Babouche and the Minimalist Slipper Theory
Au naturel can't be beat
First things first, let’s discuss briefly what minimalist shoes are. Minimalist shoes are shoes that are meant to replicate running or walking barefoot. They are often small and thin in size, while still giving your foot protection from anything you may walk on or over.
The theory behind them is that you land on the fore-foot or mid-foot instead of heel to toe, and they are thought to decrease the force your joints feel every time you take a step. They are said to decrease your chances of injuries since you are landing on your feet lighter, and they are said to improve foot health overall.
Benefits of barefoot slippers
When we reference barefoot slippers, we aren’t referencing a certain brand or product – we are solely talking about the style of slippers. The term barefoot slippers essentially means a minimalist slipper shoe. If you are someone who hates being barefoot and you need to walk around the house in some sort of slipper, this is the best kind of slipper option for you! There are many benefits of wearing barefoot wool slippers, and believe it or not, a minimalist slipper can help to improve your overall foot health.
Here are some of the common benefits of barefoot slippers:
1. Toe spread
Because barefoot shoes allow more space for your foot to expand as needed, your toes aren’t being forced into a shoe meaning they are allowed to spread naturally. The wider your toes can spread, the bigger the base of your foot is, increasing your balance. Since normal shoes are only so wide and long, you can be forcing your foot into a smaller space than it needs, decreasing the health of your foot. That’s why we love barefoot wool slippers!
2. Natural gait
Your gait is a term for how a person walks or runs – do you naturally walk on the outer, inner, or middle of your foot? Do you walk mostly on your toes or your heels? Those kinds of things are what determines your foot gait and with barefoot slippers or shoes, it often enhances your natural gait and is much better for your feet. Because your foot isn’t as tight-held and secured in barefoot shoes, your foot can move as it naturally would – making your walking healthier and easier.
3. Aligns your body
Most people aren’t aware of the effect feet issues can have on your entire body. There are so many acupressure points that connect your feet to the rest of your body, so if you feel pain in your feet, you’ll feel it somewhere else in your body. Your feet being out of alignment or in shoes that don’t allow them to move and flex naturally can affect your knees, your hips, your back, your shoulders, and your neck. Wearing barefoot wool shoes can help to keep your feet aligned, making your whole better align better and feel better.
Do Podiatrists recommend barefoot slippers for foot health?
Like everything, there are two sides to what specialists believe in when it comes to barefoot slippers. Some Podiatrists love when people wear barefoot shoes, while others don’t like them.
We are going to talk about both sides of the argument.
Those for barefoot shoes
There are so many Podiatrists who love barefoot shoes. Wearing this shoe style allows your foot to breathe, spread, restrict and function as it naturally should. These are the reasons why Podiatrists are for barefoot shoes:
• They promote healthy, strong feet
This type of shoe enhances the natural shape and movement of your feet, allowing them to move as they should. Because barefoot shoes are wider in size, your feet muscles are more engaged when walking or running and they can work better – increase the strength of those muscles, resulting in healthier feet.
• Decrease risk of injury
Believe it or not, wearing barefoot shoes can decrease your risk of injuries according to Podiatrists. When you run or walk in regular sneakers, you tend to walk heel-to-toe and that causes more pressure on your joints. When you wear barefoot shoes, you land on the balls of your feet instead and it decreases pressure and decreases your chances of suffering injuries.
• They can bring you joy
We know we sound crazy but hear us out… Wearing barefoot shoes takes away stress and tension in your body. If you’re less stressed and have less tension, you are going to feel happier and lighter. It’s been proven that barefoot shoes decrease your blood pressure – meaning your health is better and you’ll feel so much happier.
• Improved balance
Besides your lips and fingertips, your feet contain the most nerve ending in your body. When you wear barefoot shoes, your brain feels more stimulation and retains more information when you walk or run. Meaning your brain is more alert, and more focused on what it feels – resulting in better balance.
Those against barefoot shoes
Like anything in the medical field, some Podiatrists believe barefoot-style shoes are the enemy. Running and walking without any sort of cushion on your feet is a bad thing and can cause major body issues in your future. Here are some reasons why Podiatrists are against barefoot shoes:
• Foot gait
Your foot gait is extremely important to maintain healthy feet and a healthy body. Some Podiatrists say that wearing barefoot shoes can’t provide your foot with the specific support it needs – leading you to musculoskeletal injuries in the future.
• Increase risk of musculoskeletal injuries
If you deal with issues with your foot arch, Podiatrists don’t recommend wearing barefoot shoes because it’s only going to make your issues worse. If you deal with an arch that’s too high or too flat, you can experience the following injuries
• Stress fractures
• Calf pain
• Shin splints