We all have them, but unless they are sore, most people rarely pay any attention to what is going on with their feet, which also happen to be your primary contact point with the ground.
There is still a lot of hype about minimalist this and barefoot that, but what does it all really mean?
Your foot is comprised of 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. That in itself should be a good enough reason to pay more attention to your usually neglected feet. Modern shoes generally don’t allow the foot to do what is should, which is absorb forces naturally and efficiently. This is the basis for a lot of minimalist shoes and advocates for barefoot training – free the foot to allow it to function as a foot, rather than allowing it to adapt to the artificial confines of a bulky shoe. In a nutshell, this is why there are a lot of passionate people out there harping on about foot-friendly shoes, because normal sneakers and running shoes have a lot to answer for due to how much they change foot mechanics.
If you have any toe, heel, foot or Achilles pain, that is a sure-fire sign that something is going wrong with the foot. Dysfunctional feet are even known to cause problems in the knees, hips and low back!
Have a look at your big toes. If they are slanted inwards, it is evidence that your foot and toes are adapting to the shape of a shoe. This isn’t to say that you should throw your shoes away right this second, but it’s food for thought about how you are treating one of the most important parts of your body.