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You were made to walk on your feet. You feet were not meant to be caged in a narrow toe box that doesn’t move. Your feet were also made to be able to undulate over varying surfaces without a heel lift. These things we call shoes could also be looked at as foot coffins. Even if that coffin lights up as you walk or the tongue can pump up, it’s still a coffin. The problem here is that your feet have a huge amount of proprioceptors. These proprioceptors help your body know where it is in time and space. They help your brain make small adjustments to the entire body based off the information they sense. Similar to how you can close your eyes and touch your nose (hopefully). Research has shown that barefoot walking can help up-regulate the small muscles that stabilize your spine. That’s right, barefoot walking can help fix your back!

But, I’ve used my sweet Nike running shoes my whole life! Why would I change that? Well even if you’ve been in those shoes your whole life it doesn’t mean it’s correct. You’ve been missing out on something deeper. Now, I’m not advocating you to walk barefoot into a gas station bathroom (gross). Instead, I’m advocating you spend time outside in your yard or around the garden barefoot. Just like we’ve talked about before, your feet have a plethora of proprioceptive sensors in them and by activating them you’re changing your brain and the muscles around your spine! This is a good thing and it feels good too!

Now you can’t ditch the shoes and go run a barefoot marathon. One problem that can occur is moving too fast, too quickly. You have to start slow and build from there. Just like if you wanted to start running you wouldn’t go from the couch to running a marathon the next day. You have to slowly build up the strength and develop resiliency to work up to a marathon. Your feet are the same way. When you ditch the foot coffins you have to slowly develop the strength in your feet. When you have strong feet the rest of your system can be strong as well. Just like the foundation to a house it needs to be strong. For athletes or anyone trying to stay active if they strengthen their feet they can have strong knees, hips, and body. This leads to one of the easiest training methods to improve overall fitness.

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