The Barefoot believers thinks so... The trend that most thought of as a passing hippy movement isn't going anywhere; in fact, it seems to be getting more and more popular, and although there are passionate followers of the movement that truly run in bare feet, the new Minimalist and 'Free' shoes on the market are helping the trend to go mainstream.
Because most athletic shoes are pretty structured, with plenty of cushion, some experts believe that they actually make your feet lazy and weak, which in turn, can lead to more injuries.
Supporters of more minimalistic training suggest that our feet need to workout as well, creating stronger foot and ankle muscles.
Although I am not quite ready to buy the Vibram Five Finger Shoes (seen right),
and I'm DEFINITELY not going to start running barefoot, I did run to Nordies today to pick up my first pair of Nike Free trainers and
I'm pretty darn excited about trying them out tonight with my step class.
The injuries I seem to be most prone to, no matter which form of exercise I'm doing, tend to be knee or foot related so I'm extremely curious to see what wonders these shoes will work for me.
The Nike Free XT Quick Fit has a deeply grooved and segmented outsole that is supposed to flex at the same points as the foot, better distributing impact for control of motion and more body awareness.
Basically it promises to strengthen the muscles in my feet and lower body, improve my range of motion in the ankle, foot and toes, and alleviate knee problems.
I always love a good product promise!!
Here's hoping to a better workout! I'll let you know what my own opinions are on the Barefoot movement later.