WHY GO BAREFOOT?
It’s a gorgeous summer day. You arrive at the beach, ditch your shoes, and run as fast as you can across the soft sand and into the beautiful blue ocean.
Why do we love this scenario so much?
Aside from the sunshine, fresh air, and the excitement of getting a good tan, we LOVE being barefoot. There is nothing better than having the freedom to move naturally and feel the sensation of the ground beneath us.
So why do we wear shoes?
One of the biggest reasons is that many people have been convinced that their feet require support and structure to carry them throughout the day. In reality, wearing a stiff, rigid shoe is similar to putting a cast on a broken foot – the bone may heal but the surrounding muscles become weak and begin to atrophy. Eventually, you may have no choice but to rely on insoles and artificial support since the muscles in your feet are so immobile and weak. So, while you may think you are safer with support, you are actually putting your body at greater risk for pain and injuries due overworked joints and a lack of muscular strength.
“Use it or lose it”
We are not born with shoes on our feet. Our feet are naturally designed with all the muscles, bones, and tendons required to support us throughout the day. Our ancestors survived for many years without shoes and there are still communities around the world that live barefoot. The significantly lower rates of foot, back, and knee injuries in these areas may be linked to their shoeless lifestyles.
Walking barefoot is the healthiest and most natural form of forward movement.
Some of the positive effects are:
STRENGTH: helps re-develop the foot muscles that have become weak due to wearing shoes that restrict foot movement
BALANCE: Increases our sensory experiences of the ground beneath us, allowing the brain to develop new neural connections resulting in improved balance and stability
POSTURE: being barefoot places our bodies into a more natural alignment which often leads to a healthier posture and less strain on your joints
REFLEXOLOGY: walking barefoot on objects such as rocks stimulates pressure points in the feet that lead to improved
energy, organ function, circulation etc.
What about barefoot running?
Barefoot running has been associated with many positive outcomes: Since the heel of your foot is in a flat, natural position, it leads to the natural action of toe-striking. This results in a smoother and more efficient forward stride. It also puts less stress on your joints than heel-striking, which is a very common for people who run with thick shoes.
Many runners that have properly transitioned to barefoot shoes have experienced outcomes such as improved stamina, less injuries, and less overall pain.
However, transitioning from running with a thick shoe to running barefoot takes time and patience. It is recommended that you listen to your body and transition slowly and gradually to prevent soreness and overuse.
WHAT ARE BAREFOOT SHOES?
Although it would be nice if everyone could ditch their shoes and walk naturally every day, there are many circumstances where going barefoot is not necessarily realistic. For example, walking long distances through unknown terrain and going out in public are often situations that require some type of footwear.
Barefoot shoes are the answer!! They are specifically designed so people can enjoy the comfort and benefits of being barefoot during those circumstances that require shoes.
Barefoot shoes have the following characteristics:
1. Flexibility – the feet are free to move and engage the ground naturally, preventing muscle immobility and atrophy
2. Thin sole – the sole of the shoe is thin and firm which allows for better proprioception and feedback from the ground
3. Minimal or zero heel-to-toe drop – this allows the feet to be in a neutral position which supports a healthy posture and puts
less stress on the joints
4. Wide toe box – the toes are not compressed but have room to spread, leading to better balance
Leguanos are designed to protect the wearer’s feet without restricting their full range of motion. The uppers are made with kunert-twisted fabric which contributes to the following characteristics:
* Elasticity: the upper material expands to fit comfortably snug and returns to its original shape when you take them off
* Breathability: the material combination does not suffocate your feet, but instead effectively allows them to breath
* Lightweight: without the added weight of thick shoes they are extremely comfortable and great for travel
* Moisture-wicking: Any sweat or water is not absorbed or trapped in the shoe but is forced to the outside
* Quick-drying: They dry very quick on and off the feet (especially the “sneaker style”)
* Antibacterial: the material fights bacteria keeping them fresher for longer
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