Barefoot Shoes And/or Inserts?

maaxgrreenmaaxgrreen keeping it hella ancestral

I've heard folks like Katy Bowman on enough shows to be aware of heels of any sort—including short men's heels i.e. less than an inch like the kind you'd find on boots or even sneakers–being detrimental for leg muscle development and posture. 


 


Does anyone on here use inserts or have any success with a particular brand or make of barefoot shoe? I use barefoot/minimal shoes with essentially no heel made by merrell when i train but otherwise have inserts made by Superfeet that do seem to help me retain an arch and prevent my ankles from collapsing inwards, etc. 


 


I've done a good bit of adjustment to my walking/gait in the past couple of years, keeping my feet forward, basing my posture off of some of Kelly Starrett's advice out of supple leopard, etc. but feel like before I order another pair of these inserts maybe someone here will have some advice or an idea for something new to try?


 


I live in the midwest and therefore based on weather conditions it isn't feasible for me to wear minimal shoes anywhere close to year-round. I saw a post that chris kresser put up a while back regarding 'minimalist shoes that don't scream "i'm a minimalist shoe"' that featured dress shoes with no heel that were essentially barefoot but wicked expensive. like hundreds of dollars.


 


 


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Comments

  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭

    I've looked for a while and haven't found any barefoot shoes that look normal and have a decent price. I go actually barefoot at home, weird looking barefoot shoes to train/run, and then just wear normal shoes the rest of the time and try to pay attention to foot position and posture. Birthdayshoes.com has a huge amount of reviews, and to me they still all look weird. 


     


    Please update if you find something good. 


     


    For casual shoes, there are a bunch of sneakers from different brands that generally fit the "chuck taylor" or basic Adidas look, which themselves have fairly flat soles. So I just look for that basic pattern then try them on to find the flattest sole possible. I've been wearing sneakers by Simple that are sort of close-enough to barefoot to not cause problems, but they are wearing out and the brand went under, so now I have to look for something new. I'm prioritizing zero to low heel/toe drop over a wide toe-box, which you basically can't get without going fool weirdo barefoot shoe.


  • SkeletorSkeletor The Conqueror Worm ✭✭✭

    The only pair of shoes I own are my Merrell  trail-runners. Never used insoles of any kind in mine, been wearing similar shoes for more than a year now. If you work on strengthening your feet by barefooting, you can likely avoid any collapse of the arch, etc. I live in the Midwest as well, and after this winter, I kind of wish I had me some thick-ass boots. But really, the minimalist footwear works for me quite well 90-95% of the year.


    "I know how to despise mere cool intelligence. What I want is intelligence matched by pure, physical existence, like a statue." --Yukio Mishima

     

    Let's be friends on MyFitnessPal!

  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭


    I live in the Midwest as well, and after this winter, I kind of wish I had me some thick-ass boots. 




    ---


    Smartwool socks. Layered on other Smartwool socks, potentially with a baselayer of Smartwool socks.


     


    Or just merino wool if you're super anti-synthetic.

  • SkeletorSkeletor The Conqueror Worm ✭✭✭

    What I REALLY want to do is develop my barefooting to the point where I can walk in the snow and ice completely barefoot with no problems. I hear it's been done. I tried it for like a minute this past winter though, and spent like ten minutes hopping around like a bitch when I got back inside lol


    "I know how to despise mere cool intelligence. What I want is intelligence matched by pure, physical existence, like a statue." --Yukio Mishima

     

    Let's be friends on MyFitnessPal!

  • i've posted a few times about my love for vibram fivefingers. i'm willing to put up with awkward stares and silly questions to be comfortable and able to move the way i want. i live in the midwest as well and i only wore "normal" shoes once this winter, and damn they feel awkward when you get used to having that awesome ground feel from the fivefingers. winter hikes can be pretty uncomfortable, but if you keep moving you kinda get used to it. i actually started a thread somewhere here about ideal winter minimalist shoes, but decided to just stick with my VFF flows this year. 


  • SkeletorSkeletor The Conqueror Worm ✭✭✭

    I wish I could find Vibrams that work for me. I have large feet though, and one is larger than the other by about half a size (had a cast on for a while as a kid), so it's kind of difficult. Finding those things in 12 Wide is hard enough...


    "I know how to despise mere cool intelligence. What I want is intelligence matched by pure, physical existence, like a statue." --Yukio Mishima

     

    Let's be friends on MyFitnessPal!

  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭

    If you're ever in Boston, we have the Vibram FiveFingers Flagship Store. It's super trendy, on Newbury Street. If anyone can get you set up it's them. 


     


    Also the Merrell barefoot soles are made by Vibram. 


  • Nice. I might get some of those shoes in the UCLA colorway.


     


    Vibram-FiveFingers-kso-yellow-black-vars




    i've posted a few times about my love for vibram fivefingers. i'm willing to put up with awkward stares and silly questions to be comfortable and able to move the way i want. i live in the midwest as well and i only wore "normal" shoes once this winter, and damn they feel awkward when you get used to having that awesome ground feel from the fivefingers. winter hikes can be pretty uncomfortable, but if you keep moving you kinda get used to it. i actually started a thread somewhere here about ideal winter minimalist shoes, but decided to just stick with my VFF flows this year. 



  • You could look into vivo barefoot. I've found their more casual shoes to be pretty good (e.g. Gobi or Freud), I've a pair of their tennis shoes that are ok, but I prefer to wear the casual shoes.
  • hybridhybrid Cateye vs Isolation

    Some people with limited ankle motion benefit from heels/inserts. If you dont have good ankle flexibility you will probably benefit from them, you will notice the benefit walking not standing btw.


  • maaxgrreenmaaxgrreen keeping it hella ancestral

    Realistically it just comes down to not caring that i'm wearing the loudest shoes in the room at all times. Now that the Chiberia winter is subsiding i'll break out the Merrell's and tread proudly.


  • I have a few pairs of these for week (one in black one in brown) and a pair of their sneakers. I LOVE them, I could never imagine wearing actual dress shoes anywhere. If you look around you can probably find them for under $100.


     


    http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us/mens/ra-leather-mens?colour=Black


  • I wear my red five fingers most places ... I get more interested questions than funny looks. Otherwise flip flops.


    My experience with Superfeet: i had a foot surgery for a collapsed arch -- sports injury, PTTD -- and once I was out of the cast and boot, i was prescribed arch support for 6 months. Wore them for close to 8 months because I thought, hey, this can't hurt. But my foot kept aching, never could kick the nagging ache. After a few Googles I took the inserts out of my vibrams and wore them for two weeks straight. Boom. My foot finally was allowed to strengthen and the pain is now very intermittent.
  • "Shoes with no arch- What do you use for arch support?"


     


    "My arches."


     


    - I think that was from Christopher McDougall.


    Personal blog: http://SoSoDynamo.com
  • I love these, they are an in between 5 fingers and regular running shoes.  I don't run but wear them everyday. Love em


     


    http://www.newbalance.com/men/collection/Minimus/167000,default,sc.html


  • HazakinsHazakins Graveyard shift putting me in the Grave!

    Just ordered some Merrell shoes. I have been looking for another pair of Vibram sole shoes for awhile. They last forever.


    Looking at amazon, not all Merrell use Vibram soles so make sure the decal is on it.


    Trying to get a grasp on Ketosis? Watch this!

  • Two year long case study demonstrating an increase in arch height from running in minimalist shoes.


     


    http://www.drnicksrunningblog.com/two-year-long-case-study-demonstrating-an-increase-in-arch-height-from-running-in-minimalist-shoes/


     


    Wish I took photos of my feet and achilles when I started running in minimal shoes three years ago. This makes me feel better about the fact that I'm still transitioning.


    Personal blog: http://SoSoDynamo.com
  • GarrettGarrett
    edited April 2014
    I have 2 active pairs of Vibrams riight now, and have worn through 1 previous pair, thus far ;-)


    I love my Vibrams. Amazing shoes!! If/when you get them, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY (I cannot stress this enough) recommend that you pick up a couple of pairs of Injinji Toe Socks, along with your shoes. They'll extend the life of your shoes indefinitely. As well negate any foot odour in the shoes. Otherwise, having your foot directly touching the inside of your shoe WILL make your shoe stink :-P so use socks from the very beginning, and your nose (plus any females nearby) will greatly thank you. ;-)


    Drum: is there a good VFF which has waterproofing/resistance? I'll be back over in the pacific northwest, where we get lots of liquid sunshine, so I'd love VFFs which let me comfortably run around in the rain (something i don't generally do with my current VFFs). Alsp, I agree with you about not caring about stares. Stares are so rare, and i'm genuinely stoked when wearing them (they perk my mood up), thus most people just ask me polite questions about em.. to which I gush my love of the VFFs lol.
  • PARKERPARKER
    edited April 2014

    My Croc "flops" with a "balance" feature on the soles are my absolute favorite for inside wear year round.  Outside wear varies with our changing seasons from runners, heels on occasion and boots to my comfortable flops. 


  • zero33zero33 Thinks plants have feelings.
    had a pair of vibram EL-X until one of our puppies turned them into a chew toy - they were great for walking/running, working in the garden, and casual social stuff but not professional enough for work and no good in rain or snow... $50


    i'll probably buy another pair now that warmer weather is back. they provide an additional layer of protection from sharp rocks, shit piles, sticker patches, etc. that make barefooting unpleasant.


    for work I wear vivo gobi's - wouldn't want to go for a long walk or run in them but they're perfect for everything else... $130

    Coder/Shaper who thinks this is his blog: alienvir.us





  • Drum: is there a good VFF which has waterproofing/resistance? I'll be back over in the pacific northwest, where we get lots of liquid sunshine, so I'd love VFFs which let me comfortably run around in the rain (something i don't generally do with my current VFFs). Alsp, I agree with you about not caring about stares. Stares are so rare, and i'm genuinely stoked when wearing them (they perk my mood up), thus most people just ask me polite questions about em.. to which I gush my love of the VFFs lol.




     


     


    the closest thing i ever got to waterproof was the flows, which are neoprene, so moisture does get through but your feet at least stay warm. they have some new styles though, including the lontra, which was designed for colder temps and may actually be waterproof. otherwise, you can always go sockless and just let them air dry. they may get stinkier sooner but its better than normal shoes!

  • How about oversize wet suit boots with socks for winter 'barefoot' minimal support?
  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭

    ^^ That's some serious dedication / not caring about aesthetics. 


     


    OK, a question for all the barefooters here, especially the VFF'ers:


     


    What is the bulletproof perspective on callouses? The more I barefoot, including in VFFs, the more I build up callouses. Callouses are basically dead skin. 


     


    On the one hand, our paleo ancestors presumably built up serious callouses and had bombproof feet that could walk over anything. 


     


    On the other hand, we still need to stuff our feet in shoes occasionally, and having a lot of dead skin seems like a great way to get nasty stinky foot bacteria that probably isn't healthy. 


     


    So, do you remove callouses?


  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited April 2014

     


     


    I hesitantly plunged my feet into the warm water, then watched as a dark, wiggling nimbus darted over to my legs. Fresh dead cells, yum. Their little pouts attached to my ankles, toes and feet, but they were intimidated by my runner's callus. I could feel the light flutter of their fins against my skin and the slight pinch of their mouths. It would have been calming had it not been so disturbing.

     


    ----


     


    I have ticklish feet. I would lose my shit. This is honestly one of the most unpleasant things I can imagine. Worse than paper cuts between the toes in the Jackass movie. 


  • i've played drums for most of my life and played capoeira for almost half of my life, so i've had my share of calluses. it seems like my skin has kind of adapted though, i don't usually go through the cycles of building calluses then getting holes and peeling them off anymore, so i think if you just keep doing whatever causes them you don't have to keep removing them. my skin is a bit thicker in the areas where i've had calluses but it doesn't feel like dead skin. i'm kind of building my feet up a bit more lately though cause i've been training outside on the concrete now that its nice out. 


  • http://www.lemsshoes.com/Mens-Primal-2-Black_p_82.html


     


    these are the best and most normal looking shoes i could find-i do 12 hour shift as a nurse and walk on average 6 miles at work everyday on these x 4 months-there is a transition period where your feet will be sore and in some cases hurt if you start wearing these 100 % of the time-this was about 2 weeks for me- but since then have not wore any other shoe but nikes when i sprint


    i still sleep with the toe stretcher socks+massage the bottom of feet standing on lacrosse ball+ and stretch the hell out your my calf muscles+ force myself to walk correctly and not like a duck


  • drumminangoleirodrumminangoleiro ✭✭✭
    edited April 2014

    here's some good/sometimes excruciating stuff... broken toe pose: 


     


    thunderbolt-pose-with-tucked-toes.jpg


    (randomly picked from google images)


  • CycloneCyclone rich in satisfats
    edited April 2014

    I have Vibram KSO Evolution for sport, they are great.


     


    But these are my dream shoes for work:


     


    Soon...


     


    http://theprimalprofessional.com/#a_aid=minimalistrunnr


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