When you take your shoes off and feel the sand, ocean or grass do you get an instant feeling of gratitude, joy, happiness and connection?
The intricate connection between our feet and the brain forms a crucial sensory link, enhancing our comprehension of movement and sensory environments. This connection is vital for our survival and thriving, emphasising the importance of allowing children, in particular, to experience barefoot moments as much and as frequently as possible.
“Children should be barefot as much as possible. This is where they are in their peak window of brain and nervous system development” says Dr Emily Splichal, CEO/Founder Evidence Based Fitness Academy.
Our feet serve as the fundamental basis for bodily movement and sensory connection to the world around us.
BALANCE & GRIP
The remarkable balance, natural grip and pressure sensors of human feet enables exploration of the world with agility and confidence.
SHARP & DANGER
Highly sensory, capable of detecting sharpness, potential dangers, discomfort, or prompting protective responses.
HOT & COLD
Sensing and responding to temperature changes to give essential feedback to help children adapt to their environments.
Through tactile sensors, feet can sense different textures and surfaces, helping humans to navigate varied terrains.
Nurturing Foot Health From The Ground Up
Balance and Posture
Healthy feet provide a stable foundation, positively influencing overall balance and posture. A well-aligned base promotes proper body mechanics, reducing the risk of injuries and chronic pain.
Mobility and Movement
Functional feet contribute to enhanced mobility and fluid movement. They support the body's natural range of motion, preventing compensatory adaptations that can lead to joint and muscle issues.
Joint and Muscle Health
Optimal foot health reduces the likelihood of joint fatigue, pain, and muscle strain. Well-supported feet help distribute mechanical stress evenly, minimising the risk of discomfort and promoting long-term joint and muscle well-being.
Athletes benefit significantly from healthy feet. Maintaining foot strength, flexibility, and balance can positively impact athletic performance by providing a solid foundation for stability, agility, and overall prowess in various sports.
The interconnectedness of our feet with the rest of the body means that foot health plays a vital role in overall well-being. Addressing foot-related issues can prevent downstream effects, fostering a healthier and more comfortable daily life.
SHOE DOS & DON'TS
Shoes that are "too supportive" meaning those with thick/stiff soles, squished toes, raised heel and support arches inevitably strips away the natural movement thats' there for good reason.
Shoes should be minimal to protect the foot but not inhibit natural movement or sensory ability. The sole should be neutral with no heel, minimal cushioning, flexible and have a wide toe box.