The Sock Doc recently wrote a thorough post on the benefits and how-tos of going barefoot. Well worth reading. I simply find the bio-mechanics of all this fascinating. Barefoot is also more comfortable and fun :-)
Here are some excerpts:
Here are some excerpts:
Humans should be able to function barefoot from birth until death, (barring some birth defect, infection, or trauma of course), though sadly many people are unable to run, walk, or even stand for even a few minutes barefoot without discomfort, pain, or general uneasiness. Many people have essentially lost their ability to support themselves without support, (shoes or shoes with orthotics), either because of poor biomechanics or an underlying health problem.
Humans are not meant to over-stride and land on their heels when running which today’s typical shoe promotes. Even while walking, typical footwear will elicit more of a heel strike, extended stride, and an unnatural and inefficient push-off with the foot. A minimalist or barefoot walker will land softly with a shorter stride and efficiently roll off the foot.
Modern life has also changed how we move and of course, live our daily lives. In addition to the harmful influence of modern walking and running shoes, common daily stresses such as long work hours, family demands, and poor food choices have created unhealthy changes in most human feet which further contribute to gait disturbances and other body aches, pains, and ailments.
Health is not merely the absence of some pathological disease. Many people think they are healthy but often they are not as healthy as they could be. Do you sleep well throughout the night without awakening and wake up feeling good without aches and pains? If not, I’d define that as poor health. Do you take any medication – whether it’s an anti-inflammatory, hormone replacement, a drug to wake up, to go to sleep, or to have sex? Taking any medication is a sign of poor health. Do you lack energy – both physically and mentally during the day? How about your digestion? Are you one of the many women (and sometimes guys) like those I see in the office who think it’s normal to have a bowel movement just a couple of times a week? Definitely not healthy. Do you need to wear an orthotic in order to walk without pain or some type of traditional footwear with support and “cushion” so you can walk, stand, or even exercise? If you do you’re definitely not healthy from my perspective.