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A couple barefoot/minimal footwear misgivings before I take the plunge

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  • A couple barefoot/minimal footwear misgivings before I take the plunge

    Hi folks,

    I really like the idea of minimal footwear, but a couple misgivings keep me on the fence:

    1. I have done some traveling, and anytime I see feet that have likely never been in a shoe, they just look incredibly flat to me. Splayed and with no arch whatsoever. Maybe it's just that I'm only noticing the bad feet, but even on Mark's "Flat Feet Treatment" post, the photo of the "barefoot forever" feet look totally archless to me. Is this not a problem?

    2. If the above is true, and if such flatness is undesirable (two big ifs), then I worry about the long term effects of total shoelessness. I know evolution did not mean for us to be in shoes, but evolution also does care about how long we live or the quality of that life after, say 20 years old. All evolution gives us is feet that are more likely to get us to an age where we can reproduce.



  • #2
    P.S. I should add that I really want to get off the fence, and have my eye on a pair of minimal shoes, but just can't quiiiite take the (somewhat expensive) plunge with these thoughts in mind, so am looking to be reassured, not stir up controversy. Thanks!


    • #3
      Fortunately we are much more complicated organisms then the common May Fly. We are meant to prosper long after we can reproduce in order to see to the survival of the offspring of our offspring. There is no reason feet can survive shoelessness far into your golden years. I go without shoes as often as is socially acceptable and most times beyond that. I have seen no ill results besides healthier feet and zero chronic running injuries since I have gone minimalist. From my experience shoes are a horrbile waste of money to simply keep your feet from getting dirty and to confine them in horrbile ways.
      Check out my primal blog:


      • #4
        Both my brother and father have flat feet. I do not. The difference? I was barefoot alot growing up, they were in shoes starting at a young age.
        In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies, fellas. I guess I was hoping for something a bit more than anecdotal, particularly in regards to what I perceive to be tons of very flat "third world feet" (for lack of a better term). Of course, diet and general health might be coming into play there as well. And of course, my observation there is anecdotal and far from scientific as well, so I'm living in a bit of a glass house.

          (regarding evolution, I do see where living long enough to raise your children confers an evolutionary advantage, but I think getting to see our grandkids is pretty firmly in bonus territory, from an evolutionary perspective. :-)


          • #6
            I have had minimalist shoes before they were minimalist but have gone back and forth. The newer brands seem to be much more refined. I recently bought a pair of New Balance MT10 MT10 : New Balance
            I am not a runner, but love to have them one while training in the gym, I do alot of body wieght stuff , with some old school gymnastics and love how they feel and perform on my feet. A bit pricey but they are solid!

            Good luck!
            Living the dream, inside a myth


            • #7
              Just an FYI since I noticed you said take the plunge on some pricey shoes. These shoes are not what I would consider pricey and have great reviews. Unshoes Minimal Footwear shop Maybe you could try these and not take a big hit in the wallet if you don't like them.
              Last edited by Bostonbully; 05-28-2011, 04:00 PM. Reason: spelling
              "Live Free or Die"


              • #8
                OMG... I love those shoes! I so want a pair now, I just wish they already had the model that doesn't go between the toes. They'd be absolutely awesome for the kind of working out I do (mostly walking and body resistance exercises). Thank you for posting this, Bostonbully!
                Your book club may have scintillating discussions. But my book club can drink your book club under the table.


                • #9
                  I've only had these for about two months but I love them to death and they are by far THE cheapest minimalist shoes/sneakers available.


                  - they look "normal" (I personally think they look badass) so they blend in quite well
                  - you can do anything with them. I wear them out, I use them for running, sprinting and every single workout session I've had since I bought them.
                  - older users say they stand the test of time really well.

                  Just make sure you're buying the ones pictured, they only come in black or white, if you see any other colors you are NOT buying the ones with the minimalist sole.

         TMAS Wushu Shoes (Black Feiyue Brand): Sports & Outdoors

                  I have both the black and white and I bought my dad and girlfriend a pair and they're both really happy with them too. They're good as an intro too.

                  I'm not saying they're the best option, but as an everyday minimalist thing then yes for sure. I do still think going straight barefoot is good and I do it a whole lot. I only own these and some converse and now the converse just feel too padded.
                  I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


                  • #10
                    Flat feet are fine. We don't really need arches - they are a left over trait from earlier in our evolution when we used our feet to grab and climb trees.


                    • #11
                      Wow, if I decide to give this a shot (and I probably will) the Unshoes look awesome (plus the Wushu shoes for the winter), thanks for the recommendation!

                      "Flat feet are fine", interesting, I had to do a quick Googling on that one, and the "Military Studies" section of the Wikipedia "Flat Feet" entry supports that (standard Wikipedia disclaimers apply). I'll have to look into that more, but that's quite encouraging, thanks!


                      • #12
                        My jerk program director at school has been hating on the primal movement and barefoot movement (He's a physical therapist) and he doesn't know I'm primal. But he keeps saying "Maybe cavemen didn't wear shoes because they just weren't developed yet. That's why they didn't even live that long" The guy is a tool. I keep coming back to him with information about how much good No-Shoes can do, and he just blows me off.

                        I bought a pair of Merrills as close to white as I could (We have to wear white in school) and he flipped. So I bought VFF Jaya's in all white... I think he had an aneurism when he saw them. Haters be hatin.
                        Proud Bangmaid since August 2009


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by slowcooker View Post
                          Flat feet are fine. We don't really need arches - they are a left over trait from earlier in our evolution when we used our feet to grab and climb trees.
                          Exactly. And all that arch "supports" do in shoes is to keep you from developing your own foot muscles. I regularly walk urban half marathons and 10-15 mile trail hikes in my VFFs.

                          A friend of mine (hugely overweight and very SAD) said that she would like to get some VFFs but that the only problem would be that there is no room for her orthodics in there. *headdesk*. The point is to use your foot muscles so you don't need orthodics anymore. But that would put a lot of podiatrists out of business