shower” hmmmm. If I walk differently when I wear shoes that can’t be good. That effects joints in the ankle and the knee and the hip. I’m trying to be as natural as possible.
3. I also noticed that my toes are all smashed together from wearing shoes. The Vibrams spread the toes out which helps with balance and stability.
I try my best to be bare feet as much as possible.
– Never wear shoes at home
– Do toe raises at the gym (not the same as calf raises) – 10lb weight and curl the foot at the top of the movement on a seated calf raise machine.
– Walk barefoot in the park/beach
Unfortunately some peoples feet and legs have gotten so weak from constantly being supported that they need to go slow as they progress back to barefoot. Just like anything you can get injured if you use a weak muscle too quickly. When you have a lifetime of basically attrify on your feet don’t try to take a 3 mile barefoot hike without letting your poor under used feet get used to actually moving and working.
If you have flat feet or bad ankles or bad knees I’d recommend at least head to Birkenstock or REI and try a pair on for yourself – Try things out for yourself.
Trust me. A lifetime of weak feet will lead to bad joints and pain as we approach old age. Be smart now.
We’ve evolved over the past 200,000 years to be barefoot. Get with it!