It’s getting close to summer time! I’m sure you have grabbed those cute and convenient flip-flops at least a couple of times, am I right? Well next time your go to slip them on, think again! The shoes you wear have an incredible impact on your whole body, especially high heals and FLIP FLOPS (or any shoe that doesn’t have a back to connect our shoe properly to the foot). Our feet weren’t designed to be squeezed into a shoe and be placed in awkward differing elevations. We were meant to walk barefoot, or as close to it as possible. When, instead, we put our feet in shoes our whole alignment and posture and movements are altered. You may be asking… “what’s the big deal? I’ve been wearing shoes my whole life.”
Well, like I’ve mentioned in other posts, our body is an amazing group of systems that are constantly working on reaching a balance or homeostasis. The shoe dilemma is nothing different in terms of one area taking the burden where another area is lacking, which of course, creates a burden on our whole body. This typically looks like pain in the heel, hips, and back, corns and calluses, fractures, sprains, tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the thick band of tissue along the bottom of the foot that causes a stabbing pain, especially in the heel.
Now,during the summer I used to be a flip flop fanatic! Everyday was flip flop day, even sometimes in the rain and I remember the pain I used to get in my heels when standing. After reading one of Kate Bowman’s books,
I have decided that this wasn’t going to happen this year. DON’T throw out your flip flops just yet! These may still be a good option for your feet, but you need to make a little adjustment to them first. Here’s what I did to mine!!
I just took an old T-shirt and cut strips off length-wise from top to bottom of the shirt (about one inch strips) and then turned them into really cute tie on shoes, which are way more supportive to the foot and body mechanics. They’re cute, comfy, and cheap!
Here’s another really cute DIY pair I found too. I might make these with the other pair of sandals I have at home.
Remember, all shoes are counterproductive to our natural body mechanics, so anytime you plan on spending money on shoes, also think about how they will effect your body. We are creatures that used to move constantly, now we sit at the computer most of the day, then relax at home sitting on a couch/chair, all which is making our body’s more weak. To build up our body’s strength, here are some exercises to incorporate and I really recommend you read Katy Bowman’s books or blog. If you plan on changing your footwear, I recommend reading this book first so you can gently transition to protect your body.
What to look for in a great shoe!
- No raised heal- even just a slight incline in the heal will throw off your body
- Malleablity- anytime I purchase a shoe I make sure the sole is very mobile. Lot’s of the websites that sell ergonomic shoes will show pictures of shoes rolled up on itself. This is a great test to do with a pair of shoes before you buy them
- Wide toes- stay away from narrow toe areas as this will really mess up the natural shape of your feet
- Ease of use- the best thing you can do for your feet it to go bare as much as you can, so finding a shoe that you can easily slip off and on is a great option, but make sure the first three tips are in there as well
My favorite ergonomic shoes: for more choices click here
Great Resources for more information on movement and feet https://nutritiousmovement.com/blog/
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