Walking with barefoot shoes
I started walking with barefoot, minimalist style shoes about one and a half years ago. These types of shoes affect the way I walk, and also how comfortable they are when idle at your desk.
What are these shoes?
They are minimal in the thickness of the soles. So thin, you can feel the indifferences of the surfaces you walk on. Small rocks on the street, or cables lying on the floor. The soles are made out of flexible material, most shoes you cold wrap up like a burrito.
In these shoes there is typically more space for your toes to spread out. You can put force through your toes while walking, and the shoes do not feel restrictive. The shoes weigh less then traditional shoes too.
Why would I wear these shoes?
The sensory information that you get when walking with barefoot shoes is enormous compared to thick, impact absorbing shoes. You feel all the rocks and twigs, cables and cobbles you walk on. This information helps you to walk, and most people are not aware of it any more because of the foot coffins they wear. It improved my balance, and combined with good posture when walking it greatly reduced pain in my lower back that I had previously.
Traditional shoes felt like heavy, sweat-inducing traps I needed to wear all day when I working in the office. But the lighter, spacious barefoot shoes I do not mind wearing the full day at all.
From an evolutionary perspective, it is really odd we wear restrictive shoes. Leonardo da Vinci remarked that our feet are one of the best evolutionary engineered systems he studied. The way the muscles and bones are organized allowed our ancestors to walk all day, barefoot. It allowed them to run long distances, sprint shorter distances, all barefoot.
How can I start walking with barefoot shoes?
When your feet are not used to all the sensory information from your feet, it is better to slowly accustom yourself to it. Walk only short walks with them in the beginning.
Get quality shoes. I own a variety of shoes from Vivo Barefoot: a pair of summer shoes, winter shoes and a more business style type of shoes.
For the runners: there are also barefoot running shoes, but that is a topic for a different post.
Walking with barefoot shoes enabled me to sense the surfaces of the world, and adapt to the environment while I walk. Compared to traditional shoes, it does not drain too much energy and is more relaxed to wear all day at the office.