I am a big proponent of walking. We walk for transportation, for exercise, for shopping and just because. We take it for granted. We take it for granted until our feet hurt. We walk for causes. We walk barefoot, we walk with shoes and sandals. We walk in sand, concrete and grass. We use our feet constantly and pay no attention too them until it is too late.
The trend now is ‘barefoot’ shoes. We have been through the Earth Shoe craze, the Rocker craze and it is fitting we should be in the less-is-more Barefoot shoe era. I haven’t read the book on the Barefoot shoe yet, but I know drastic changes to your structure generally don’t work. When the rocker shoes came out, everyone got them, started walking 5 miles in them and couldn’t understand why their hips and legs hurt so badly. I asked Paul St. John, a Neuro-Muscular therapist (he is the person who saved my leg after a crushing injury) about the rocker shoes. Simply put, nobody should be wearing those shoes unless they are in high heels all day and use them for a contradictory movement. Gradual changes need to be made when changes to structure are indicated.
I watch the way people walk. I would say that about 75% of people have improper shoes. They are mostly broken down and should be tossed out now! People walk in flip flops, a sandal that was made to only walk from the car to the beach. Watch people walk. Their arches are collapsing, their knees are bowed in, one leg is obviously shorter than the other. All these conditions contribute to major problems from structural to neurological and beyond. So many joint replacements started with the poor connection of foot to earth. It is your responsibility to know this fact and to be proactive to prevent it. Good supporting footwear. That is a really good start.
I am often asked about knee pain. The first thing I do is look down at what is being worn. “But these shoes are only a few months old”. I hear it all the time. Shoes are all different, even from the same manufacturer. If you feel knee pain, seriously consider your shoes. You might get 3 years out of a pair of shoes or 3 months. They may look great and be broken down at the same time.
Structure begins with the feet. Take care of them. Exercise your feet.