ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Have you heard about the barefoot movement? It’s been gaining ground in the running community since 2010, but new minimalist shoes that mimic barefoot walking are making it more socially accepted for everyday use.
Dr. Michael Horwitz, a podiatrist at Feet For Life says the age-old thought that shoes need to conform and support your every move is just not true.
Listen to Dr. Horwitz’ interview with Debbie Monterrey below:
“These shoes will actually allow your Achilles tendon to passively stretch to its end range of motion,” said Dr. Horwitz. “In addition the forefoot muscles in the foot get exercised more.”
Explanation: your foot gets stronger every time you walk.
“Many many people especially the younger generation have discovered how health it is to simply go to the grocery store in a pair of minimalist foot wear,” says Horwitz.
But if you want to run or workout in those shoes you might need to re-learn how to do those exercises. Dr. Horwitz says when you run barefoot or in a minimalist shoe the point of impact needs to shift from the heal to more the middle or ball of your foot.
“Before you consider that style of running you must agree with yourself that you’re going to take it extremely slowly.” Dr. Horwitz recommends starting out in a field or soft surface.
Like all health crazes Dr. Horwitz says they can do more harm than good if you’re not careful. He recommends people who are overweight, or not use to walking or running to stick with a more traditional shoe that supports the foot.