I have recently had a number of people come to see me who decided they would like to start wearing barefoot running shoes because they had heard it was better for them than shoes with lots of support. In an ideal world, they may be right – our feet are well designed to support us and they provide an effective springboard as we walk. However, we are not always in an ideal world!
Often it is not that a person cannot wear barefoot shoes, but it is the transitioning to the less supportive shoe that needs to be carefully considered. If you are thinking about changing to a less supportive shoe, there are a number of factors worth looking at to help make the journey successful:
1. Consider the shoe differential of your current shoes. The shoe differential is the difference in the thickness of the sole from the front to the heel of the shoe. A bigger differential will require a longer transition time to flatter shoes. Feet, particularly older feet (over 40 years of age) take longer to adjust to change. The tissues around the soles of the feet and the back of the heel, including the calves, need time to adjust to the increased load and lengthening being asked of them. Giving your feet time to adjust can make all the difference.
2. Consider the arch support in your current shoes. Again, if your feet are used to good arch support, then you will need to take this into account and make a slower change to a shoe with no arch support. Going from very supportive shoes to ones with little or no arch support can lead to plantar fasciitis, which may take months to get over.
With the summer months approaching and as we change our shoes to less supportive ones, it is worth taking some time to look at your footwear – what you are wearing now and what you would like to wear in the hotter months.
Hope this is helpful,
#movebetterforlife #barefootrunning #barefootshoes #footwear