So I would like to talk to you about your shoes. Why do we wear shoes and what are their function? So to figure this out we need to take a look at where they came from. It would seem that if we took a quick look back in time shoes or rather sandals were associated with your status. If you were lucky enough to wear sandals it was the same as saying I am better than you and bare feet!
Now obviously in some places of the world you would need some sort of protection against the elements, namely the snow. As that could have all sorts of issues.
Now my concern is with these “high tech shoes” with their fancy designs and shock absorbers and all that “good stuff”. What is going on here. It’s like saying “Hey god (or whomever you blame or thank for putting you here) my feet don’t work so well, why is that…. You know what since you wont answer me I’ll figure out my own solution. ”
Now some of us out there would say that these new shoes are absolutely amazing. But what makes them so much better than your feet? Maybe it’s the fact you can buy new ones when their worn out or maybe you like the style, which seems to be the reason most of us buy anything now isn’t it?
Well lets talk about some common issues that you may have noticed and not realized the problem before. Now I’m hoping everyone out there knows what a squat is but for those who don’t lets do a quick recap. It is when you start from a standing position and drop your butt until your legs are at 90 degrees or you could go even lower depending on your flexibility.
Now the reason I bring up squats is because a lot of us out there who hit the gym on any sort of regular basis might have noticed that when we do squats we have a tendency to want to tip forward. Another example is trying to touch your toes or even balancing on one foot, you may notice (with you lovely gym shoes on) that you end up leaning forward even if you don’t mean to.
So what’s going on here? Are you so unbalanced that you just can’t stand up straight and have decent balance through out a range of movements?
Well if you haven’t realized where I am going with this one lets go there now.
Your shoes are probably the reason why you are having trouble with your balance. The reason why is quite simple. Most “gym” or “running” shoes are designed much like a suped up muscle car. With the front end pointed down and the back end raised up.
So what is good for a car must be good for human beings as well right? WRONG!
Last I checked and I don’t check often, we were not designed to be walking on our tippy toes all day long. So why do we think is is the best way to workout? Crazy no?
To get into some details. Typically when someone is walking with good posture their foot will always strike the ground heel first then toe but with some slight muscle imbalances you can end up walking with your toe first followed by your heel. Not to mention all the other areas that are affected. Your knees and hips will have adopt to the change in your foot work. Not always a good thing as it more than likely will lead to chronic pain.
Also i would like to touch on shoes with thick rubber between your feet and the ground. The problem here is that your feet have muscles in them and they like to be active, kind of like any other muscle in the body but by having too much rubber between you and the floor makes it so your feet can not work like they would like to and in some cases can leave you in a lot of pain and make the simple act of walking at least in those shoes very hard to do.
So what can you do? Well last I checked our bodies come with a great pair of foot ware and in most case is the best pair you can get. So when ever you can go shoeless and if you have to wear shoes find a pair the put the least amount of heel support and also has the least of rubber between your foot and the floor. Basically the less the shoe the better.