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Pei-Jiun Cheah

Free The Foot!

On average, how many hours a week do you walk barefoot?

Thinking about that question, you might realise that you spend a ton of time in shoes!

Second question, how much time do you spend on researching your shoes before you buy them?

For the majority of us, we pick shoes mainly based on aesthetics.

As a Physiotherapy clinic, we are seeing more and more people walking in wearing thick, rigid, cushioned shoes accompanied by really weak “flat” feet.

Wearing these super engineered shoes with extra heel support and cushioning to help prevent excess foot movement and increase force absorption sounds great! It also sounds a little bit like a cast though, doesn’t it? You know, the ones you wear when you break your foot.

Having all that extra support restricts the natural foot movement therefore is actually doing more harm than good.

Having the foot constricted in this manner for hours on end may result in the intrinsic foot muscles wasting as well as decreased health of the planar fascia and increased stiffness through the mid foot and ankle.

So how do you stop this cycle dead in its tracks?

  • Start wearing shoes that allow your foot to be a foot: In other words, look for a flat and more flexible shoe with no extra fancy bells and whistles.
  • Walk barefoot whenever possible!
  • Strength up your feet & Increase your foot mobility
  • A re-adjustment period is necessary to allow the intrinsic foot muscles and plantar fascia to start functioning as they were intended to as well as increasing the flexibility in the mid foot and ankle.

Doing the exercises on our Facebook page or as seen on our YouTube video on a daily basis will help the foot through this re-adjustment period. During this period start progressively increasing the amount of time you spend walking barefoot.

Start with an hour a day and progressively build the endurance of the intrinsic foot muscles.  If you have been walking in raised shoes, such as high heels or dress shoes, for a number of years you are more likely to find the re-adjustment period difficult.

It is then advised that you progressively decrease the amount of heel raise in the shoes you wear daily.


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