The Benefits Of Barefoot Shoes

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'I had no idea most of our lower limb and even back problems are all caused by our poorly designed and fitting footwear!'
Earthrunners barefoot sandals

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Earthrunners barefoot sandals
YIKES that’s a big picture of my feet!!! Haha!
 
 
I went to a foot specialist a couple of years ago as I was getting terrible pains in the balls of my feet (I also had tendonitis in my achilles and lower back pain too but I didn’t realise this was all related).
 
 
He patched me up and sent me on my way but told me to look up a few resources that then lead me down a rabbit hole into the world of BAREFOOT walking/running/footwear etc.
 
 
I had no idea most of our lower limb and even back problems are all caused by our poorly designed and fitting footwear!!
 
 
Look at the shoes you are wearing now . . . . do they resemble a foot shape in any way whatsoever? The answer is probably no.
 
 
If you look at 90% of trainers now they all have a HIGH HEEL and they just seem to be getting higher and higher, especially running trainers! Gel heels, air heels, 1″ or 3″ heels they are all adding height (or heel lift) to your heel in relation to the ball of your foot which actually shortens your calfs over time (and ALSO causes tendonitis and lower back pain).
 
 
 
 
The other issue with 90% of footwear is they have a NARROW TOE BOX (pointy rather than foot shaped). This means your toes are all squashed and crumpled up in the end so your foot can’t stabilise your body very well using all of your toes spread out as evolution intended (your toes are there for a reason no???). This is what was causing my ‘Morton’s Neuroma’ (painful popping in ball of foot when walking, kneeling etc).
 
Nike toe box
 
 
Treatment for neuroma consists of shoe changes, cortisone injections, orthotics, chemical destruction of the nerve, or surgery . . . . wait what . . . CHEMICAL DESTRUCTION OF THE NERVE??? That sounds delightful doesn’t it!? Lets just start with changing the footwear that is causing the issue shall we?
 
 
There are a few different companies and products on the market now, and I will discuss some of my shoes and trainers in another post but for me I started with Earthrunner sandals as they are the closest thing you can get to just walking around barefoot (which is ultimately what is best for our feet) without ACTUALLY walking around barefoot.
 

What Are The Benefits Of Barefoot Shoes?

 
Your toes are able to spread out (as they were intended) because you use every toe to stabilise and balance your whole body (important job when you think about it).
 
 
The sole is FLAT and as thin as possible, which means there is no heel lift (if our heels needed to be higher than the balls of our feet, evolution would have made that change for us over the last thousand years but NO . . . . shoe manufacturers have decided to make that change for us instead).
 
 
The sole is FLEXIBLE, again to allow your foot and tendons etc to bend in whatever way they need to, across whatever ground you are walking over to help stabilise your whole body (this also allows your foot to become stronger and more resilient, weak feet are painful feet).
 
Earthrunner Barefoot Sandals Flexible
 
Groundingthis can be seen as a bit hippy and woo woo but grounding yourself regularly to the earth has shown to reduce inflammation, stress, muscle damage, cardiovascular disease etc as walking around on rubber and tarmac and using electrical items all day can build up static and as we are all made up of energy and our brain and nerves all function using electrical charges it’s not too hard to imagine if that was to become out of balance it could start to impair our brain and bodily functions (but for some reason we find these things hard to believe and woo woo).
 
Earthrunner Barefoot Sandals Grounding
 
 
Well Earthrunners achieve ALL of these things, and were one of the first companies to! People wear these all year around (bit cold in the UK in winter though haha) and you can even run in them after you get used to them.
 
Your foot, leg and back pain will just fade away after a few weeks/months. It was only the other day I actually thought wow I haven’t had any back or foot pain for years now! That’s the thing with chronic pain or mental health etc, you only notice when something is not as it should be, but as soon as it goes back to normal you just go back to living your life without thinking about it again until something reminds you and you think wow I haven’t felt that pain for years now.
 
Your mates will make a few hippy/Jesus comments initially when you start wearing them EVERYWHERE but will soon get used to them and will even become interested if they ever develop foot or lower limb issues.
 
Check them out here and read more about the benefits of barefoot on their blog: Earthrunners.com
 
Info on grounding: Healthline.com
 

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