Is a minimalist footwear a fad or an essential for survival? Find out as “youre reading” on below!
RELATED: Why Barefoot is Better
In this article 😛 TAGEND
Is Minimalist Footwear Part Of Your Survival Kit
A Shoe Story
As a young United States Marine, training programs in combat and jungle boots wasn’t merely routine, it was an order!
When it came time for standard PT( Physical Training) we were able to slip on a more comfortable pair of go-fasters( standard running shoes ). It had a padded heel and soles that incorporated shock-absorbing gel.
With this new technology, why were so many of my fellow Marine experiencing knee issues that were taking them out of committee?
It wasn’t until many years later that I received the answer to that question: minimalist footwear.
Once I left active obligation, my fitness level was certainly not national priorities. I gained weight and expend most of my waking moments seated behind a computer screen.
I became deconditioned due to the mental combat that I was experiencing as I tried to adjust back to civilian life. Things went on in this style for over a decade.
Things Went Downhill …
One day, I woke up and gazed at the mirror … A feeling of embarrassment overwhelmed me. I made a commitment to myself that from this phase on, things were going to change.
I went out and got myself some new PT gear. Portion of that gear was a high-speed, expensive, pair of running shoes.
I started using a treadmill and lifting Olympic weights. I began shedding some fat and was feeling pretty good about my decision.
A couple of months later, my cousin asked me to join him on the soccer field to practice with his squad. I felt like I was up for the task and took him up on his offer.
Once I arrived at the arena, we started off with some warm-up drills. We began to pass the football ball around and on my first ten-strike … I heard a loud POP in my right knee.
I headed to the sideline in a bit of a daze, trying madly to just stroll it off. My knee began to swell so I headed to the hospital.
After some time and a battery of exams, the diagnosis was a full tear of my ACL and complete loss of my meniscus.
What Is Meniscus? It is the rubbery C-shaped structure between your knee joints which serves as a shock absorber.
Doctors told me, I needed surgery. Basically, they would take a ligament from a corpse and place it in my right knee.
I realized that this was a routine operation but something didn’t sit right with me. First off, I was no fan of having surgery…
Secondly, there was the source of the ligament. My doctor’s all commented on my hesitation and alerted me that without surgery, my active lifestyle “wouldve been” non-existent.
But I Knew That There Had to Be Another Way …
As I researched other options to surgery, I maintained stumbling upon information on barefoot and minimalist footwear. Basically, people were “fixing” their knee and other issues by removing the technology from their footwear.
This was counter-intuitive to what I had come to believe. However, I had been a lifelong martial artist and we were always barefoot in the dojo.
I also reflected back on the knee the matters that my fellow Marines were having while on active duty.
Things Began to Click …
What I came to learn from its own experience was that we were allowing technology to do the work for us. By adding “high heels” and other technology to our footwear, we were masking the sensations from the activity that we were performing.
Instead of strengthening our bodies with each workout, we were, in fact, becoming weaker. We are basically telling our running shoes to do the work while our muscles, tendons, and ligaments take a back seat and rest.
I began training barefoot whenever possible and picked up a pair of minimalist shoes. These shoes resembled gloves for feet and certainly brought a lot of attention while I was out in public.
I had various friends tell me that I looked like a duck when I wore those shoes. My answer was 😛 TAGEND
I Will Take Function over Fashion Any Day!
Once I stimulated the switch to training in minimalist footwear, things began to change. There was certainly an adjustment period but I knew that I had very few selections if I wanted to avoid surgery.
I began to feel stronger and had much more sensitivity throughout the activity that I was performing. I was getting lots of feedback from the workouts that I had never gotten before.
It was running wonders on my physical being but astonishingly, it was also increasing my awareness when I was out in the field.
I continued training in minimalist footwear and contrary to what the “doctors ” had advised me … I completed the NYC Marathon in 2011 while wearing my duck shoes.
This experience changed a lot on how I address my training for emergency preparedness. In addition, there were some interesting by-products that I gained from incorporating minimalist footwear.
I’d like to share a few of those insights with you now.
So let’s delve right into these minimalist shoe reviews…
Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe, Black, 44 EU/ 10.5 -1 1 M US
Runs small, Go up a sizeLightly padded tongue& speed lacing system.Care – Machine Wash Cold/ Air DrySerrated blade lug design.Select half size up or down
Price incl. taxation, excl. shipping
Since the footwear is designed to be minimalist, they are extremely convenient to stow away in your pack. You can easily roll them up in the palm of your hand.
The fact that very little material goes into their building makes them lightweight whether they are on your feet or stowed away in your kit. Keep in mind that the minimalist design does not mean that they are inferior in their construction.
As a matter of fact, most of my minimalist shoes have outlasted other footwear that I own; even when the conventional shoes have gotten much less use.
Great For Water Activities:
Once again, less material means that they can dry much quicker than standard footwear. Whether you are wading through a pond, fishing from the shoreline, or hiking through puddles…
Minimalist shoes, on a whole, tend to perform much better than hiking boots in these instances.
I wouldn’t exactly say that all minimalist shoes that I own are designed for water activities, but when compared to their non-minimalist equivalents, they tend to come out on top.
Build Up Your Body:
Less material in your footwear allows your body to participate much more in the actual run being performed. Taking away the “high heels” that most running and trail shoe feature enables your body to maintain proper alignment.
In addition, your muscles, ligaments, and tendons get more activating as you continue on with your chore( s ). Not only will this construct your physical preparedness but also assistances in keeping you injury and pain-free.
Wearing minimalist footwear allows your feet to move around freely. The lack of limited brings a level of comfort that is not matched by standard footwear.
Initially, its own experience may actually feel like the opposite of what I am stating here. After all, we expended a lifetime wearing restrictive shoes so we need to take that into account.
But if you take some time and implement minimalist shoes into your lifestyle, your natural motion will once again become prominent. You will experience a level of consolation that will bring you back to your childhood days.
Minimalist footwear allows you to feel the environment with each passing step. Twigs, rocks, and other debris are easily felt as you continue on with your mission.
Maintaining this awareness allows you to gauge the amount of pressure that you will place on these obstacles. This will immediately correlate to the amount of disturbance and noise that you will cause as you interact with the trail.
Traditional footwear allows you to barrel over obstacles, scarcely recognizing also that they are even there. This can easily give your position away whether you are stalking prey or just trying to remain under the radar.
Long Lasting Soles:
Most of today’s minimalist shoes are designed with operating and hiking in intellect. A large number of manufacturers choose to use a sole make use of Vibram.
Vibram has been soles for the U.S. military for decades and are quite the trusted name. The soles of the boots that I wore in the Marine Corps were make use of Vibram.
Also, the duck shoes that I referenced earlier … Their soles are also made by Vibram. Vibram probably builds the best minimalist running shoes.
Other companies such as Xero Shoes offer a 5000 -mile warranty on all of their footwear. They also have one of the best minimalist running shoes for women.
That alone is a pretty good clue of the durability offered by minimalist shoes that are available in today’s market.
Let Your Feet Breathe:
Unlike most conventional shoes, minimalist footwear is designed to be worn with or without socks. This gives your feet the ability to breathe while you are performing work.
I have the tendency to sweat and sweat a lot. Wearing conventional footwear usually outcomes in me having to change my socks a few times while I’m on the trail. If I don’t, the riling blisters and “hot spots” begin to form.
Wearing minimalist shoes greatly reduces the sweating and need for frequent sock changes. This allows me to pack less gear and alleviates the need for carrying stinky, sweaty socks while I’m working on my current mission.
In a recreational camping surrounding, there are usually shower facilities available to the public. However, they may not be the most sanitary place to clean up.
Wearing shower shoes are recommended and some may say … A Must! Regrettably, including shower shoes in your kit is either bypassed or just simply forgotten.
But with most minimalist shoes, especially sandals, there is no need to pack additional gear.
As we previously discussed, minimalist shoes tend to dry relatively fast.
I shower with my minimalist shoes on which works for me two-fold. 1: I maintain a obstacle between my feet and unwanted bacteria and 2: I also get to clean my shoes so that they are ready for the following day’s adventure.
I can then place my shoes by the flame or other hot source and in no time, the objective is dry.
Xero Shoes Barefoot-Inspired Sport Sandals – Z-Trek – Women – Coal Black/ Black – 8 M US
All the fun, freedom, and benefits of being barefoot, but with the protection and consolation you want in a sport sandal. Xero Shoes come with our 5,000 mile warranty.Perfect if you hike, stroll, operate, jog, work out, Crossfit, yoga, raft, stand up paddle committee, kayak, canoe, fly fish, even operate ultra-marathons.Up to 70% lighter than other sport sandals. Merely 5.5 mm thick, it’s perfect for travelling. Flexible enough to roll up and fit in your pack or pocket. Durable enough for wherever the Z-Trek takes you.
Price incl. tax, excl. shipping
In Tune With Nature:
As I mentioned earlier, wearing minimalist footwear allows you to feel the environment around you. Each step offer valuable feedback to your nervous system about the terrain that you are operating in.
This insight enables a much more positive experience with nature because you are paying attention. This will help to pulling all of your senses together stimulating your activity more enjoyable.
Minimalist footwear is not for everyone. As I evaded to earlier, there is a bit of a break-in period that many do not have the patience for.
Check out this minimalist barefoot shoe reviews from Tom Merrick 😛 TAGEND
Most of us ought to have wearing conventional shoes for the majority of our lives. We certainly cannot expect to snap our thumbs and return to our natural motion overnight.
Just like most things in life … If we try to force it–injury usually follows.
If you are interested in dedicating minimalist footwear a try, only remember … Baby-steps will always get you there the fastest.
Xero Shoes Prio – Men’s Minimalist Barefoot Trail and Road Running Shoe – Fitness, Athletic Zero Drop Sneaker – True Yellow
The lightweight, flexible performance shoe for road working, trail work, fitness, Crossfit, hiking, and more…Foot-first design. Wide toe boxes let your toes spread and relax. Zero-drop , non-elevated sole for proper postureLow-to-the-ground for balance and agility. The flexible sole lets your feet bend and move naturally.
Price incl. taxation, excl. shipping
What do you think of Coach Helder’s latest review of minimalist footwear? Let us know in specific comments segment below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 28, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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