You have probably seen those trainers walking in the gym with a shoe-like covering shaped like the toes of a small ape. The real question is whether the "barefoot" rubber outer soles really work. Vibram Five Fingers and Fila are a few brands that offer this type of footwear but many people are stepping in that direction.
But what are the benefits of wearing these "barefoot" shoes?
Researchers reporting in the Jan. 28, 2010 issue of the journal Nature show that runners who run without shoes usually land on the balls of their feet, or sometimes flat-footed, compared to runners in shoes, who tend to land on their heels first. The element of shock absorption to the body changes significantly on heel strike running with longer strides compared to slightly bent knee, mid foot strike running techniques. By running on the mid foot or balls of the feet, runners decrease the amount of impact to the entire body equivalent to two to three times of body weight.
So there is concrete evidence that the barefoot style shoes really can help your foot mechanics. They also promote strengthening all the muscles surrounding the small bones of the feet. The design of these types of shoes encourages natural foot movement and prevents the skin-on-skin friction that causes common foot ailments, including blisters, hot spots, athlete’s foot and more.
If you don't like the toe shoes maybe toe socks will work for you!
But if you feel uncomfortable wearing the gorilla foot pods, a five-toe sock may be the answer. I've found In the comfort and balance in Injinji toe socks. They can be easily camouflaged into any shoe from running shoes and hiking boots to everyday footwear. Another reason to try them, the Injinji performance socks have been recommended by the Podriatic Society of the United States for their health benefits. Although they take some time to put on, the difference you’ll feel in each step encourages better circulation and allows toes to spread naturally for better balance and biomechanics.
They provide individual toe space and compression to each toe so that the muscles can work better. They wick away moisture to prevent hot spots and blisters. And no one will have to know that you are wearing them--but you will feel a difference after the first day of wearing them.
On the Horizon Communications has compensated me for this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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