For the purposes of this website, barefoot shoes and minimalist shoes are the same.
It means shoes or footwear that make your feet function as intended. To move and feel on its own as much as possible. No foot binding, no arch support, no pronation control, no cushioning.
The best barefoot shoes protect you from cuts and extreme cold or extreme heat. Add more grip or less grip, depending on use is an added bonus. That’s all.
Our feet are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 100+ muscles and ligaments and 200,000 nerve endings. Evolved over millions of years to attain this form through function.
It’s our most advanced locomotion technology money can’t buy. It would be a shame to deform them and not to use them to their full potential.
Current conventional shoes do exactly the opposite. They choke our feet and toes, keep them locked up where they can’t breathe or move. They put a big heel that stresses our knees, back & shoulders. And a big heavy padding for a sole that makes our balance & stability nerves unusable.
If that’s the case, why not go barefoot all the way?
Barefoot is best. But a couple of reasons:
- Environmental extremes. Locations can be too cold that it will freeze your feet if bare. Or you get burnt in hot months or in desert-type places. Broken glass or other sharp objects in streets are not easily seen.
- Our current society have grown to accept shoes as appropriate clothing for decency and status. It also calls out hygiene as another reason. Hygiene is another topic altogether though. Maybe in the future, fully barefoot in society will be accepted. In the meantime, we want to work WITH society. To be a positive influence as opposed to being detached.
It’s a sensible approach.