Transitioning to natural shoes can be daunting, especially if you’ve been wearing traditional, restrictive shoes for most of your life. However, the benefits of natural shoes are well worth the effort.
Natural shoes, such as barefoot shoes or those with minimal support, allow your feet to move and function as they were designed. This can result in many benefits, including improved balance, increased flexibility, and even a reduced risk of injury.
Wearing natural shoes can also help reduce the risk of common foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and heel spurs and improve overall foot and leg strength.
Let’s take a look at a couple of ways to safely transition to natural shoes.
Wear Natural Shoes as Part of Your Daily Routine
Incorporating your new natural shoes into your everyday routine is a smart way to start getting used to them. If they haven’t been outside yet, the good idea is to start by wearing them around the house.
This will not only help your feet get used to the different feel of natural shoes but also help break in the shoes and mold them to your foot’s shape. You should also consider toe separators to help your feet adapt to the new form of shoes.
You can also consider toe separators to help your feet adapt to the new form of shoes, as they can improve alignment and reduce pain and discomfort.
Don’t Rush – Take It Slowly
But before you go all-in on natural shoes, it’s important to remember to take it slow. Rushing into a transition can lead to pain and injury. Instead, start by incorporating natural shoes into your daily routine.
Wear them for short periods of time, such as during a walk or errands, and gradually increase the amount of time spent in them.
Transitioning to Natural Shoes for Running
When it comes to running in natural shoes, the transition should be even slower.
Day 1 — Run for a specific distance you set for yourself with your natural shoes. The distance should be way below your normal average until you get used to the shoes and how they feel on your feet when you run.
Day 2 — Rest, even if your feet feel fine. This is because foot pain can show up days later, and if you don’t let your feet properly heal after getting used to new shoes, you can damage them long-term.
Day 3 — Resume running and add more to your distance, but don’t strain yourself as you transition. Repeat this every other day. It’s crucial to listen to your body during this process and take rest and healing time if you feel pain.
After three months of following this gradual transition process, you should be ready to run only with your natural shoes. Also note that even after the transition, pain can still pop up, so be sure to take those rest days.
Transitioning to natural shoes can bring many benefits for your feet and overall wellness, but it’s essential to take the process slowly and listen to your body.
Incorporating natural shoes into your daily routine, gradually increasing the amount of time spent in them and using toe separators can help to make the transition as smooth and safe as possible.
Be sure to talk to your medical professional if you feel consistent pain in your feet after using natural shoes for the first couple of weeks.