6 Reasons to Wear Barefoot Shoes, And What Are They

6 Reasons to Wear Barefoot Shoes, And What Are They

Why start walking in barefoot shoes? Read 6 reasons to buy your first barefoot shoes. From comfort to health.

Barefoot shoes simulate walking barefoot. They provide enough room for toes, are flexible and lightweight. At the same time, they protect the soles from dirt, cold or injury, while adding a trendy touch to your outfit – unlike bare feet. In fact, they look like classic shoes except for a few details.

You might wonder why not walk entirely without shoes, that is barefoot. Well, walking barefoot is not for everyone.

Barefoot shoes are snug, protect our feet and their design has changed significantly in recent years. Many models are nearly indistinguishable from classic footwear.

At the same time, there are many myths and misconceptions about barefoot shoes. To an outsider, they may seem just like a fashion trend. Many people are also concerned about whether walking in barefoot shoes is comfortable or if they might hurt their feet.

Main Benefits of Wearing Barefoot Shoes
1. Natural width
Barefoot shoes, by design, follow the natural shape of healthy feet. They have a wide or anatomically-shaped toe box. This gives the toes plenty of room without squeezing them when walking and allows them to stretch, lean and bounce.

Try stepping on a shoe for comparison: if your foot extends over the edge – even a little – the shoe is too narrow for you.

2. Flexibility
Try this – take off your shoes and socks, look at your foot and try to move it around a little. It’s easy, right?

Now put on your socks and shoes and move your foot again. It feels nearly impossible, doesn’t it?

That is the core problem of classic footwear – the rigid sole doesn’t allow the foot to move and flex naturally. On the other hand, barefoot shoes offer maximum flexibility and 4-way stretch to mimic a sensation of walking barefoot.

3. No drop or heel
A drop is not such a common term as a heel, but it refers to the same thing. A shoe drop is a difference in height between forefoot and heel. Barefoot shoes have no drop, commonly known as a zero drop. Our bodies are perfect just like they are – if they needed heels, they would develop them.

Take a close look at the image below to find out what the heel does to the body. Even the smallest heel distorts body posture during each step. On the other hand, a zero drop promotes a natural and upright gait. As a bonus, this improves immunity, increases blood circulation and stimulates the lungs to use their full capacity when breathing.

4. Thin sole
Touch belongs among our most important senses. And yet, our feet don’t utilize it. We are touching only with our hands, and that’s a great shame.

When we wear a thin sole and feel the surface we are walking on, we are giving our brain clear information about what to prepare for. If we‘re walking on a hard surface, our bodies can prepare for the hard surface. If we walk on a cold surface, our bodies can react. If the surface is unstable, the brain sends a signal to the rest of the body.

What do we need this for? Have you ever walked in hiking shoes and clumsily stepped on a rock in a way that your ankle snapped? If the foot sends out the information that the ground is unstable, the body can adjust the foot to avoid injury.

5. Low weight
It is said that we should walk at least 10,000 steps every day. A typical adult shoe weighs about 0.7 kg, which means we have to lift about 7 tonnes of weight every day. That makes walking a pretty good workout, don't you think?

Barefoot shoes are incredibly light. One adult shoe weighs on average 250-300g and you can bet that you‘ll really feel the difference on longer walks.

6. No arch support
Have you ever heard that your arch needs support, otherwise your foot might turn flat? An arch is made of bones, muscles and tendons. Bones themselves do not retain any shape; we need muscles and tendons for the arch to work well. Without arch support, we strengthen the muscles we were born with.

On the other hand, by supporting the arch, we substitute the function of the muscles that are supposed to hold the arch. Yes, the arch will have the right shape in the shoe. But what happens, once you take the shoe off?

The foot locked in the shoe won’t function as it should, and the muscles in the foot will then begin to weaken until the arch collapses completely. So, strengthen your arch by walking barefoot.

The arch support can also negatively affect the circulation of blood to the toes.

Most arch problems arise because the muscles and tendons do not work as they should. Barefoot shoes can help a lot with this. Of course, you need to start gradually, literally one step at a time. And in case of bigger problems, consult a physiotherapist and add foot exercises.

What do you want from barefoot shoes
Let’s recap: a barefoot shoe is a shoe that does nothing.

It may sound surprising, but isn’t it strange that the world’s leading brands are competing, which shoe can do more things, such as more cushioning, more flexibility, and better ankle support? After all, our bodies are inherently perfect.

Here is the list of the only things that we want our barefoot shoes to do:
- to provide maximum freedom and flexibility
- protect our feet from dirt, adverse weather and danger
- a nice design to enhance our outfit

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