How Walking Is Hurting Our Feet

About 3 years ago before the big "Barefoot" craze wrote an article about the damage we are doing to our feet when walking in modern shoes.

The funny thing about all this is how easy walking in but yet we are able to mess it up. Think about it, we all walk and text, we walk and eat, we can do almost anything while walking.

Well, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you: You walk wrong.

It's easy to blame high heels for damaging feet, but all of our modern shoes damage our feet, not only do they hurt our feet then change the make up of our feet.

In 2008 researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, published a study titled “Shod Versus Unshod: The Emergence of Forefoot Pathology in Modern Humans?” in the podiatry journal The Foot. The study examined 180 modern humans from three different population groups (Sotho, Zulu, and European), comparing their feet to one another’s, as well as to the feet of 2,000-year-old skeletons. The researchers concluded that, prior to the invention of shoes, people had healthier feet. Among the modern subjects, the Zulu population, which often goes barefoot, had the healthiest feet while the Europeans—i.e., the habitual shoe-wearers—had the unhealthiest.

Not only do our feet get damaged from shoes the saddest part is that modern shoes effect our ability to walk with a natural gait.  With raised heels and cramming our feet into narrow shoes we take the amazing bioengineering that is our natural gait and messes with it.

Even though here at we love minimalistic shoes, the problem is shoes are the issue. The best thing for us would be to walk barefoot whenever we can.  But many of us needs to walk in a urban environment where walking barefoot doesn't make sense. So where you must wear shoes please choose a minimalistic shoe.

Try this test: Take off your shoe, and put it on a tabletop. Chances are the toe tip on your shoes will bend slightly upward, so that it doesn’t touch the table’s surface. This is known as “toe spring,” and it’s a design feature built into nearly every shoe. Of course, your bare toes don’t curl upward; in fact, they’re built to grip the earth and help you balance. The purpose of toe spring, then, is to create a subtle rocker effect that allows your foot to roll into the next step.

The article at also says that If you wear high heels for a long time, your tendons shorten—and then it’s only comfortable for you to wear high heels. One saleswoman I spoke to at a running-shoe store described how, each summer, the store is flooded with young women complaining of a painful tingling in the soles of their feet—what she calls “flip-flop-itis,” which is the result of women’s suddenly switching from heeled winter boots to summer flip-flops. This is the shoe paradox: We’ve come to believe that shoes, not bare feet, are natural and comfortable, when in fact wearing shoes simply creates the need for wearing shoes.

So after reading all this your mostlikly sitting there saying well my Nike's or Reebok's won't damage me so I'm good!! If your saying this I would say go read Born To Run, it's an amazing book that will tell you different.

Look at this study published over 10 years ago where it states “Wearers of expensive running shoes that are promoted as having additional features that protect (e.g., more cushioning, ‘pronation correction’) are injured significantly more frequently than runners wearing inexpensive shoes (costing less than $40).” According to another study, people in expensive cushioned running shoes were twice as likely to suffer an injury—31.9 injuries per 1,000 kilometers, as compared with 14.3—than were people who went running in hard-soled shoes.

Admittedly, there’s something counter intuitive about the idea that less padding on your foot equals less shock on your body. But that’s only if we continue to think of our feet as lifeless blocks of flesh that hold us upright. The sole of your foot has over 200,000 nerve endings in it, one of the highest concentrations anywhere in the body. Our feet are designed to act as earthward antennae, helping us balance and transmitting information to us about the ground we’re walking on.

If you want to learn more check out the article at or read Born To Run. But whatever you do invest in a pair of minimalistic shoes.

Enjoy your day

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