We are born barefoot and are genetically built to stand, walk and run with our feet interacting with the ground. Our feet are built to be both shock absorbers and rigid levers for us to push off with. They have allowed human beings to navigate over uneven ground, hard, flat planes and soft, spongy meadows for thousands of years. It is only relatively recently that we started flattening out our world with concrete and supporting and cushioning our feet with fancy shoes and orthotics. The feedback our bodies get from our feet is a crucial part of posture, balance and movement development, but we tend to cut that off almost immediately by putting our children in stiff, cushy running shoes as soon as they can walk. As people grow up, the role of work, fashion, and sport dictate their footwear choices and it usually comes at the cost of body awareness, foot strength and balance. As a result, it is almost the norm for people’s feet to slowly deform over time and develop bunions, hammer toes, fallen arches and plantar fasciitis. Ultimately footwear choices become less and less about fashion and more and more about cushioning and supportive comfort as we age. This path is a major source of balance and pain issues throughout life.
The mechanics of our feet are closely tied to those of our hips. Tightness or weakness in one will directly affect the other, which ultimately affects the whole body. There are 3 main arches to the foot. The main one being the medial longitudinal arch, this is the part that will pronate (flatten) or supinate (arch up/over). There is also a smaller lateral arch along the outside of the foot, but the most overlooked arch is called the transverse and is suppose to dome up the front part of the foot. Read More