The retail shoe market over the last few years has seen an increase in minimalistic running shoes. It is a shoe that has become very popular over a wide range of age groups from children to late adults. People are often drawn to the light and soft characteristics of these footwear, however, is this latest shoe trend really good for our foot and lower limb health?
Harvard University defines minimalistic footwear as ‘any footwear that lacks high cushioned heels, stiff soles and arch support’. By definition, this style of shoe lacks support and cushioning. Wearing this type of shoe, particularly for long periods of time and for persons with altered biomechanical alignment and function, is detrimental to their foot health.
Shoes that can easily be folded or twisted in half, lack a firm heel counter, bend excessively through the sole at regions other than the big toe joint, provide little to no support to foot function and alignment. For persons with excessively flat, or pronated feet, a minimalistic shoe will do nothing to correct and support the alignment of your feet. This allows for biomechanical abnormalities to continue and leave a person at greater risk of injury.
When shopping for your next pair of shoes, particularly ones you are going to be exercising in, the following characteristics are recommended:
1. Firm heel counter
2. Stiff outer sole
3. Cushioned inner sole with arch support
4. Bend only at the big toe joint
5. Fastenings (laces, velcro etc)
If you need any footwear advice, you’ve come to the right place! Book in with one of our friendly podiatrists today to get the best results for your feet.
This article was written by one of our skilled podiatrists, Jane. To book in with Jane either give us a call and book in with her over the phone or select ‘Jane’ as your practitioner when booking online.
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