If you build a house on cruddy foundations it WILL fall down. No doubts.
And for those of you that don’t know me on a personal level, my husband and I build houses…so we know!!
What is the human foundation? YOUR FEET
A good way to assess how efficient your feet may or may not be, is to look at them. Look at them now. What shape are your feet? Are they squished like an arrow or spread like a paddle? Which one do you think is likely to give you the best stability?
Are things misshapen to the extent of bunions, hammer toes, sore feet, hard skin in different places on each foot? All these visual signs and symptoms are cries for help from your feet.
Years of bad footwear and general misuse of our feet has caused shape changes that are not good for our entire body. The ripple effect goes all the way up to the crown of your head and can even influence how you hold your skull.
Your feet have 26 bones and 33 joints with 100+ligaments & tendons. That is almost 10% of your body’s joints in your feet. With that many articulations, it is crystal clear that the foot should be very adaptable. I walk around barefoot all the time on many surfaces and people ask me, don’t my feet hurt? The answer is always no (unless I step on a thorn!). If you were asked the same question and answer yes, then my friend, there is a puzzle to solve down there.
Do you find balance difficult? Do your feet hurt when you are barefoot? Do you have obvious differences from left to right? Do your toes turn out a lot? Does one foot turn out more than the other? Do you have ‘flat feet’? A crazy high arch? Do your feet hurt after walking? Do you avoid any activities because of discomfort in your feet?
If you answered yes to this then you need to begin by making friends with your feet! I guarantee you they are a tad grouchy from neglect right now, so probably best to start with a casual first date! May I suggest reconnecting with your toes, feet and ankles when at home. Walk around barefoot and try spreading your toes. When you are chilling at the end of the day grab your foot, place a finger between each toe and move your foot as much as you can (see pic). You can’t do any damage here. The only thing that may hurt is your fingers crushed between your squished together toes! (you can always purchase toe separators to help you out with this job)
If you exercise on feet that have been squished into ill-fitting shoes all your life, you WILL encounter problems.
Finding your feet is a huge part of the pain free movement puzzle.
Of course there are multiple potential other aspects at play in finding efficient human movement but the feet are a great place to start.
When you improve how you make contact with the ground you improve in all other areas. Intentionally focusing on improvement in this area will skyrocket all other physical capabilities and give you the added bonus of connection to the earth.
I always love a specialist recommendation so give these guys a follow if any of this has peaked your interest:
Vivobarefoot - on all social media platforms and www.vivobarefoot.com
The Foot Collective - on all social media platforms and www.thefootcollective.com
Thanks for reading and here’s to happy future foundations 🙂