How Barefooting Strengthens Feet Better Than ANY Shoe

How Barefooting Strengthens Feet Better Than ANY Shoe

Hi everyone, it’s Bretta Riches from and today I’m going to be talking to you about how going barefoot
boosts circulation in the feet which translates into sustainable foot
strength, putting an end to achy, weak crippled feet. Going barefoot really does
live up to what it’s supposed to do and that is it directly and immediately
accelerates foot strength better than any running shoe can do. Unfortunately,
however when it comes to sore feet many people have been doing the wrong thing
and that most people wear incredibly stiff, cushioned narrow, arch supportive
running shoes which remodels the feet in plays into poor foot strength and
function. This is why traditional running shoes, used as a first line of treatment
of poor foot function and strength, is risky because in these shoes the
infrastructure of the foot becomes progressively weak, leading to widespread atrophy or withering away of the foot muscles and soft tissues within the foot
which trigger achy-feeling feet and deep muscle pain within the foot. Not to
mention it’s provable that you end up with weaker feet the more you wear
traditional cushioned running shoes, again because motion control, arch supportive,
stiffly-structured running shoes fundamentally undermines natural foot
function thereby changing the architecture of foot muscles and even
more important, and this is what really goes underappreciated, is that
traditional running shoes leads to weaker feet by changing the activity
pattern of the foot nerves in every measure. So let me make this very clear
that the traditional running shoe really tears at the proper function of
the feet by causing nerve function abnormalities in the foot and weak
poorly functioning foot muscles may be a consequential byproduct of that and
here’s why. The nerves that line the bottom of the feet are essentially the
fundamental force that holds foot strength together and dictates and
mediates overall foot strength. And these nerves play an integral part of
stimulating stronger foot muscles. This is the role barefoot running plays in
providing the natural resources in terms of sensory energy or sensory input that
feeds your feet and positive developments in foot strength will come
out of barefooting because when you’re barefoot outdoors, one of the signatures
of being barefoot outdoors is a tremendous level of sensory processing
in the nerves in the sole of the feet whereby the excitability or activity
level of these nerves can either increase or decrease blood flow to
surrounding tissues and muscles within the foot. What this means is that the
activity of the nerves that line the bottom of the foot regulates blood flow
to deeper tissues, allowing them to receive nourishing blood, but the key is
that barefooting is of special importance because the research is
filled with many concrete examples of how the nerves in the bottom of the feet
are most activated when you’re barefoot, therefore when you go barefoot, the
ongoing sensory assistance helps you have more blood delivered to the soft
tissues and muscles in the foot, thereby creating conditions for sustainable
growth in foot strength and function. It turns out however, your foot strength is
very limited by your footwear. Certain footwear, I’m actually referring to the
traditional running shoe more so than minimalist/barefoot running shoes, how
the traditional running shoe robs the foot of its strength is that in these
shoes the nerves that line the bottom of the feet are sitting quietly waiting to
detect the sensory input that they’re normally and naturally thirsty for and
this is where poor foot strength stems from is the excessive impairment in
nerve processing and the lack of nerve excitability fails to fully serve the
muscles and tendons with oxygen rich and nutrient rich blood
that is so necessary for proper foot strength and function. In traditional
running shoes, since there’s less sensory exchange and nerve activation, could
cause inappropriate opening or closing of blood vessels which could rob the
deep muscle tissues within the foot of proper blood flow and nourishment. For
the moment, this is how foot problems may arise in traditional running shoes
simply because the nerves that line the soles of the feet are under-active which
alters or hinders blood circulation, leaving the muscles in the feet deprived
of energizing oxygen-rich blood. This is why going barefoot more often is such a
constructive force because it boosts nerve and blood vessel engagement which has a strong muscle strengthening component that cannot be matched by the traditional running shoe which taints nerve activity, causing a blizzard of
problems within the foot/ankle complex, but by increasing your outdoor barefoot,
activity certainly allows the sensory input window to be widely open to get
the foot muscles more engaged in a more healthy way than being in cushioned
running shoes which essentially creates a physiological atmosphere of diminished
nerve activity that would sequence under- engaged, under-active foot muscles,
leading to a collection of foot pain and discomfort. So, that’s really the meat
behind how the nerves in the feet are really the true spark that brings a lot
of strength and vitality to the foot muscles on many fronts. For more
information on barefoot running vs. running in shoes or shod running, please
visit my blog and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube
channel to stay up to date on the proper biomechanics of running. Thank you so
much for listening or watching. Have fun out there on the roads. Bye for now!

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  1. In my case not only feet are getting stronger, but most of all – my calves look as if I would train in a gym every day (I haven't seen the inside of a gym for 30+ years :))

  2. Nice info. As part of reflexology in Chinese cultures, you can find in those countries stone paths for walking or even running. When i lived there, evertime I saw one in the park, i sought it immediately. Awesome. In Chinatown, you may be able to find plastic versions; mine is something like 2×4 feet in area. Reflexology slippers you can find certainly though they are far less effective.

    An example home version, better than mine:

  3. Going barefoot is the gentlest way of walking and can symbolise a way of living — being authentic, vulnerable, sensitive to our surroundings. It’s the feeling of enjoying warm sand beneath our toes, or carefully making our way over sharp rocks in the darkness. It’s a way of living that has the lightest impact, removing the barrier between us and nature.

    — Adele Coombs, “Barefoot Dreaming”

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