The Barefoot Series, Part One. Big toe.

Why to go barefoot?
Do you also tap your forehead when you see someone walking barefoot in the city? Does it also occur to you that children get hurt when they play barefoot in the playground? Maybe you think that if you are shod, you are protecting your feet and doing the best thing for them. But that may not always be true. Unfortunately, most of the time it’s just the opposite.

How is it then?
That’s what I’d like to reveal to you step by step. I have prepared a series about feet, barefoot walking and barefoot shoes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to start walking barefoot in the city right away. That’s a bit extreme and I understand that it’s not for everyone. I prefer to wear my handmade barefoot shoes in the city myself.

But let’s cut to the chase 😉 Our feet and legs are very advanced technology that we got from nature. That’s why since the beginning of mankind, for many thousands of years of human evolution, our ancestors didn’t need any shoes. And how do our feet actually work?

Let’s start with the big toe
The big toe is much bigger and thicker than the other toes, because up to 40% of our weight is transferred to it when we walk. It is the big toe that is a characteristic feature of humans and also distinguishes us from primates, who use it to grasp objects just like the thumb on the hand. If you walk properly and your big toe works well, it is very likely that your whole foot will work well for you. Your arches won’t fall, you’ll have fewer problems with your spine and your whole musculoskeletal system.

And what does your big toe need to function well?

  • Adequate toe space in general.
  • Sufficient space between your big toe and second toe.
  • Footwear that allows the big toe to engage in walking in its natural position – not pushing it inwards towards the other toes.

If your big toe doesn’t have this most of the time, deformities develop – especially the well-known hallux valgus or bunions. But we’ll talk more about that next time.

And I have a challenge for you right now: check if your footwear meets these three conditions. I mean especially the shoes you wear most of the day.

If not, you can do two things:

  • Start walking barefoot at least part of the day – for example at home. If you are not used to barefoot walking, start gradually, 20-30 minutes a day, and gradually increase this time.
  • Get shoes that enhance your healthy walking and the proper functioning of your big toe.

And I can help you with that 😉 In my online barefoot shoe sewing courses with my support, you will get customized shoes that will respect the unique shape of your feet and promote healthy walking.