Aiming for elegance, one thought at a time

Barefooting

Posted: April 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Health | No Comments »

A couple of weeks ago I bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers Sprint.

Vibram Five Fingers Sprint Grey

Vibram Five Fingers Sprint Grey

The idea of these shoes is to let your foot work the way it evolved to. The human foot is the most complex piece of anatomy that we have, but most of the time it’s hidden away in inflexible shoes that prevent it from moving the way it should. We walk and run like cows, when we should be running like foxes. It’s foxier, and better for your body.

When you land first on your heel when walking or running, the impact is absorbed first by your cushy shoe, but then mostly by your skeleton. Needless to say, that’s not what your skeleton was designed for. Enter joint problems and shin pain.

On the other hand, when you land on the ball of your foot, the impact is smoothed by your foot and absorbed by muscles, leading to beautifully toned calves. I know which I prefer.

I must admit, I was at first sceptical about running the balls of my feet, and even more sceptical about walking on the balls of my feet. Now that I’ve tried it for the past two weeks, though, it does feel far more natural – and far more enjoyable.

The only problem with these shoes is that they look quite ridiculous. Already I dread putting on my traditional shoes, especially the dress shoes I wear to work. It’s impossible to walk properly in them because of the heal, and I’m much more conscious of the way they crush my feet. Even so, there’s no way I could wear Five Fingers to work.

I’m on the lookout for a softer, kinder shoe that could pass for a dress shoe, but I haven’t found any good matches to date.

Any other barefooters out there? Has anyone found a better compromise between corporate dress and walking right?

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