Hi, Welcome to bprimal! My name is Jamie Wilson, husband, father and lover of healthy foot function! Let me share some of my experience and insights into the key features of Barefoot Shoes and their benefits with you, especially when it comes to living with pain free feet.
Well here goes...With the diverse designs that they come in, both attractive and functional, partnered with the fact that minimalist shoes do a multitude of good for your feet and body, individuals have every reason to bid adieu to conventional footwear, and switch to barefoot shoes! Right from restoring optimal foot health, to keeping your body properly aligned, barefoot shoes and minimalist footwear is the most ideal way to keep your feet and body healthy, one step at a time!
While it’s easy to note down everything that is wrong with traditional shoe designs that we have become accustomed to for most of our lives, let’s take a look at some of the key features of barefoot shoes instead, and learn how and why they benefit the wearer.
Wide shoes - Wide Toe Box
Not many people understand the importance of naturally splayed toes and how they improve stability. Along with causing discomfort by crushing your toes together, conventional footwear is typically designed with a narrow toe box that misaligns the big toe, thereby limiting the functioning of the front end of your foot’s arch.
To eliminate the many ill effects that come with modern, slender footwear, minimalist shoes boast wide toe boxes that enable your toes to spread out as if you were walking barefoot! This is essentially the goal of designing foot-healthy shoes as there are several benefits of walking barefooted. Wider shoe fronts also promote better balance, improved range of motion, and increase blood circulation in the feet, among other benefits.
Customers often associate heavy shoes with durability or toughness; while there is a good chance that a pair of shoes that weighs 1kg or more may be built to stand the test of time, very few consider what the added weight does to your feet and body. Over a gradual period of time, the burden of wearing heavy footwear takes a toll on the lower back, causing a dull pain, or simply adds to existing back problems. Weighted shoes also deter your range of motion and limit the feets movement ability due to the stiff shoe’s sole and upper construction which binds the feet putting an increased strain on your ankles and lower limbs.
Since the goal of barefoot shoes is to simulate the activity of walking barefoot, the weight and construction of the shoes is critical. Minimalist footwear brands are committed to creating incredibly lightweight barefoot shoes to ensure that your choice of footwear isn’t weighing you down, nor is it causing your feet and body any type of stress or strain when walking or running. The ultimate goal of barefoot and minimalist shoes is to give your feet the natural freedom they deserve.
Ground Sensations & Flexible footwear
Sensory feedback between the ground and your foot is very important for balance and stability. While walking barefoot is obviously the perfect way to maximise ground sensations, the next best thing is to look for barefoot shoes with soles that are ultra-thin and extremely flexible. This allows your feet and toes to bend and flex naturally which, in turn, helps to strengthen muscles.
For a better understanding of why flexibility is a key feature in barefoot shoes, observe the sensations in your feet as they flex while you walk barefoot; now, put on a pair of conventional sneakers and focus your attention on how the shoe restricts the natural bends and movements as you walk. With that mind, the next time you see shoes being advertised as ‘rigid’ or ‘tough’, walk the other way and look for functional, flexible footwear instead!
Zero/Low Drop shoes
No more elevated heels! It’s unfortunate that most everyday conventional shoes are designed with a heel height that can be as high as 2.25 cms! Even worse, this is mistaken for good ergonomics largely because they are also heavily cushioned inside. This is far from the truth because, among other disadvantages, elevated heels put a strain on your lower back, encourage poor posture, and interfere with weight distribution and absorption at your feet.
With zero or low drop minimalist shoes, your heels and the balls of your feet are level, thus restoring your natural gait as opposed to having your heel strike the ground well before the rest of your foot does. More importantly, low or zero drop shoes will eliminate the damaging effects caused to your feet and back with elevated heels and, in turn, boost the normal functioning of the feet.
For better foot health, you need to be wearing foot-shaped shoes! Unlike traditional footwear, barefoot shoes are designed to fit your feet, not deform them by forcing them into an unnaturally-shaped pair of footwear. Along with altering the natural shape of one’s feet and causing potential deformities, modern-shaped shoes limit the foot’s range of motion, restrict ankle mobility, and decrease stability and balance.
Barefoot shoes, on the other hand, do away with elevated heels, toe springs, slender designs, and narrow toe boxes. What this leaves you with is a pair of shoes that are designed to perfectly accommodate your feet as they are!
At bprimal, we believe your feet deserve better and are committed to foot health awareness with the added perk of retailing the best barefoot shoes in Australia that tick off all the above key features and more! So, for the perfect barefoot and minimalist footwear to start your journey to optimal foot health, look no further!
Welcome to the bprimal tribe and to your future of happy and healthy feet!