For the past few years the growing trend of barefoot training has popped up everywhere. From health clubs to running clubs, and yoga to cross fit, many people have decided to bare all (well at least their feet anyway). Let it be known that we are fan’s of barefoot/minimalist training shoe and believe one should slowly progress into it. At least once a week, we hear about someone’s friend, or coworker, who tried to go the barefoot/minimalist shoe route and ended up hurting themselves. If you are curious to try a pair of minimalist sneakers, please do not be scared off by your friends experience. Instead, prepare you feet for what lie ahead. Start by wearing them in short spurts, to the office, for a walk around the block, or for a weight lifting session. If you plan to wear them for your running workouts, we recommend starting out by wearing them for just 25% of your normal mileage, for example, if you run 15 miles a week, run about 3.5 – 4 miles per week until your feet become more acclimated never running greater than a mile your first few times out. Gradually work back to your regular distances just after 2 weeks. To prepare yourselves here are a few exercises you can do to prepare your feet for barefoot/minimalist shoe .
- Short Foot: Have a seat with your shoes off, cupping the bottom of one foot—without curling your toes—so that it makes a shallow cave. To see what your foot should look like, cup your hand against a flat surface to use as a reference. After you’ve successfully done this, the next steps are to progress to a more unstable environment maintaining this “cupped” foot position while standing, while performing a lunge, and eventually in a single leg stance.
- Pencil Pickup: With one foot at a time spread your toes apart as best you can, and try to pick up a pencil with your toes. Also try moving your toes independent of each other.