Can I wear my 2620’s in barefoot shoes? And the answer is…..
Using any kind of support inside a barefoot shoe may sound counter intuitive, however, even in a barefoot shoe, the protective nature of the rubber sole encourages us to heel strike. Although this is not as pronounced as compared to wearing a pair of spongy runners, there is still a proprioceptive change.
The main issue that causes damage to the foot are the collision forces that occur in the forward portion of the arch. This area just behind the ball of the foot is the epicentre of force expulsion and is designed to dissipate energy effectively while minimizing force return to the point of origin.
Shoes Change Our Natural Movement
Wearing shoes has changed the way we walk due to the proprioceptive change that takes place when not being barefoot. This makes it difficult to have a biomechanically correct gait pattern in any type of shoe.
If we were always barefoot, we would never land heel first but instead would tread lightly leading with the front portion of the midfoot – no matter the terrain. Once a barrier has been placed under the foot (no matter how minimal) the feedback to the numerous receptors is altered.
Mind the gap
In addition, the gap between the bottom of the shoe and the bottom of the foot experience collision forces as the shoe meets the ground. These collision forces, over time, cause progressive damage to the proprioceptor feedback mechanisms. Constant collision between the forward arch and the shoe can cause nerve damage, accelerating foot muscle atrophy. This repetitive action makes the brain switch off and try to forget the feet due to the ongoing collision forces.
Flexible forward placed arch pieces to the rescue
By having a flexible arch piece just behind the ball of the foot in the forward portion of the arch, we can minimize these collision forces. The mere contact of the arch piece in this area engages the receptors throughout the entire gait cycle – sort of like a spring attached to the bottom of the forefoot. As the force is applied to the forward arch, the flexible arch piece flexes and minimizes overt collision with the base of the shoe.
Shoes we love
We are a huge fan of Vivobarefoot (https://www.vivobarefoot.com ) shoes for their design, construction and the company’s socially conscious attitude. The added advantage of having 2620’s in them ensures that a less than perfect gait does not cause any long-term damage and expels the maximum amount of force to propel forward. At the same time, because the 2620’s are super thin, it is possible to retain the tactile benefits of a barefoot shoe and your feet can continue to work as nature intended.
You may also be interested in our blog on how orthotics can improve performance:
Image source: Vivobarefoot