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Shoes That Look Like Feet – What’s That All About?

If you’ve been out running recently or working out in the gym you may have spotted some odd people wearing these strange shoes that look like feet.

My name is Heidi and I’m one of those odd people!

There is some reasoning behind the apparent madness and barefoot runners have had great success in my private coaching classes.

I’ll explain what it’s all about in this blog post but first let’s take a good look at them.

These are Vibram FiveFingers and they are not like other running shoes. For a start when you first catch sight of them you are probably going to think they are the most ugly sneakers you have ever seen.

In time you can learn to love them. Nowadays I actually think my Vibrams look pretty cool.

What’s It All About

So why are people wearing these shoes that look like feet?

It’s quite simple really and once you have experienced the benefits of barefoot running shoes you might be asking yourself why people are still wearing big heavy cushioned regular running shoes.

Wait a second… did you just say barefoot running shoes? That doesn’t make sense!

Yes indeed I did.

Vibrams and other shoes that look like feet like the terrible Fila Skele-toes (don’t buy them they are rubbish) are shoes that are designed to replicate the feeling of running without shoes.

The human foot is a remarkable feat (get it?) of biological engineering. It’s incredibly complex and the configuration of all the bones, joints, tendons and sensory receptors is designed to help us walk, run, jump and play.

shoes-that-look-like-feetFor millions of years humans did all their walking, running, hunting and foraging without the assisance of Nike’s or Reeboks. Modern running shoes are a very recent invention and have only really been around for the blink of an eye in the history or the human race.

The theory goes, that all the protection and cushioning that a modern running shoe like the Puma Tazon affords us actually causes more problems than it cures.

When people run with a padded sole they tend to land heel first slamming their foot down against the sidewalk, time and time again sending shocks through the legs.

This leads to aches and pains and injuries. In comparision when people run barefoot they don’t land on their heel (cos it would bloody well hurt!) they land on the front of their feet and use the complex structure of the foot to gently reduce the impact on their body.

Of course, when you run barefoot you might still stand on a sharp stone or a peice of glass and barefoot running shoes that look like feet are designed to protect against that.

They have very thin minimal soles and are very lightweight. Vibram FiveFingeres are designed to allow your toes to get involved in the running action and that’s why they look like feet. Of course if you have been running in regular shoes for a long time the muscles in your feet will not be strong.

For that reason when you switch to barefoot running you need to ease into it gently allowing time for the foot muscules to gain strength and do the job they were designed to do. That’s why I created my Run With Nature fitness guide to help people transition to natural barefoot running.

I hope that makes things a little clearer for you and those people in the park seem a little less wierd 🙂    

The Best Barefoot Shoes For Kids

Often our kids want to be just like mum or dad, especially if you tell him that mum’s shoes help her run like a cavewoman.

My little one year old is only 1 but in preparation I went looking to see what were the best barefoot shoes for kids.

I think the same principles that make barefoot shoes good for adults apply for kids as well and I see no reason why we should be wrapping kids feet in big clunky shoes unless they need protection for sports.

The style issue is another problem… I can’t tell you if Vibram Five Finger shoes are trendy in the playground. Somehow I doubt it. If anyone knows drop me a message in the comments.

Kids barefoot Shoes Top 5

And so the countdown…

5. Fila Skele-toes

Barefoot shoes for kids are scare and this is the only reason that the Fila Skele-Toes make the list. Many people report that the Skele-toes fall apart very easily and so they don’t really offer good value for money.

4. Vibram FiveFingers Sprint Kids

As much as I love Vibram FiveFingers they only make number 4 on my list for one reason. I know how kids can be and those Vibram toes would be an invitation for other kids to stamp on them. Unless their is a kid craze for Vibram Sprint Kids going on that I don’t know about I’d say it’s better safe than sorry and opt for something a little less unusual looking.

3. Nike Kid’s Free Run

Kids love Nike’s and I’m sure the Free Run’s are popular and well received among peers. The free runs are more of a minimalist running shoe rather than a kids barefoot running shoe. They sole is designed to be flexible and allows the foot to move more naturally but still offers cushioning and support.

2. Merrell Trail Glove 2

My top 2 choices for barefoot shoes for kids are both from Merrell. The Merrell Trail Glove’s are a slip on shoe that would suit younger kids. They have a thin vibram sole that give the benefits of being barefoot while protecting the sole from cuts and without the strange looking fingers.

1. Merrell Trail Glove 2

The Merrell Kids Flux Glove’s are the lace up version from Merrell. I think they a great looking style but again they will suit younger children as once kids reach a certain age they are going to start pestering your for the brand name shoes that their friends are wearing. Merrell, as an outdoors hiking company, is simply not cool with the kids! That concludes my top 5 barefoot shoes for kids. I hope you see something suitable, looking after kids feet is important and I personally believe that barefoot shoes will help keep their feet strong and healthy.