Feet First! Take Better Care of Your Feet


Help your feet feel better

Put your best foot forward. We at Wondergressive enjoy taking good care of our feet. To do so you must be actively thinking about what is best for them. Everyday, people cram their feet into shoes that don’t fit. Flashy styles and inexpensive shoes are often right for the eye or the pocket book but they take a toll on the toes, arches, and foot overall.

Our entire bodily alignment is based on the foundation of our feet. Yet, as Pam Werner, from sun and moon yoga studio puts it…

..Our feet are often neglected and abused by wearing uncomfortable or improperly fitted shoes and rarely walking barefoot. Walking barefoot utilizes the foot muscles, which strengthens them as well as helps recreate and maintain healthy arches. It also allows the feet to be free, spread, and get fresh air.

That’s right, walking barefoot helps your feet and body alignment immensely. Think that walking is a bit too slow? Consider trying barefoot running. A study at Harvard examined the amount of force placed on the foot. This study was conducted by Daniel E. Lieberman and others to show the differences between force applied while barefoot…

and with shoes on.

As you can see the force applied while wearing shoes dips slightly while weight is transferred between the heel and the forefoot. This blip of applied energy is believed to encourage injury in the long run.

Related Article: The Wonderful, Healthier, Life Changing, and Life Lengthening World of Fasting

Aside from actually using them, there are several things that you can do to take better care of your feet. The first, of course, is to develop a healthy yoga practice. You will not regret it, unless you have a history for regretting doing things that make you feel awesome and comfortable inside your own skin. In every yoga pose (asana) each foot acts as a point of reference. That goes without saying as the entire body should act as a reference point. The second thing that you can do is quite easy: Keep hydrated. Your feet sweat a lot. From Yoga Pam (see above):

There are 250,000 sweat glands in each pair of feet that release nearly a cup of moisture every day. There are more sweat glands per inch of our feet than anywhere else in the body, and their function is to keep the skin moist and supple.

That’s reason alone to get those basement digits some fresh air. They deserve it, you know, after they’ve lugged you around for an entire lifetime. To help with other foot problems check out foot.com for a comprehensive resource on all things foot health related.

Related Article: The Almighty Escapism: Creating Distraction

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Yoga for the Foot

Running Barefoot


The Benefits of Barefoot Running and Hiking


A huge controversy still rages regarding the benefits and potential injuries associated with barefoot running/hiking. According to recent research at Harvard, it seems more and more likely that barefoot is the way to travel.

Not only does barefoot running allow you to feel more connected to the Earth and trail you are embarking on, it also reduces a wide range of injuries including knee, shin, and hip ailments.  It even helps to build a network of arch support muscles for those of us that have flat feet.

According to the research, runners and hikers need to ensure they also strike with the front of their foot instead of the rear. This reduces stress and force of impact.

The best way to break into the barefoot running scene is to start breaking in a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. There are many models to choose from, but as an avid hiker I recommend the KSO Treksports.  If the smell of the shoes ever gets too funky go ahead and throw them in the wash with the rest of your clothes.  Easy peasy.

If you don’t want to look like a goofy primate all the time, you can always look into a model like the trailglove from Merrell.  It is still worn barefoot, and has all the benefits of the Vibrams, without the strange stares people will be offering graciously.

Here’s a quick quote from a friend of mine involved in forestry and wildlife conservation regarding the Vibrams he wore while hiking through Yellowstone National Park:

“GET THESE. They are amazing for my flat footedness. They are the exact opposite of babying your foot like custom orthotics but I’ve hiked over 15 miles a day in these with no problem. Actually just got back from a trip with them. I don’t wear any socks and the level of moisture is way better than any shoes. I crossed countless creeks/rivers in yellowstone with um on and could just keep going when I got out as they eventually dry out.  Also they make hiking more dynamic. No more trudging because you will hurt your feet that way. Ive stubbed a toe once or twice and you know it! I’m 100% bare foot!

-Dan Tekiela