A while ago I wrote an article called How to Build Strong and Pain Free Feet that really resonated with a lot of people. Apparently, foot pain is even more of a problem than I thought. Is going barefoot more often one possible remedy?
In my article, I mentioned that although most shoes are specifically designed for various aspects of athletic performance, general protection, correcting footfall, and lookin' good, many of them do not manage to avoid some very important factors:
- Toe-boxes that press your toes together, weakening foot muscles and weakening nerves
- Thick soles that reduce sensory input in the nerves in the feet
- Elevated heels that limit the foot and ankle's proper range of motion
- Built-up arches that do the work your natural arch muscles and ligaments should be doing
I linked to lots of research in my article, and the evidence is still piling up. According to a new study of shod and unshod walkers in the Journal Nature, wearing shoes when we walk is changing how our feet interact with the ground below us. No matter how big our foot callouses get, shoes are still causing more issues than we imagined.
My guest, Galahad Clark, noticed these issues. It's why he created a line of barefoot-style shoes (I'm a proud owner—check out the Magna Trail shoes). It is also why he created the mini-documentary called Shoespiracy. After I watched the documentary, and had a lovely old biomechanical geek-fest with Galahad about foot health, I invited him on the podcast to fill us in on when, why, and how often we should be spending more time barefoot.