What are Barefoot shoes ? Why you should consider wearing Barefoot Shoes ?

Have you ever felt connected to nature when you walk around barefoot? Do you remember running across the dewey grass in the morning and how it just helps you feel rejuvenated? 

Man and nature have always been connected to each other in more ways than we can comprehend but imagine, if you could connect with mother nature in a deeper way while not giving up on the luxuries of modern life. Sounds tough, doesn't it? Yet, it is not entirely impossible. 

While initially, man tried his best to build structures and facilities that made him superior, today we have come to realise that our true connection of the mind-body-soul paradigm can be harnessed when we are closer to our true form as humans. 

The first task that man mastered after setting foot on land post years of human evolution was learning how to walk on the hind limbs. It is the most basic thing we do everyday but have you imagined how liberating it must be to not clamp your feet into modified footwear and just let our soles breathe?

After centuries of having built an increasingly complex life for ourselves today, humankind today is moving back towards opting for a minimalist lifestyle once again. The idea behind the same is to keep it simplistic. We started walking barefoot, but today, we choose to confine our feet inside footwear that has been an extension of our style and social stature.  

While the extra cushioning under our feet is made to seem vital for our physical well-being, is it indispensable? The answer is no.


Why Barefoot or Minimalist Shoes?

Walking barefoot has proven to boost the body's central balance, motor agility, and it helps improve bodily awareness but walking barefoot on every terrain is not entirely feasible. We agree! 

Thus, the next best thing in line, if one wishes to feel one with nature through their soles, is the usage of barefoot or minimalist shoes.

What might seem like a new or trending concept in the line of footwear is actually a circling back of events to help us get in touch with a method of walking and running that is analogous to being barefoot. Minimalist shoes resemble natural foot posture and functionality, which is better for our backbone and joints and thus results in a more streamlined manner for walking or running. 

As they emphasise the same feeling as barefoot jogging, minimalist shoes are considered to enhance walking and running form. The primary reason behind this stems from the fact that barefoot runners have a far greater range of foot movement and use more muscles of our toes. This leads to specific pressure redistribution along the entire length of the foot and its grip on the surface of the earth.


An Introduction to Minimalist Shoes – History and Beyond

The history of barefoot running, in which the inspiration for minimalist running footwear is etched, dates back to the 1970s. It gained a place in the public eye when Shivnath Singh, one of India's finest marathon runners, was famous for constantly racing barefoot with just taping on his feet. 

Finally, in the latter half of the first decade of the twenty-first century, Chris McDougall's Born to Run had become an international best-seller, introducing the fledgling minimalist movement into the conventional jogging and running technique.

Tim Brennon is the brain behind the invention of the ingenious minimalist shoes for running. His concept saw fruition around 20 years ago. He realised that - 

  • Traditional walking and running footwear entails a visibly prominent cushioning whose design is based on the premise of enhancing durability and impact resistance, but minimalist running shoes provide a more organic feel.
  • They have a heel-to-toe drop between two to eight millimetres and limited padding in the midsoles and heel areas of the shoe. 
  • Minimalist shoes do not interfere with the natural movement of the foot owing to its high flexibility, low heel to toe drop, weight and stack height, and lack of motion control and stabilisation systems.
  • Today, we have top brands like Vibram FiveFingers, Luna Sandals and Skinners who are producing best-quality products in this field globally.


Why were they designed?

  • Bunions, hammertoes, and flattened arches can develop if our feet are compressed in tight shoes for a long time and on a frequent basis. After all, we have experienced it, haven't we? 

  • In many shoes, all of this is said to be mitigated by substantial arch support, which in reality ends up accentuating the condition instead.
  • Our feet are built to adapt to practically any topography and lifestyle, and if they are healthy, they automatically supply all of the comforts we require to carry out basic tasks like running and walking.
  • Transitioning to minimalist shoes for running, jogging, hiking, and walking has the potential to enhance balance and posture to the best extent possible.

According to researchers, persons who learnt to run barefoot placed less stress on their feet and legs since running barefoot is the natural way to run. Our feet are highly adaptable, and you will be surprised by their endurance if we do not meddle with their natural form. Minimalist shoes for men and women were made keeping in mind the same thing – creating footwear with the support that feels natural and organic instead of relying on artificial padding.


Barefoot Shoes vs Traditional Shoes

The barefoot approach represents the fact that human feet did not originate for the purpose of wearing shoes. According to another conventional theory, humans did not evolve to sprint on rugged terrain either, and typical running shoes mitigate this issue. However, each has its own set of advantages. The minimalist sneaker is an obvious winner for those of us who want to accept our natural selves. 

Yet, there are some stark differences between the two as listed below –


1. Weight

Minimalist running shoes are by far the lightest in the category of running shoes as their manufacturing process entails removing non-essential cushioning in order to rely only on your body's natural shock absorption processes. They're intended to adhere more organically to the shape and structure of the foot, with just ultra-thin protection for the improved sensory influx. Overall, they provide an ultra-lightweight, natural feeling while reducing energy waste due to the reduced weight to carry.

Traditional running shoes have always had more cushioning, making them weigh more. High-end conventional running shoemakers are constantly developing new technologies to produce lighter footwear via the deployment of lightweight cushioning technology because, let's face it, lighter shoes always make running easier. Yet, increasing their weightlessness requires sacrificing padding, which is the premise that these are built on.


2. Heel Drop

In the case of traditional running shoes, heel drops differ from brand to brand. Yet, traditional running shoes typically have a heel drop of 10-12mm. This heel elevation, along with a comparatively elevated stack height,  the amount that determines how cushioned the shoe is beneath your foot, allows cushioned midsole technology to give a soft, plushy sensation with manufactured shock absorption that is higher.

Running shoes that are barefoot or minimalist have between 2mm to 8mm drops. In most cases, a drop of 4mm and below allows runners to rely on their natural motion instead of being dependent on the cushioning features of traditional running shoes. This allows them to focus more on their natural strength and prowess, which is often equated with greater running efficacy.

3. Midsole thickness - arch support and cushioning

As the idea behind traditional running shoes has historically been an advocacy of a high amount of shock absorption when running on harsh and hard terrains, their focus on midsole cushioning is one of their defining features that aim at quashing the impact of the fatigue that comes with running, walking or jogging on harsh surfaces like concrete.

Minimalist or barefoot running shoes provide a low-profile cushioning in the midsole area so as to not disturb the natural arch of the foot and let it remain as natural as possible.

4. Wide Toe Box

The inbuilt wide toe box allows more movement in minimalist shoes whereas, if you pick any running shoe right now, you will notice an arched or closed toe box in them. 

Haven’t our toes felt cramped after a long hike? That is the issue minimalist shoes solve by providing more space for toe movement.

Barefoot Shoes are blessing for your feet and you will only understand the power of comfortable footwear once you start wearing them. For more details on Barefoot shoes you can connect with us and we will be more than happy to discuss.

Check the collection Barefoot shoes in india .

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