The first thing that crosses my mind when I think about barefoot shoes is, What is the point of barefoot shoes? and Are there any benefits to barefoot shoes? So, therefore I decided to research and write Barefoot Shoes For The Outdoors And Adventure article.
What kind of barefoot shoe options are there?
Almost everything that is available in traditional shoe is now available in barefoot styling. Hiking shoes, trail running, water shoe, breathable, waterproof, etc. These companies are serious about this ethos and are trying to capture as many outdoor enthusiasts as possible.
What is the point of barefoot shoes?
The main argument is, for hundreds of thousands of years we have evolved and walked barefoot or with minimalist shoes (hand crafted from natural materials), due to this our feet and the muscles, ligaments and skeletal structure act and react in a particular way to us walking and running. Due to the advent of modern shoes (a few hundred years or so) our feet no longer react the way they should to the diverse terrain we interact with. The common thread between all the barefoot shoe brands seems to be
The front of the shoe is super wide toe box allowing for the foot to spread its toes just as the foot would do if it were barefoot. Replicating the natural shape of the human foot. No narrow toes design here.
Soles of the barefoot shoes are all designed to minimal. A few mm thick, treasuring the minimal barrier between your foot and the ground it is in contact with. Designed to feel the ground. With zero heel-to-toe drop and no artificial stabilisation. No large foam barriers here.
Each of the barefoot companies’ shoes are flexible, allowing the foot to stabilise itself. Overtime making our tendons and muscles stronger once more, back to their original state.
Are there any benefits to barefoot shoes?
Many people believe that there are health benefits to wearing shoes that allow the feet to move and feel more natural, such as barefoot shoes. Some of these benefits include improved balance and posture, increased calf muscle strength, and improved foot and ankle flexibility. Additionally, barefoot shoes can be more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
Barefoot shoes are becoming increasingly popular, as more and more people are realizing the many benefits of going barefoot. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider wearing barefoot shoes:
1. They allow your feet to move more naturally, which is better for your overall foot health.
2. They improve balance and your ability to sense where your body is in space, which can help prevent injuries.
3. They strengthen the muscles in your feet and lower legs, which can lead to better overall leg health.
4. They can help improve your posture and alignment by encouraging a more mid-foot strike when you walk or run.
5. They can help you connect with the ground and nature, which can provide a sense of calm and wellbeing.
Affordable Barefoot Shoe Options
This is the biggest negative with the barefoot and minimalist shoe movement. These shoes are simply not affordable for the mass majority of the working class in our society. Where the average price of shoes is around £30, the average barefoot shoe is around £90 and that is second hand! That is three times the average price. Because of this, the movement towards barefoot shoes in the UK has only been embraced by the middle classes, the benefits will not be embraced by the majority until the price comes down. As yet, I have not seen nor experienced any working class individuals embracing the barefoot movement. To me this is an exclusive movement for those with money. I understand that the price of these shoes may reflect the real world costs of producing a shoe in the West, however, brands like Vivobarefoot have ridiculous marketing campaigns. These campaigns are not cheap! I predict that it won’t be long before a few Chinese brands start making more than barefoot water shoes and completely take over the market. For example, I had no option but to purchase a pair of second hand, extremely worn shoes from Ebay to sample minimalist shoes.
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Conclusion – Barefoot Shoes For The Outdoors And Adventure
There are many benefits to wearing barefoot shoes for adventure. The main brands are vivobarefoot, Xero, Vibram and Merrel. However, the price is still the biggest barrier to mainstream adoption of these excellent shoes. But be aware that if you have been wearing conventional shoes for 30 plus years it will take time (6 months plus) to rebuild your foot strength before you can easily enter the outdoors regularly wearing barefoot shoes.
Anatomy of Trail Running Shoes: Barefoot vs Traditional
There are two main types of trail running shoes: barefoot and traditional. Barefoot shoes have less cushioning and therefore less support than traditional shoes, but they allow your feet to move more naturally. This can help prevent injuries by building up strong bones, muscle and tendons, but it also means that you may have to be more careful about where you step. Traditional trail running shoes have more cushioning and support, but they will also be heavier and less natural.
Can you wear barefoot shoes every day?
There is no real answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, including the individual, type of barefoot shoe, the weather and the individual’s foot health. However, in general, it is considered safe to wear barefoot shoes for most activities on a daily basis.