When it comes to footwear, we can look at it from two points of view: fashion and function.
It is a social norm to wear some sort of leather dress shoe for formal events or white-collar working jobs. But is this serving your health and support?
Other times, we were flip-flops or slip-on shoes for comfort, but is that apparent comfort compromising the integrity of your neuromusculoskeletal system?
The answer is a simple, but a bit obtuse. Let me explain.
If we think about our primal needs for the original earth, the surfaces given are essentially dirt, sand, and stone. There may be variances of this make-up, but for the most part these natural surfaces are the ones that our bodies were designed to walk on.
The most important part of these surfaces is that there is some natural cushion for our joints as we take steps or run. Further, we were born barefoot, so to have that extra give is crucial for the longevity of our health.
Now, enter the modern age. What do we see with most of our roads and man-made surfaces? Concrete and asphalt. AKA No cushion!
This is why many shoes that are made have that give or cushion, to gives each to the chain of joints that start with the ankles to the knees to the hips and to the spine!
Besides cushion, your body likes something else - to be stable! This is why slippy shoes or flip flops can be problematic - no stability! The toes will sprawl and grip in order to provide that stability and those subtle movement effect these same chains of joints.
So how can we combat this? A few easy steps:
1. Wear supportive shoes or boots. his way you have the stability in place that will avoid compensation from other parts of the body.
2. Tie your laces tight. This adds to support and will allow for more ease in the rest of the system.
3. Listen to your body! If you have recurring pain after wearing certain footwear, especially after long days work, you are probably wearing the wrong shoes!
Being barefoot amongst natural surfaces is a great way to get in touch with our natural state. But if you are going to wear shoes, make sure you are serving yourself!
Yours in health, Dr. Daniel Goodman DC