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Shoes, Posture and Foot Health

Updated: May 3

“The human foot is the only contact point between the body and the ground. This means that the foot is involved in all aspects of human movement and is a critical piece of movement dysfunction, proximal joint pain and neuromuscular coordination.” - Dr Emily Splichal, DPM

Do you wear cushioned shoes?

Many of us wear shoes with some sort of cushioning – think of your average pair of trainers. However, this cushioning breaks direct contact with the ground and can hinder foot function. Over time, like any other unused muscles in the body, this can make the feet weaker and less receptive.

Research has also shown that cushioning causes more impact on the joints than a more minimal sole or being barefoot.

Barefoot is best

Walking barefoot is great therapy for the feet. It gives feet the chance to function fully – strengthening small muscles, developing calluses to protect from injury, and passing sensory messages to and from the brain.

Barefoot shoes and toe socks

Barefoot or minimalist shoes try to imitate being barefoot, designed to keep the feet engaged and active. They have thin, flexible soles, with as little shock absorption as possible. They can be worn in everyday life as well as during exercise.

Toe socks also support healthy foot function by keeping feet warm and dry, and separating the toes.

Wear and compare

Observe how your feet feel when wearing normal shoes, barefoot shoes, and no shoes. Stand, sit, and walk and examine how the shoes affect alignment and movement in your joints. Pay attention to temperature, grip and movement of the feet.

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