Over the years barefoot walking has shown an increasing trend and research keeps showing health benefits of kicking our shoes off. Even though our ancestors walked barefoot all the time, we now spend most of our days in shoes. However, walking barefoot (along with minimalist shoes) has shown benefits such as:
- Increasing the sensitivity of the sensory mechanisms that activates the feet.
- Increasing foot strength
- Improving balance -> which can help prevent falls in the elderly population
- Can help with pain relief
- Improves mobility
What’s not to love about feet(!!)
The human foot comprises of 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Wearing tight shoes or heels all day most certainty will have an impact on your ability to move your feet and ankles. And the less our muscles and joints are allowed to move, the more restricted and painful they can become over time.
Toe separators have also become more and more popular these days, as well as barefoot walking and for good reason. These soft, spongy blocks have been shown to;
- Improve stability, mobility, and strength in our feet
- Help stretching the small muscles of our toes and feet
- Can aid in conditions such as hammertoes and plantar fasciitis
- Decrease pain and increase function – according to thegaitguys this is due to better biomechanics, mechanical deformation and proprioceptive changes
- Decrease pain and improve flexibility and strength in people with bunions
There are different brands out there that vary in shape, fabric, and price. If you are interested in trying them out it might be worth checking eBay as they are cheap and affordable. Begin with 5-20 minutes per day and see how your feet respond to them.
Exercises & Recommendations for Barefoot walking and for happy feet.
If you are interested in some tips on how to mobilise your toes and feet, check out our social media pages and watch me go through some exercises. These are easy to do and require no equipment, so you can easily incorporate them into your daily habits!
Allow your body to get used to walking more barefoot throughout the day and notice several positive changes to your feet. It’s also worth noting that your body needs to adapt to walking more barefoot, as you are unlearning years of habits. Take it slow, and do not be alarmed if your feet start feeling sore in the beginning. Start walking on flat ground and sand and then transition into uneven surfaces.
If you have any further questions or have noted persistent pain or discomfort in your feet lately, feel free to book a consultation and we can dive into this further!
Simply click here to book online now!
By Dr Kajsa