If you are new to barefoot shoes or to Freet, here’s what you need to know first.
Barefoot shoes simply help you move a little more like nature intended. We all like to kick our shoes off when we get home, barefoot shoes just allow you to have this great feeling whatever you are up to – day to day activities or sport, walking or running.
A good barefoot shoe (and every Freet shoe) does this by:
- Roomy, foot-shaped forefoot which allows your toes to spread. Traditional shoes squeeze the toes at the front. Toe spread is important to improve balance and overall foot flexibility/foot function especially around the big toe joint. This can impact on ankle/knee/hip/back alignment.
- Flat soles (‘zero-drop’ from heel to toe). By having no heel height differential, posture improves. We were not designed to move wearing a shoe with a heel. Even traditional trainers have 8-12mm heel height. Adapting to this ‘zero-drop’ can take a while as your foot and lower leg ‘re-learns’. The achilles tendon and calf in particular can feel a little strain as they work a longer range of motion in the flat shoe, having grown use to the heel.
- Fully flexible upper to allow natural foot movement. A good barefoot shoe should be able to be rolled into a ball. In this way, you can be sure they will affect your biomechanics (ie the way you move) as little as possible, allowing the foot to condition and strengthen naturally.
- Flexible ‘thinner’ outsoles provide grip whilst allowing the foot to ‘connect’ with the ground. We are designed to receive feedback from the surfaces on which we move. This helps our balance and reaction to changes in the surface. Our feet have 200,000 nerve endings to help this but traditional shoes with thick, stiff outsoles prevent this working effectively.
Freet barefoot shoes
We make 2 styles of shoes, 4+1 ‘split-toe’ and 5in1 ‘toes together’. Our 4+1 split toe shoes have a separate pocket for the big toe which gives a little more ‘glove-like’ feel, whilst our 5in1 shoes have all toes together, like traditional shoes. Both styles will achieve the same ‘barefoot-like’ result and tend to be worn interchangeably. Largely it’s a matter of personal preference!
Sometimes we might want or need to move on a harder suface or for a longer time/distance and for this we use a thin layer of advanced shock absorbing material such as PORON. This does not affect the ‘barefoot-like’ nature of the shoe, but can prevent the foot soreness which you can get with such harder use.