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I’ve never been a fan of flip flops. I remember telling a friend years ago that they were messing up the way he was walking. He didn’t want to hear the advice or ask for it so he didn’t take it well… oops. So here’s more unsolicited advice for those who didn’t ask!

When you step with your flip flop you have to curl the toes on your foot to prevent it from falling off. That means if you’re walking a lot during a day you’re getting hundreds of toe curl reps.

All of these reps start to tighten up the bottom of your foot. Which tightens your calf muscles, then your hamstrings, then your back…. See the picture?

It’s not that curling your toes is inherently bad. It’s that a natural walking gait cycle requires us to extend our toes. If you’re walking with no shoes on, you’re extending your toes so you don’t hit them on anything.

To move better we use a more natural stride, and wear proper footwear. You can strengthen the foot/ankle the way it’s supposed to be strong. Everything stems off of your connection to the ground.

Want more resilient knees? It comes from the feet.

Want more mobile hips? It comes from the feet.

I think you get my point. If you’re curious about different footwear I would start with Xero Shoes. They have a great line of sandals that have a minimalist feel to them. It’s a great step towards a better walking pattern (pun intended).

If you do switch to a minimalist shoe, just make sure to go slow. It’s like a workout plan for your foot. Even if you can walk 3 miles in traditional shoes, your feet in minimalist shoes won’t be able to do that… yet.

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