Are Your Shoes Damaging Your Feet?

09/27/2014 10:04

For thousands and thousands of years human beings have been walking barefooted. And while it has become quite unusual in western and especially colder countries, walking barefoot is still considered normal in a lot of poorer countries. While this might be because of wealth and not health reasons, most of these people actually have healthier feet than the regular "shoe wearers".

Arch Support - Only for Plantar Fasciitis Sufferers & Co

Shoes have the potential to have a negative impact on the health of our feet. The so often praised 'arch support' and 'flexible and breathable' footwear, is not always the best for our feet. While it's necessary for people who already suffer from foot problems such as plantar fasciitis or similar conditions to wear plantar fasciitis shoes or shoes that provide the respective support, it is by far not necessary to pay attention to these details when you have healthy feet.

Naturally, our feet get used to a certain amount of support and lose the ability to carry our body weight properly without it. All of a sudden barefoot walking becomes painful. 

But what kind of shoes CAN we wear without risking to damage our feet?

High Heels are obviously not more practical and comfortable than a pair of ballet pumps, and everyone knows that they can be damaging. But even ballet flats can be the origin of back and intense foot pain. In reality, using their insufficient cushioning and arch support, but at the same time impacting the "freedom" of the feet, do you realize that wearing flat shoes can in fact damage your feet? It becomes increasingly difficult to actually chose the type of shoes that will not impact our feet negatively. 

We might conclude that, in fact, ALL footwear is bad. Well, it's not like that. It mainly depends on how healthy our feet are in first place. Children that walk a lot barefoot in their childhood tend to have healthier feet and adults should try to do the same. Walking barefoot is what our feet are naturally supposed to do. We don't have to protect them from any damage when we allow them to protect themselves and prevent that our feet 'unlearn' to do that. This, of course, does not mean that we can't wear shoes anymore at all. 

Healthy Feet Before Fashion. Period.

We should walk more barefoot, wear less high heels but more minimalistic shoes...before it's too late. When it's too late it will be a long way until our feet are strong again and we would have to rely on arch support and special shoes for plantar fasciitis or whatever condition you might develop. It's easy to avoid this, just by NOT wearing any shoes at least at home or ouside in the garden in summer. And it feels great too! 

Minimalistic Shoes

There are plenty of minimalistic shoe designers to chose from. There are even minimalistic shoes for runners on the market that are great if you want to further strengthen your feet and PREVENT injuries. Barefoot running is also recommended. When chosing athletic shoes most people tend to go for the shoes with extra support. And that is okay as long as it is balanced out again. Strong and healthy feet are going to be able to run a marathon without problems and without the risk of injuries. Strong feet are going to be able to carry a little bit of extra weight.

Because that's what they are supposed to do.