A lot of us grew up believing shoe technology is how to have healthy feet - arch support, shock absorption, pronation control, etc, those are all good things, right? But those interventions are failing too many people, because they don’t get at the root of the issue.
The alternative to relying on shoe technology is building feet that act as their own support - because feet can adapt and get stronger like the rest of our body! Barefoot shoes are an important part of that process, because they allow your feet to move and strengthen naturally as you go about your life.
But if you want to try barefoot shoes for the first time, there are some things to consider. Shoes have a big impact on our feet and bodies, so it's likely that you will go through some sort of a transition period.
Keep in mind that the more reliant you were on supportive shoes previously, the more of a transition it will be for you. Give yourself time! Your tissues will need to strengthen and lengthen - that can take weeks, months, or even years!
Here are a few of my tips for a smooth transition to barefoot shoes:
1 Start by wearing your barefoot shoes only on certain days, or for periods of time each day as you are comfortable.
2. You can wear an insole for more cushion or even an orthotic (if necessary) inside your barefoot shoes to alleviate pressure. It's not all or nothing!
3. Add in foot strengthening exercises - they're easy to do while relaxing in the evening or in the shower.
4. Try walking barefoot outside on different textures as much as possible to wake your feet up
5. If you start to feel pain, take a step back and give yourself some time to recover.
When it comes to transitioning to barefoot shoes, the most important thing I've learned is that everyone's experience is different. Stronger, more mobile feet is a long term solution to foot pain. While it takes a little more intention, it’s well worth it!
Written by Anya J
Anya is a writer and entrepreneur whose barefoot shoe websites break down barriers to healthy footwear, making it easier for people to find exactly what they're looking for.