Well, some of my patients, especially the athletes in my clinic have asked quite a few questions about barefoot running or Barfußschuhe Test. In general, barefoot technology is just not as successful as the non-barefoot shoes. What’s a barefoot shoe? I understand, the expression is conflicting. Many health care providers, chiropractors, physical therapists etc. try to help encourage your body to become pain-free and effective as possible. In my office, I often see feet which are dysfunctional causing low back pain back pain generally, knee and hip pain and even headaches! Well, forces are transmitted via our own body through different structures. If those forces are transmitted correctly, we can manage them, if not, tissues break down and we may notice symptoms anywhere along the street.
After we are barefoot, and our foot arrangement has not yet been malformed by more contemporary, trendy shoes, each time we take a measure, the bones leading to our feet spread apart, the big toe would be aloud to extend openly; this tightens-up your plantar fascia and various ligaments related to a long arch creating a spring mechanism. In addition, your heel reaches the same level as the rest of your foot which permits your different arches to do what their supposed to do (support and transfer movement). This usually means a feet which are permitted to function the way they’re supposed to will support you, stabilize you and also assist to correctly transmit forces by your entire body. This results in less pain and more effective walking and running, jumping etc..
For there to be operational motion within the body, there must be a balance between mobility and stability (stability = the proper muscles are contracting at the right time and movement is controlled). Without appropriate foot mobility and stability, you are setting yourself up for knee, ankle, hip, low back and neck issues and pain. The foot is THE FIRST structure to start transmitting force through your body when you are walking, running, leaping or even just standing there, in amazement at what you are reading.
An efficient and stable foot arrangement is paramount to functional movement and may shave time off your runs and miles off your physique. Where does it start? It would not, the arched bridged is designed to distribute force throughout the arch so it just has to be supported on each end of the bridge. Why would we insist on encouraging our arches whenever they could encourage themselves?
I know some of you are reading this saying to yourself, “I have flat feet, I NEED arch support because I don’t have great arches.”
OK, from time to time, you can not simply begin wearing barefoot shoes, you need to “wean” yourself to them by using more flexible sneakers, using a metatarsal pad and performing specific arch-building exercise like the “short foot exercise”. But trust me, when you begin wearing barefoot shoes, your feet will become stronger and more portable than ever. For example I have not ever had much dexterity along with my toes but after wearing barefoot sneakers for 3 months I will move my toes around like never before. In addition, my toes and calves are much stronger.
Imagine what a disaster it would be if we were to jack up one side of a bridge; that’s what it is you’re doing every time you wear shoes that put your heel greater than your feet. I’m not merely talking about high heels! Go grab your running shoes, workout shoes, casual shoes, and chances are, most of them do this and it’s killing our feet.
Lastly, like I wrote earlier, the bones of our toes will need to disperse apart with each step you take. Here’s a test on your sneakers; pull out the inserts, place them on the ground, put your feet as they’d be if the folds along with your foot were in a shoe, put your weight on your foot. If so (and many of you will find that this is true), your shoes are not letting the long bones of your foot spread apart with each step generating a higher chance of foot pain, neuromas, plantar fascitis and more.