So it’s quite a big deal -You sign up to the gym and you haven’t got anything that looks good or comfy upon your feet. Headed to the shops the choices are endless; running specific, ‘barefoot-sock’ like, bulky yet supportive and of course those that just look amazing.
So you ask yourself….. What do I need and why?!?!
So here’s the deal. We as humans, believe it or not, were designed without shoes in mind and therefore shoes actually alter our natural gait. We are designed with long legs, large buttocks and springy structures in the foot, which enables us to run efficiently using the correct motor patterns without injury. But this has in time has changed since shoes are a ‘necessity’ as it were.
In the 21st century it would be very odd if we saw someone walk down the street without shoes. And again, the range we have for occasions are tremendous whether they’re gym trainers, smart/work shoes or even heels for the ladies. Yet with all these in mind, a vast majority of these have reverted to provide comfort and therefore cushioning the foot when running or walking on hard ground.
So what shoes should you wear to the gym? Well, all this comfort nonsense is believe it or not rubbish! All we’re doing while wearing those comfy cushioned shoes is corrupting how our body moves and restricting the powerful muscles we are blessed with along with the springy structures in our feet. Research and studies have shown that people running barefoot strikes the ball of the foot on the floor beneath, where as someone that wears those branded comfort-fitting shoes; strike with their heal which is where the problem surfaces. Heal striking not only prevents us to use the springy structures in our foot, inhibits us from using our glutes, but also stops our natural breaking system! Now you wouldn’t drive a car with the handbrake on would you? -And if you did, it wouldn’t run well at all.
So getting back to the point in hand – what shoes are good for you? The answer is complicated and different for every individual. In a perfect world we would all have flat unsupportive shoes and everyone would run more efficiently, however many years of wearing cushioned shoes and damaging our gait means that it’s not as simple as that. From suddenly changing our cushioned shoes to bare-minimal, our feet would definitely tell us about it!
So what IS the answer? Well for a start, we need to start activating our gluts with simple exercises such as glut bridges as they’re probably aren’t used to doing anything! We can also increase certain things we do using barefoot or alternatively with unsupportive trainers. This can be walking around the house and garden or even the odd gym session, avoiding anything high impact to start with. You almost need to ween yourself from those big comfy shoes and get your body used to what’s to come without causing injury.
Overall, it’s a lot of information to take in and that’s just touching the surface! But now you know a little more about your feet; what they should be like in a perfect world and what we as humans have done to change that.
If you have any further questions on the above subject, please don’t hesitate to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org where we will be happy to help.