Our feet are designed to be widest across the toes, as babies we can see this clearly. However most modern footwear isn’t designed with the shape of our feet in mind, and can crowd the feet, and actually change the shape of the foot over time, basically causing our feet to take the shape of the shoes we wear. The picture shows the shape of feet that have taken on the shape of pointed shoes, and the feet of a member of a native tribe that has never worn shoes. This can cause malformations, or deformations of the foot such as ‘bunions’/ ‘hammertoes’.

This causes the feet not to work properly and can place tensions on the nerves and muscles of the feet, also affecting the rest of our body. Fortunately now there are brands of shoes that are designed with the shape of our feet in mind. Vivobarefoot make shoes that are shaped like our feet, and are designed to allow our feet to work as naturally as possible. These are now classed as ‘barefoot’ shoes, and are becoming increasingly popular to help maintain the health of our feet. Studies have shown that simply by wearing ‘barefoot’ or vivobarefoot shoes alone, that this helps strengthen the feet by up to 60%.

To start to rehabilitate your feet after years of wearing shoes that crowd the feet, or If you are unable to buy or wear barefoot shoes, due to constrictions at work etc, toe separators are brilliant to help allow your feet to return to their normal and natural shape. Simply place the toe separators in between your toes after spending long hours on your feet or in ill fitting shoes, at the end of the day for about 20-30 minutes. This can make a huge difference to the health of your feet. It can actually start to take pressure off the nerves of your feet and help them return to their natural shape, helping to support the rest of the body.

If you are interested in the concept of barefoot shoes take a look at the vivobarefot website for more information and their huge range of barefoot shoes.