Barefoot Lifestyle: Why it worked for me
Five years ago I was managing a retail store that sold a popular brand of running shoes. I wore the arch support for heel pain and the thick-soled, heavy running shoe with "gel" cushion for extra shock absorbency. My back would fall asleep while working, and by the time I got home I'd have to lay on the floor with my legs up the wall. My feet normally felt tender or bruised. I slept in plantar fasciitis splints, and I sold the heck out of all that stuff. It's not that it didn't help momentarily, but if I wasn't wearing all of those things I was usually in pain.
Meanwhile I was teaching yoga, and my feet normally felt better after a class (if you're unfamiliar, yoga is generally done barefoot). My brother introduced me to the concept of barefoot running, barefoot shoes, and the book Born to Run. After reading it, I was convinced. So convinced that I was like, "I have to quit my job!" That didn't come until later, but in the meantime I wore only our minimal line of shoes and did my best to sell that style to the people who could agree with the barefoot concept in a short sales pitch. It wasn't an easy sell, because everyone knows you need shoes with "lots of support."
The way I learned to describe it was this: volleyball players normally wear ankle braces. They say once you start wearing them, don't stop because your ankles will be weakened from depending on the brace. Same goes for arch supports and ultra cushioned shoes. The muscles in your feet begin to atrophy, the arch falls when not supported by something outside of the body, and pain ensues. But if those muscles are strengthened, they can support the weight of our bodies on their own. The more ground contact, the better.
What I discovered about the barefoot movement is that once you buy into the concept, it can trickle into your entire lifestyle. It made me question the other things in my life that should just be left as they are. If you're going to run that way, why not walk that way? Why not go to work that way? For me, that began to look like nutrition and eating whole foods, functional movement, childbirth in the comfort of my home, and using food and herbal remedies rather than medication. I even stopped wearing makeup and using soap 😳.
My husband and I both wore minimal shoes for athletic wear, and slowly his flat foot "grew" a beautiful little arch from strengthening the muscles and allowing his feet to be in a more natural state. He now wears Vivo dress shoes to work and his back pain is nonexistent (which he had for years). I also wear my Vivos daily and haven't had foot pain since... except for the time I wore heels to a wedding. I have since gotten rid of nearly all non-barefoot shoes.
When we got pregnant I was able to quit my job as a retail store manager and stick to teaching yoga. My son, who is almost 2 years old, goes barefoot (and mostly naked) a good majority of the time. But I was so excited for his foot to be around a size 8 so I could finally order him a pair of Vivos in a 9. It's the only pair of shoes he has, and it's all he needs.
We love Vivobarefoot for the function and the style. I have yet to find another brand of the same value. I'm so glad we found you guys!
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