Barefoot shoes are trendy. They promise a better running feeling and a healthier movement. But is walking with barefoot shoes really healthier?
We have summarized the most important facts on the subject for you. You will find out what barefoot shoes are, what advantages they offer and what you have to look out for when buying them.
What are barefoot shoes?
In technical terms, barefoot shoes are also referred to as minimal shoes. This term sums it up. Because as the word already expresses, these shoes are reduced to a minimum. Depending on the model, they have little or no footbed. In addition, the barefoot shoe has no heel (zero heel). The result is a healthier gait and natural locomotion.
Many barefoot shoe wearers rave about the fact that they feel the ground better thanks to the thin and ultra-flexible soles. Minimal shoes have significantly more toe freedom. Depending on the model, you can get very close to feeling like you're walking barefoot. Some fans even claim that thanks to the minimalist sole they no longer have to pay attention to the ground when running. They can perceive bumps better and adapt their running behavior accordingly.
What do you have to consider with barefoot shoes?
Traditionally, thanks to conventional footwear, we run in the so-called rearfoot or heel run. Anyone who has ever observed runners in the park should understand what is meant by that. Here the heel run is practiced with preference. When jogging, the foot touches down with the heel and rolls over the metatarsus and the ball of the foot.
Wearers of minimal shoes alternatively use the so-called forefoot run. This type of running should also be known. If you watch children playing in the swimming pool, you will notice that when they walk barefoot, they put the balls of their feet on the ground first. Sprinters also like to use this running style because it is more dynamic and explosive.
It is scientifically debatable which type of running is better. This circumstance stems from the fact that every person has an individual running pattern and their unique style of movement. In addition, we can have malpositions in the foot and body due to conventional footwear. Therefore, there is no general answer as to which running style you should choose.
One thing is definitely clear: the forefoot run protects the knee joints and hips due to its natural springing. Over longer distances, however, it can make sense to use heel contact. Here it is advisable to put your heel down and then roll over the outer edge of the foot and the toes.
What changes when you wear barefoot shoes?
After an adjustment phase, the barefoot shoes develop a special feeling of walking and movement. Since these are very light and flexible shoes with zero heels, your way of walking will adapt to the new footwear. But beware! Getting used to new shoes can take up to six months.
It is best to start carefully with your new minimal shoes. Because under maximum load, walking barefoot can also lead to damage. That's why you shouldn't walk more than 30 minutes a day in minimal shoes at the beginning. The feet first have to get used to the new way of walking. Therefore, expect that the muscles in your feet and legs may ache during this phase. That is normal!
In addition, you don't necessarily have to wear barefoot shoes anymore. Take your time and wear your new shoes a little longer every day, for example in the office. Over time, the body gets used to the new situation. You can then switch completely to minimal shoes.
But what changes now with the barefoot shoes? The thin soles improve the sensory function of the foot. This gives you a better perception of the ground. At the same time your brain is trained. The feet feel much more. You feel safe when you appear and can orientate yourself better. Sensory stimuli emanating from the floor even improve coordination. The better mobility of the toes is an additional highlight.
Protection of the joints
With the right running style, flat and undamped shoes can relieve your joints and train the foot muscles. Minimal shoes are particularly gentle on the hip, knee and ankle joints. The pressure that occurs when running is reduced in a natural way. In order for this to work, you now have to train your foot muscles and strengthen the arch of the foot. This way you can balance better over time and protect your joints.
In conventional shoes, the heels are on a heel, the arch of the foot is artificially supported and the ball of the foot is slightly raised. The whole thing means that your body line has to shift so that you can continue to maintain an upright posture. With minimal shoes you can find your way back to a natural body line. This meets all anatomical criteria for a healthy support and musculoskeletal system. Even your back is less stressed and your feet are better supplied with blood.
Are barefoot shoes suitable for every occasion?
In recent years, the number of suppliers of minimal shoes has increased. Due to the offer you will find suitable minimal shoes for almost every occasion.
We offer you sports shoes, casual shoes, running shoes and even shoes for climbing. But shoes can also be found for business and festive occasions.
Whether unisex, for men, women or children, with us you will find the most suitable shoes from Watelves.