Understand where we come from
To start things off, lets be true to ourselves! Try to make a self-assessment of the footwear you have been using regularly for the past 5 (10 or more) years. Have you been going completely barefoot? ( at home, maybe spending a lot of time at the beach? Etc.) Answering those questions will help you understand where your feet are at.
It is normal to experience some discomfort when you start, after all, your feet have been encapsulated and untrained for years and need some time to get conditioned. Often, barefoot beginners will feel like they are walking on their bones, this happens when the natural padding below our feet is pretty much non-existent due to the shoes we have been wearing.
You have neglected your feet for a long time and now they need some time to get ready to be barefoot 24/7. Be cautious and listen to your body, accept the initial discomfort and the rewards will come sooner than you expect.
A great way to start is by going completely barefoot at home. Easy, free and a safe space to start getting your feet ready for a new beginning. By doing this you are doing an effortless conditioning in a known space where you feel safe and your feet can start to express themselves.
In addition, you may buy your first pair of barefoot shoes. To start things off it is advised to start with a pair that have a rather thicker sole (in the barefoot world that means 6-10mm) or have an extra insole that can be taken out in the future. Using these shoes, your ground feel will be reduced since the thicker sole and/or insole provide certain amount of padding. During this time, try to wear the shoes for an hour when you go for a walk, at home, work… Next day, assess how your feet, calf, and body are feeling and increase the time accordingly. Recommended shoes: Merrell Trail Glove
During the adaptation period, you might feel your feet getting tired and your calfs getting sore. As a result of the barefoot shoes, you are starting to work some parts of the muscles you were not really using before and they are now getting up to speed. In this phase, you need to manage the soreness and take a break of the barefoot shoes every now and then to keep your muscles healthy and not overuse them.
It is important to understand, that depending on your background it might take you months to get to a point where you can wear barefoot shoes 24/7. Take your time, enjoy the journey and take those rewards!
Advancing into the barefoot life
Luckily for us, The Barefooters, the market has been growing a lot in the past 5 years and we are finally getting a wide array of designs that will suit any occasion. Let’s have a look at some options for you to wear.
Once you have gotten use to going barefoot and want to start wearing them 24/7 you might be looking for something with more ground feel, or something specific for a certain occasion.
Here are some suggestions
If you seek more ground feel, search for shoes with thinner soles and no or minimal insole such as:
Be Lenka Prime
Be Lenka Icon
It is time to go to work, but those sporty looking shoes you initially bought are not appropriate for your casual business outfit. No worries, we’ve got you covered with :
Be Lenka City
Xero shoes Hannah
Or maybe you ware going hiking and need some shoes that provide some more traction on rough terrain? Or a substitute to your hiking boots? Then you should definitely consider:
Merrell Trail Glove
As you can see, this is a great time to star taking care of your feet and moving on from restrictive and unhealthy shoes into the barefoot world. With the wide array of brands and designs that we can find in the current market there is no excuse not to take care of your feet and body. After all, they support you day in and day out, it is time to give back!