It was the beginning of year 2016, a few months after the second birth.
After two pregnancies, my body was in a very bad condition (diastasis recti, weak pelvic floor, bad posture, low back pain, etc.) and I wanted to improve it. Back then, there was no informations available about these problems in Slovenia, so I started looking for a solution to help me.
I came across the British post-natal program MUTU system and quickly started doing the exercises.
Before starting the postpartum program, I didn’t think about the inadequacy of my footwear. The shoes I wore didn’t seem overly problematic to me, I didn’t have any foot problems. I very rarely wore heels and I always chose footwear that I thought was comfortable.
The picture below shows my most “comfortable” shoes from those times, which unfortunately, like all conventional shoes, have a completely inappropriate toebox shape. My toes were completely squeezed together in them. I didn’t even think that something was wrong with the sole.
In the postpartum program MuTu system, they also talked about the impact of inappropriate shoes on the pelvic floor and the functioning of the whole body (you can see how the pelvic floor and feet are connected here). I was also surprised by the fact that only a minimally elevated heel can throw the whole body out of balance. This impact is significantly greater in children!
I wanted to return my body to a functional state, so I tried all the tips from the program. This is when I bought my first pair of barefoot shoes.
And how did it feel when I tried them for the first time?
Well, they looked extremely wide to me. The ground feeling was very unusual at first, but I got used to it very quickly. I only wore barefoot shoes at home. I still wore my “normal” shoes to work. My transition to barefoot footwear was gradual. At the same time as my transition to barefoot shoes, my children also started wearing them.
Quickly, all my usual shoes started to bother me. Because once you feel the freedom that barefoot shoes offer you, it’s hard to go back.
I decided to change all my shoes for barefoot shoes. In the beginning, it took quite some time to try and return the shoes before I got a sense of what suits me, what I need to look out for and which brands are best for me. In Slovenia, there were very few physical stores with barefoot footwear, the offer was limited, so I ordered everything online.
Eventually, my foot got wider, my big toe returned to its natural position, and the mobility of my toes increased.
Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of my foot from the times before the transition to barefoot footwear. I only found one picture, which is not the best, but you can still see my cramped toes. The distance between my toes has increased significantly during these years of wearing barefoot footwear.
But for me switching to barefoot shoes was not the end of my journey to a healthier body and feet. I added more natural movement to my lifestyle, I became aware of how I walk, stand, I learnt how important ankle stability and hip rotational control are, how helpful toe spacers like Correct Toes can be, etc. Also, I recently bought some exercises from My Foot Function (affiliate link) as I felt that my weak left foot needs some strengthening and extra help. But the first step in my journey was barefoot shoes.
During the transition period, I was careful how I walked, as my walking was very unnatural due to improper footwear. In the beginning, due to years spent in cushioned shoes, I struck with my heel while walking.
I got used to the width of the shoes very quickly, and eventually I also realized that my first barefoot shoes weren’t long and wide enough at all (but at the time they seemed incredibly comfortable to me). Today, I choose more space inside the shoe and am more careful which models I choose.
And my toes can move now ?
I also started following foreign Facebook barefoot groups, reading literature and becoming more and more enthusiastic about barefoot footwear.
And now I am here to share my experiences and impress you too?