The Egoscue Method is based on the idea that health is motion. The more we move, the healthier we are, the healthier we stay. In the poorer regions of our world, people move more. They may walk to get from one place to another, perhaps they grow their own food and actually harvest the fields to put it on the table – they’re moving because they have to. They often keep moving longer than we do in our wealthier, more sedentary culture. We could learn a lot from their lifestyle.
In these cultures, often we see folks going barefoot – while they work, run, play and walk! People ask me at Pain Free all the time about what kind of shoes they should be wearing. The answer is in another lesson we could learn from these other cultures– no shoes are the best for your feet! In May of 2010, Harvard Medical School released a study that found that the more support, more cushioning and more expensive the shoe, the more likely for injury. The reason? Most shoes do not allow your foot to go through its natural motion. The support of a shoe can actually weaken the muscles of the foot and the muscles of the leg and hip that work as a team with the foot. The muscles of the feet are no different than any other muscles of the body – they need movement and lots of it! If you don’t use them, they become weak and atrophy.
I am not suggesting that you throw away your orthotics and expensive shoes. If you need them to walk without pain, then use them. What I am suggesting is that if your body alignment is good and you can go barefoot, by all means do it. Your feet will thank you for it!