primal footwear

A couple different primal bloggers have mentioned the decision some people are making to go barefoot in their workouts and everyday life as much as possible. I don’t think this is a relatively knew topic – I’ve just been reading archives. But I’m intrigued.

When I was younger, I LOVED going barefoot. My standard outfit at the age of 4 was a t-shirt, underwear and my bare feet. I ran over gravel, through the hard, into the barn, and out into the pastures. I tiptoed through corn fields and rolled climbed in haystacks with my bare feet. I even ran through snow barefoot (much to my mother’s chagrin). 

I like the reasons to go barefoot:

  • Improve my natural gait
  • Keep my achilles tendon and calf muscles strong and long
  • Use less energy than required when wearing shoes
  • Use the ball of my foot more; keeping my steps lighter and smoother
  • Improve stride and walking/running technique
  • Develop strength in my foot muscles, hips, and legs that don’t get utilized in shoes
  • Increase coordination, agility, balance

What’s not to love other than bare foot meeting pavement, rocks, or glass? But there’s a solution! 

Vibram FiveFingers were created to allow your foot to move as naturally as it would barefoot and offer the added bonus of protection from the pavement, rocks, and glass. Over at Mark’s Daily Apple they have a great little post about these shoes.

This last weekend while on an shopping trip out of town, I picked up a pair of these beauties and I completed heart them. So far I’ve only used them for driving and shopping, but even those activities made me feel awesomely primal with my vibrams. 

I was particularly enthused when I had to weave in and out of car mirrors on jam-packed cars. I was so sure-footed and balanced that I felt like a lithe panther weaving in and out of jungle obstacles.  This is so different from when I’m wearing tennis shoes. 

I’ve managed to sprain my left ankle 3 times, usually because of poorly supportive tennis shoes so my left ankle is weak and wobbly and usually the simple act of walking is a trying experience. Not so when I wear the Vibrams. 

Now if only there could be a marriage between FiveFingers and cute high heels so that I could have the best of both worlds.

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