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iacas

Minimalist, Natural, Barefoot Style Shoes

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13 hours ago, colin007 said:

I've experienced this as well, I actually have very narrow feet like a beautiful Russian ballerina. I've definitely felt my foot sliding around laterally in wider toe box shoes.

I've got narrow feet and high arches too (was in the Bolshoi when I was younger just for my feet! :-P), but my toes are long and want to spread out. The original True Tours fit perfect in the heel and mid foot and the wide toe box was awesome. I walk 18 and never had trouble with my feet with those shoes. My only complaint was the sole wearing too fast. When they went through the changes, the fit and feel changed too and I didn't like them. I'm going to try the Outsiders this time.

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This is a great post and deserves more attention from the golfing community.  Our foot and ankle mechanics are the culmination of thousands of years of evolution.  We were built to walk with a forefoot or midfoot strike, with the heel tapping the ground on each step.  The ankle, knee, and hip joints act in effect as hinged springs when we walk and run.  This allows the intrinsic ligaments and muscles of the feet, the flexors of the calves, the extensors of the thigh, and glutes to act as shock absorbers on the strike, and propel us later in the stride.  This takes the stress off of the joints.  When we heel strike, it's with a straightened leg.  Instead of these muscle groups doing the work, all of the force is transmitted straight through the bones and cartilages of these joints, right up to the low back.  Less fatiguing for lazy muscles, but we pay the price over time.  From a general low back and lower extremity health perspective, barefoot walking is the best if you can tolerate it.  Unfortunately the downstream health effects from heel-strike walking and running can make it difficult to convert (heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, lumbar disc disease).  Some of the best advice was offered in the original post.  Walk and run like a little kid.

I started barefoot style walking and hiking last year.  It was easy in the summer as there are a variety of minimalist shoes and sandals to try out.  My favorites are Xero, Luna, and Bedrock sandals as well as Altra running shoes.  Running with a forefoot strike is easy as you're leaning forward.  Walking that way was awkward at first, and I had to shorten up my stride.  Both activities resulted in major calf pain for a couple weeks while I reconditioned these muscles, and I think that too rapid a transition puts you at risk for Achilles tendon injury, so proceed with caution.

That brings me to golf this year.  I've always felt awkward in golf shoes.  The big drop built into most shoes, with the squished toes, always left me feeling unbalanced, and I'd end up with my weight too far towards my toes, even on good swings.  For kicks the other day at the range, I hit a bucket with my zero-drop wide toe box running shoes, and my balance and consistency were much improved.  I wish I'd seen the threads on the True Linkswear shoes sooner, as I ended up purchasing a set of Barefoot Berbs instead.  I'll give them a try this season, but the design is in the same vein.  No drop, wide toe box, thin sole for better ground feel.  Will update to this thread after I get some rounds in them.

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I work from home most of the time so spend most of my time barefoot.  Just recently I bought some Merrell low-profile running shoes to try them out.  They feel really comfortable so it got me thinking about what I could wear on the golf course.  For most of my year the course is wet so grip is an issue and I'm not sure if very thin soles would work.  But for the summer at least I am tempted to give my 'barefoot' shoes a go.  It doesn't look like True Linkswear is available in the UK though.

It is definitely something that you have to transition into slowly - even though I spend a lot of time barefoot around the house when you start racking up the walking miles it can make your muscles ache.

On 2/22/2018 at 5:00 PM, iacas said:

When I go outside around my house I'll wear some flip flops or something with minimal padding.

I was reading a book on barefoot running just recently and one of the points they raised was that flip flops cause you to curl your big toe in a way that doesn't fit with how it is designed to work.  I'm not sure if this is a big deal as (a) I don't wear them (b) a lot of people around the world seem to wear them as a main item of footwear, but in terms of general foot health it is maybe a thing.

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10 minutes ago, ZappyAd said:

I was reading a book on barefoot running just recently and one of the points they raised was that flip flops cause you to curl your big toe in a way that doesn't fit with how it is designed to work.  I'm not sure if this is a big deal as (a) I don't wear them (b) a lot of people around the world seem to wear them as a main item of footwear, but in terms of general foot health it is maybe a thing.

I found this to be the case. I think I am going to buy some sandals soon in replacement of my dead flip flops.

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2 hours ago, saevel25 said:

I found this to be the case. I think I am going to buy some sandals soon in replacement of my dead flip flops.

Ideally a sandal should have a strap system designed to keep the back of the footbed locked to your heel.

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1 hour ago, uscmatt99 said:

Ideally a sandal should have a strap system designed to keep the back of the footbed locked to your heel.

Yes, that's the kind of sandal I wear as soon as it is warm enough. Two straps around your heel holds it in place and the strap over the front of your foot basically just keeps the sole from flopping around.

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Marell ....spell check....had a shoe out a few years ago called the bare foot...best shoes I ever owned. You could feel pretty much anything you walked on but they were so comfortable. I owned 2 pairs and wore them all the time, sadly they stopped making them

The Nike free shoe was as close as I could come to matching the Marells

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15 minutes ago, Kloeshuman said:

Marell ....spell check....had a shoe out a few years ago called the bare foot...best shoes I ever owned. You could feel pretty much anything you walked on but they were so comfortable. I owned 2 pairs and wore them all the time, sadly they stopped making them

The Nike free shoe was as close as I could come to matching the Marells

I think you mean the Merrell, and they still make the Barefoot line of shoes: https://www.merrell.com/US/en/barefoot-1/.

 

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