Barefoot shoes and walking
Walking in cushioned shoes creates a barrier between the brain and sensory information underfoot. When we walk barefoot, the brain is able to gain an accurate representation of the impact in each step and adjusts by bringing the foot placement closer to our centre of gravity.A padded heel leads us to overstride, because our brain is unable to process the level of impact loaded in each step. When we overstride whilst barefoot, messages are sent to the brain that indicate discomfort - a clear sign from the body that movement needs to be adjusted.
Learn how to walk barefoot
Our bodies are astonishingly adaptable; keep the following four points in mind, and you’ll be walking ‘barefoot’ in no time:
- Your weight should move from heel to big toe, but think of it more as a smooth heel stroke than a jolting heel strike
- Keep your strides shorter than normal – this will help keep your body in its optimum alignment for efficient locomotion
- Try not to look down; in fact, keep your gaze somewhere above the horizon and ‘lead’ with your chest
- Keep your stride relaxed, balanced and symmetrical