I get asked all of the time whether I’m one of “those” people that buy into the whole barefoot concept. Without any hesitation at all, I quickly respond “YES!” Now, with that said, there is a way to get back to being barefoot. This is where I believe that the whole barefoot movement has gotten its bad wrap. People hear about this trend and think that it means that from that point forward you never wear shoes again or only where shoes like Vibrams. Okay, maybe they’re not that drastic, but you get my point. People assume that they don’t have to modify anything and that they can just pick up where they left off in their last training run, last workout session, etc. This is where the injuries come into play and that’s where people get the belief that barefoot running is bad. At least this is my theory. Honestly people, does that make any sense? It would be like taking a year off from running and just expecting to go out for a run and be able to run as if you had never taken any time off! OR, it would be like taking a year off from the gym and just expecting to walk in there one day and lift as much weight as you were before you quit. That just doesn’t work. We all understand the concept of “if you dont’ use it, you lose it” right? Well, the same thing is going on in your feet with transitioning to a barefoot lifestyle. You CAN go barefoot, but you have to EASE your way into it, ESPECIALLY, if you’re a person who is wearing orthotics and NEVER go without them, which means you NEVER, or next to never, go barefoot! You can’t expect to just start running barefoot and not have any issues. This is where I come into play or another trained professional that understands these concepts. My biggest belief is that we were born barefoot and were meant to be that way. I believe that the way the shoe industry has been for the last 50 years has done nothing but help our feet NOT function properly. Everyone focused in on making a more supportive shoe. They made the shoes so supportive that our foot didn’t have to do anything anymore, which has created big issues not only in the foot but throughout the whole body. Our feet are our foundation. You know what they say about having an unstable foundation right? Without a strong, stable foundation, the rest of the ‘house’ or in our case, ‘body’ won’t be able withstand any forces without breaking down. This is exactly what we’ve done. So, when I get asked how I feel about going barefoot, I think you can tell that I’m VERY passionate about the concept and believe in it wholeheartedly.
There is so much more to this story too. Throughout the rest of the life of this blog, I will be posting pointers, interesting case studies, biomechanical issues, common injuries and how to prevent them, interesting concepts, etc. This is my promise to you. I’m going to help more people understand the concept of going barefoot and just how, they too, can achieve that goal without going through pain to get there.