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Want your child to have the best for their feet? Here’s what the literature says, and it’s not shoes!


If it’s good enough for a child, shouldn’t it be good enough for an adult? Then we should be probably be wear less “shoe” on our feet. Below is an abstract that reviews seven points from a article by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. It is pretty clear that the literature suggests children show be wearing less on their feet or basically going barefoot to allow for proper muscle development and overall foot structure. The same principle applies to the adult. By allowing the foot to function the way it was designed without interfering with or restricting the normal mechanics will allow the foot to become stronger. So does this mean we should run barefoot? The idea is that our foot should be function as though it were barefoot and choosing a shoe that allows this the best should be the goal.

Taken from B. Zipfel, L.R. Berger, Shod versus unshod: The emergence of forefoot pathology in modern humans?, The Foot, Volume 17, Issue 4, December 2007, Pages 205-213, ISSN 0958-2592, 10.1016/j.foot.2007.06.002.

1. Optimum foot development occurs in the barefoot environment.
2. The primary role of shoes is to protect the foot from injury and infection.
3. Stiff and compressive footwear may cause deformity, weakness, and loss of mobility.
4. The term “corrective shoes” is a misnomer.
5. Shock absorption, load distribution, and elevation are valid indications for shoe modifications.
6. Shoe selection for children should be based on the barefoot model.
7. Physicians should avoid and discourage the commercialization and “media”-ization of footwear. Merchandising of the “corrective shoe” is harmful to the child, expensive for the family, and a discredit to the medical profession.

Footwear and orthopaedics.

Kurup HV, Clark CI, Dega RK.

Foot Ankle Surg. 2012 Jun;18(2):79-83. Epub 2011 Apr 17

Effect of children’s shoes on gait: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Wegener C, Hunt AE, Vanwanseele B, Burns J, Smith RM.

J Foot Ankle Res. 2011 Jan 18;4:3.

The influence of footwear on foot motion during walking and running.

Morio C, Lake MJ, Gueguen N, Rao G, Baly L.

J Biomech. 2009 Sep 18;42(13):2081-8. Epub 2009 Jul 29.

Foot motion in children shoes: a comparison of barefoot walking with shod walking in conventional and flexible shoes.

Wolf S, Simon J, Patikas D, Schuster W, Armbrust P, Döderlein L.

Gait Posture. 2008 Jan;27(1):51-9. Epub 2007 Mar 13.

Shoes for children: a review.

Staheli LT.

Pediatrics. 1991 Aug;88(2):371-5. Review.

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