(Almost) Barefoot is Better

I read an article recently on how bad flip flops are for your feet. The “experts” interviewed for the piece stated that flip flops are harming people’s feet because they lack protection, don’t offer enough cushion, and have no arch support.

One thing I am most certainly, 100% minimalist about is footwear, or the lack thereof.
We’re born without shoes, we start to walk without shoes, and we spend most of our childhood running around grassy lawns or beaches without shoes.

Now, some type of footwear is needed. Especially in our modern world of concrete, asphalt, broken glass, etc. There are many hazards that could leave your feet cut, bruised, and possibly infected.

But in my opinion, you harm your feet if you squeeze them into modern shoes. I think you should wear the correct shoe for the work you’re doing; for example it would be foolish to do construction work in flip flops.

If you keep your feet in socks and structured shoes all day, your feet really don’t work the way they should or get fresh air circulation.

I do agree that flip flops are not appropriate for all situations. I hate to drive with flops because… well, they flop around. I’m always afraid they will slip off my foot and get tangled in the accelerator or brake. As mentioned above, I wouldn’t wear them to do any work where I might drop something on my foot.

I also run in minimal shoes. When I first started, I bought a pair of inexpensive running shoes and within three weeks I could feel the damaging effects of heel striking. Running shoes with super padded heels just seem to direct you into landing that way; and to me it was painful.

So after a month of that, I bought a pair of Nike Free shoes, and my footstrike corrected almost immediately. I ran a little slower, but I ran without pain. I ran more carefully, because I felt more in contact with the ground surface I was traveling over. I will never use a structured running shoe, ever.

What I wear daily are sandal soled- shoe hybrids. More and more companies make them now, but I really love the (not) shoes made by Sanuk. All the pairs I’ve had have lasted an incredibly long time, are super comfortable, and give me the flexibility of being barefoot with protection from the ground. They are so thin, I can feel when I walk over a crack in the sidewalk.

What do you think? Do you think ultra-structured, arch supporting shoes are just ruining the world’s feet?

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One thought on “(Almost) Barefoot is Better

  1. joanna @ I won't be a hoarder too says:

    I feel like flip flops are an example doing something half-a**ed and paying the price. Flip flops have practically none of the benefits of shoes, and practically none of the benefits of being barefoot. Whereas something like a Keen sandal has the best parts of each. it’s another reminder to me of “do it right, or don’t do it at all.”

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