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Feet! The foundation of fitness

Footwear is a topic that most people seem to overlook when it comes to physical health and proper functional movement. Having cool shoes, the latest in style, the most unique, or shoes from certain brands is what people often think about nowadays when it comes to footwear. We all like to fit in and be stylish, but at what cost does that come?

Just like a building, our bodies require a solid foundation to ensure structural integrity up through our kinetic chain. When the foundation of any structure is compromised the integrity of the entire structure is at risk.

What are Functional Feet?

Our toes are designed to splay - “spread and separate” - in order to stabilize and move functionally. By restricting the toes and their ability to splay correctly by forcing them into narrow toe boxes, we create a number of preventable and devastating dysfunctions and deformities. Some of the most common include bunions, flat feet, falling arches, plantar fasciitis, and hammer toes to name a few.

More issues occur when you look at what is being pushed in the footwear industry. The current ethos lies in embracing padding and cushion and soft support from every angle. The prevailing idea is that a greater amount of padding under the foot will help reduce the impact on the body's joints and tissues during weight-bearing activities.

The problem with this is that our feet don't know what is going on, and as a result, we begin walking and running with an improper gait that usually involves more up and down movement and improper striking position in front of us instead of under us, which results in said joint damage.

Another problem with cushioned footwear is that so much of our energy is wasted and absorbed into the shoes and "balancing" in them, rather than into the ground where it can be fully applied. Think about running in the sand. It's difficult because you are using most of your energy to not slip and slide and fall. The ground is not hard and stationary.

Wearing rigid footwear is also like putting your foot in a cast. When your muscles can't flex and do the work of keeping you stable while moving, hiking, running, playing sports, and balancing, your muscles will atrophy, which eventually will lead to injuries and/or a higher risk of injury.

With minimal footwear or even barefoot, our bodies can correctly estimate the distance and force needed to move, which decreases the overall force on our feet and joints. Our knees and hips will also thank us because they won't be bearing the weight of impact since minimal footwear leads to a more mid-foot strike rather than a heel strike with cushioned shoes.

Work to preserve your body’s foundation. Move around daily without any shoes, sandals, or socks, and free the feet. Wear functional footwear that allows for proper toe splay. Zero-drop wide-toe box shoes are now more accessible and affordable than ever before.

Some good brands include:

Vivio Barefoot




We prefer VOE (Vibrams over Everythang) They may not win any style contest but your feet will thank you.

If you're struggling with foot pain and dysfunction or overall pain and movement issues then reach out to us below to schedule a consult and discover what the TruFunction method can do for you.

Footwear Resources:

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