5 reasons you should try barefoot shoes for your kids
1. Feet are connected
Our feet are packed with nerve endings that create a vital sensory feedback loop connecting brains to feet and the rest of the body. Keeping this system sparking and active forms the foundation for happy, healthy movement!
Padded, cushioned shoes dull and stifle our sensory feedback, while also preventing feet from connecting to the earth we walk on.
We want to keep feet connected to our brains AND the planet.
2. Build a strong foundation for the whole body
Several studies have shown that kids who grow up largely unshod have stronger feet, fewer injuries and less flat-feet (linked to arch strength). When barefoot, the muscles in the feet and ankles are constantly working, growing strong and flexible. Big Toe grows straight and strong, becoming the anchor and pivot for the whole body´s movement, as it´s meant to. This builds a foundation for healthy movement to last a lifetime; including skills like being able to keep and hold a deep squat, a great sign of physicality and flexibility.
3. Keeps perfect gait and posture
Luckily, most kids are born to grow with perfect posture, walking and running gait. But wearing shoes that act like ‘mini-casts’ on kids’ feet wrecks this, throwing the body off balance, not allowing Big Toe to be the bodies´ anchor and pivot, and weakening feet and ankles. All this leaves us less physically able. And in increasingly sedentary, screen-filled lives, this is the last thing we need!
4. Works our proprioception and balance
Pro-prio-cep-tion (say it slow!) is how our senses detect our own bodies’ motion through space. Being barefoot helps children develop this body awareness because of the increased sensory feedback keeping this system active. This also means the senses that children develop as they grow – like learning balance as they play outdoors in nature – become honed and skilful.
5. They´re an awesome gift of evolution!
If we don´t USE THEM we´ll LOSE THEM: millions of years of natural R&D have given us feet and bodies that can – and should – be physical. Today´s normal, thick, stiff, padded shoes – as well as soporific, sedentary lives - risks chucking this all away. We believe our feet, bodies and brains need movement and connection, to the planet and each other. In our increasingly disconnected world, keeping your feet on the ground and in nature is no small thing.