You may have heard terms such as pitch or drop, anatomical toe box, flex and weight as keywords around minimalist footwear. But what do they mean and why are they important?
Check out this clip by chiropractor Mathieu Spencer here
Just as a child needs to reach each motor skill milestone in order to move onto the next, for adults there is often a need to re-learn some of those skills we learnt early on, but through habits and urban environmental factors, we need to revisit later in life. Below are some pointers from VIVOBAREFOOT who we’ve worked with to show you some of the skills you’ll learn in store to help you on your transitional journey.
A simple, static, yet fundamental skill should be perfected before any dynamic movement occurs. Posture alignment by correct weight distribution and proper use of the feet is essential.
- Stand upright, align your posture and hold your hands by your sides and set your gaze on the horizon.
- Ensure the heel, ball and big toe are engaged with the ground.
- Ensure your weight is distributed evenly.
An easy transition exercise for building up your strength and 'running equipment' on a daily basis.
- Weight moves from heel to big toe with a smooth heel stroke
- Don't look down and use short strides for optimum alignment
- Relaxed, balanced and symmetrical rhythm
Perfect your posture, balance and increase strength & flexibility in your ankles, knees, hips and spine.
- A squat should position your centre of mass over the ball of your foot.
- A correct squat won't come easily but it will build strength in necessary parts of the body.
- The squat will improve the range of movement in your ankles, knees, hips and spine.
Get in tune with your natural rhythm (180bpm) whilst increasing dynamic strength and elasticity.
- Jump on the stop repeatedly times without looking down - you should remain in the same spot.
- Jump on one leg, after all, running is essentially a series of one-legged jumps!
- Develop your abilities by introducing a weighted bar to one-legged jumps or use a jumping rope
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING UP SLOWLY
VIVOBAREFOOT and Nike all continually talk about the need to correct your technique as well as the importance of building up slowly as part of your transition. This transitional journey is different for everyone and in the majority of cases, isn’t as simple as switching your old pair of runners to a more minimalist style of shoes. As well as technique there may be structural issues impeding your transition and if so, we recommend visiting your health professional for advice.
The Mechanics can help you master the skills required for good dynamic technique and stock a large range of natural motion footwear designed to allow your foot to do its thing as naturally as possible.
WHAT ABOUT LITTLE ONES?
A child’s foot is quite malleable even up to their late teens and the sensory feedback they receive from their feet is important in helping them to not only develop strong, healthy feet but also with their motor skills such as balance and coordination. Ideally, children should be completely barefoot as much as possible but there are instances this is not always possible. In these cases, it’s ideal to look for a high-quality shoe that mimics the child being barefoot – such as being lightweight, flexible and allows the child to feel where they are in relation to their environment (a term called proprioception).
In the Bobux range, we stock three distinct types of shoes for various stages of a young child’s development.
BOBUX SOFT SOLE
For those who have started to crawl around. You might want to have a second layer on their delicate feet to provide them with protection and comfort whilst ensuring a secure grip.
BOBUX STEP UP
For first time walkers with a highly flexible shoe for enabling unrestricted development and suited to the unique shape of a first time walker’s foot.
For walking, running, jumping and going on adventures. This range is for a confident walker who has a more developed, but still unique, foot shape. The i-Walk range accommodates this, providing the best possible flexibility whilst adding grip for kids on the go.