Better health through a better body
Aligning the organic body
The Benefits of Split Toe Shoes
There are many types of split toe shoes, also known as barefoot running shoes, on the market today which are all built for different purposes.
First off, to understand why toe shoes are good for our health and stability we must understand how the human foot works. Think of your feet as living shock absorbers like the ones in your car. The arch in our feet is the mechanism that allows our feet to act like a shock absorber, and the muscles in our feet acting as the springs that give them strength. Throughout our whole lives we have weakened the springs and never let them reach their full potential simply by wearing shoes. With that being said, shoes weaken the muscles in people’s feet with every step they take. This is the opposite of what we want to achieve in order to promote better balance and support throughout our bodies!
Every strong construct needs a stronger base, things such as bridge structures, housing units, roller coasters, and even our bodies all need a strong base! Without a strong base to support the rest of the structure, the object would become unstable and carry unnecessary tensions. In my opinion, this is why people have such bad back pain, knee problems, poor balance, and trip over themselves daily. These are problems that people suffer from when they shouldn’t have to be, which all have one simple solution. The skeleton simply needs to be put into alignment, just like a car, so that it can function properly. Our feet are an amazing base for our even more amazing bodies! However, most of us aren’t utilizing them properly. Our feet have toes that act as our balancing mechanism that keeps us tethered to the ground in order to stop us from toppling over. At the base of the human foot is the heel that serves as an anchor like a support beam and connects us to the rest of our body. Because feet have many parts to them, they should not be constrained with conventional footwear whenever possible. This is especially true while engaging in any type of strenuous activities.
We could all use some more balance! The human body is an amazing machine! To improve overall balance in our bodies, we need to allow our feet to do what they are designed to do! When our feet are properly aligned on the ground, the knees, hips, spine, and neck can then follow suit.
Let’s talk about WHY toe shoes are great! Okay, ready? Go!
-Toe shoes allow your feet to rest in their natural state of balance. Meaning, your feet will not be constricted, forced, squeezed, strained, or bent into any unnatural position causing foot pain that conventional footwear might create. Allowing your feet to sit naturally will enable your body to maintain a more linear alignment throughout; ankles, knees, hips, and lower back that may help relieve unwanted body aches and pains.
-Another health benefit that split toe shoes can provide for people is the strength factor. Allowing your foot to move naturally, the way it was intended, will allow for extra physical strength to be had. If you’re a runner, strength trainer, or just the average Joe, toe shoes will enable all of the muscles in your feet to be put to use. You will enable the use of your toes, which have an amazing amount of strength that we never even think of because they sit crunched up in regular footwear. Allowing your toes to move individually from each other can lead to faster acceleration in run speed, improved walking distance, stronger ankles, more controlled lateral movement, and higher jumping capacity.
-Wear and tear in the human body is a commonality that everyone has to experience. Fortunately, we can all cut down on it by improving our gait. Gait has to do with the motions we take to move our legs and feet in order to walk and run. The way most people learn how to run is to strike the ground with the heel to toe motion. This means all of the force and weight of your body is concentrated onto one small part of the foot, as opposed to the whole surface. This extra shock can cause pain and unwanted stresses in the knees and back. Split toe shoes will promote an improved gait simply because it would hurt our heels if we ran in this manner while wearing toe shoes. When walking or running in toe shoes, you are forced to think about the way you are striking the ground with your foot. The best way to strike the ground is to hit the ground with the balls of your feet (front of the foot near the toes) and distribute the weight across the entire foot like a falling feather. An improved gait will allow the pressures of walking and running on the foot to be dispersed throughout the entire foot as opposed to only the heel. Running with an improved gait should capacitate the body to continue for longer duration providing more endurance.
-Toe shoes are incredibly easy to maintain and use. I can say this because I own a pair myself and have used them first hand. They slip on very easily, albeit it’s a bit tricky getting your toes into the pockets the first couple of times. However, the average user will get use to this fairly quickly. They are very easy to clean because they are so light. I recommend hand washing them in a tub of soapy water and allow them to air dry, although many of the higher quality toe shoes on the market today are machine washable. However, I still do not recommend throwing them in the dryer as it will cause significant wear and tear to your toe shoes.
-Another reason I love my toe shoes is that you can virtually wear them anywhere! Although there is a wide variety for purchase, anything with some tread can be used for mostly everything. I personally own the Vibram fivefingers sport version and I do a lot of hiking in them. I also enjoy running in mine, and use them for the gym. Since my pair are waterproof(most types are waterproof) I have found that they are a great alternative for water sports such as kayaking or just walking along a beach shore that contains sharp rocks. I’ve found that I can go almost everywhere with them!
-This leads me into the fashion statement of this type of shoe. They look awesome! At first I was more on the skeptical side wondering what people would think of me when they saw me wearing these shoes thinking I would be just plain weird. However, to my surprise I was completely wrong and I had found that there was a sort of toe shoe community involving this type of footwear! I’ve met very many friendly people with all positive comments about my shoes as well as people who just had questions thinking about buying a pair of their own. I’m glad I bought a pair after seeing that my friend had a pair of her own.
In the end, I am pleased to say I am very happy to have stumbled across these split toe shoes and purchased a pair of my own. They have improved my quality of life in ways I never thought possible. I met many great people, run faster, have better balance (especially during my hikes), and find myself to be more active wanting to use them. Overall I am very pleased with this product. I thank whoever invented this style of shoe which enables me to be who I am without getting my feet dirty. I hope I was able to help you with this article and provide information that will help with selecting the right footwear for you.
Please feel free to send me any questions or comments regarding this topic.