Your feet are quite literally, your foundation, your base, your roots.
They are one of the areas of the body that are all to often forgotten.

How many people do you know older than 25-30 that have good looking, natural ( as you were born with, wide feet and straight toes?

My guess is ZERO!

The correct alignment of the bones in your feet will give you the optimum movement for years to come if you look after them.
You could face many years of pain and discomfort not to mention being embarrassed about getting them out in public if you choose “conventional” footwear.

Squash you feet into restrictive shoes and you will suffer the consequences.

By consequences I mean:

  • Pain
  • Deformity
  • Poor Movement
  • Poor Function

Ignore this, and you could own a pair of useless, ugly stumps by 40, or 50.

Harsh but true!

One of the most common issues I see is flat feet (Collapsed Arches).

Collapsed arches can affect the whole body alignment and movement.
Bad knees and painfull bad backs are just some of the most common problems that can be associated with feet and ankles problems.

It’s been argued for years that people with collapsed arches need to support their feet with special insoles.
However, in my professional experience since 2006 I believe this type of treatment further weakens the feet which leads to long term reliance on such devices.

Example; years ago I trained with and around many professional bodybuilders that would support their back injuries with a weightlifting belt.
Through believing they were doing the right thing and not giving any thought to improving the strength of the core, inevitably they then relied on the belt constantly.

Word of warning.
I would advise against a transition from supported arches to bare minimum shoes/flats.
When I transitioned, I was already building strength and correcting function.

I suffered from that deep tearing/stinging/ tingling feeling in my arches years, by no coincidence, I also experienced lower back pain.

I’m in no way saying you will experience the same thing, however.
If you want to increase your movement longevity.
My advice is to Let Your Feet Be Feet.

I own and advocate both Vibram 5 fingers
and Vivobare foot shoes.

Fivefingers I’ve been waring since 2010
Vivo since may 2018

My feet have changed shape so much that I’ve pretty much had to stop wearing regular shoes. By regular shoes I mean those that squash your toes together, not allowing for space between them.

The other side to this is,
If you aren’t actively going to participate in exercise/movement on a daily bases. And most of your time is spent sitting down, then insoles may support you.
However, you will rely on them for life.

The opinions on the page are my own.
I’m not making claims are quoting the manufacturers.
Wearing minimalistic footwear does come with risks.
Those being that if don’t allow for a transition time from wearing normal “traditional” shoes, you could injure yourself.

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My Recommendations

Vibram Five Fingers
I've personally worn and seen the benefits of VFF since 2010. I can't recommend them enough. If you are serious about your movement and performance then building stronger more stable feet will seriously pay off.

Check Out - Fitness Foot Wear
Vivo's are fantastic, with models you could get away with at the office or on a night out. Again highly recommended because the last thing you need to be doing is spending 8+ hours in shoes that squeeze your toes together.

Check Out - Vivobarefoot
Earth Runners
These minimalist earthing sandals are fabulous, I haven’t yet got round purchasing a pair. I've chosen them for the wide minimalistic sole and the fact they are earth. Which means you are grounded while you wear them, providing you aren't on an artificial surface that is.

Check Out - Earth Runners
Injinji Toe Socks
I've had pairs of Injinji soaks that have outlived shoes. These socks are a must if you want your shoes to last and especially with Vibram Five Fingers if you don't want them to end up smelling, and they do if you don't wear socks with them. Injinji socks are an investment, to say the least.

Check Out - Injinji

Recommended Transitional Time from Traditional to Minimalistic Footwear

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
1 hour per day 2 hours per day 3 hours per day 4 hours per day
Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
5  hours per day 6 hours per day 7 hours per day 8 hours per day