My transformation into minimalist footwear didn’t happen in one day. In 2012 I had sprained my ankle three times in one summer, it happened right in the middle of my tour guide studies. Then, feeling sorry for myself and wondering if I might be studying this long course for nothing, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to accomplish any of my dreams- which all included walking or running on this trail or another.
Then I got an appointment with my new physiotherapist, bringing all of my footwear along with me as she asked me. It wasn’t much-
1 pair of sturdy hiking boots
1 pair of source hiking sandals
1 pair of nike running shoes
1 pair of flipflops
That’s it. First, she was shocked and gave me an humoristic medal for being the only woman bringing such a small amount of footwear. Then she told me that aside of the balancing exercises she taught me, I should practice walking barefoot as much as I can. She meant at home, of course.
But it made me wonder…
How could it, that the shoes I wore made my ankles weak- so weak that I got injured -and all I did was using only my hiking shoes all the time?
So I started asking questions and finding websites that explained about barefoot running and asked a few trainer-friends of mine about it. My friend Daria (you can find her in many pictures on the site because she is my favorite hiking partner and M.d student at Wingate institute) watched me run and told me that it’s good for me to run barefoot because I was landing on my forefoot anyway.
I learnt that the traditional view of shoes, the only view I heard of up until then, had some drawbacks. Traditional shoes, like the ones I used to know, tend to conform the foot and secure it in place. it means- helping the foot carrying large loads, helping you land on even the toughest rocks without feeling it. keeping your feet dry while you cross shallow waters and while it’s raining or snowing.
BUT it prevent lots of your natural movement due to it’s sturdy build.
Minimalist footwear tries to keep balance between safety from cold, even from water sometimes, from splinters and such, yet without changing your movement. I’ts more like putting gloves on your feet than boots. Look at my minimalist running shoe by vivobarefoot – The heel isn’t elevated, there isn’t any cushions and the shoe itself is like a glove. That’s how a minimalist running shoe looks like, and this is the first minimalist shoe I’ve bought. Since then, I buy only minimalist footwear-
minimalist sandals came up next
And in between I’m still searching for a good minimalist-yet-waterproof hiking shoe. The traditional boots aren’t comfortable for me any more, my feet feel caged in them.
In Israel it’s a beet difficult to find lots of minimalist shoes, but you can find minimal running shoes every were and by any sports brand by now. I believe it’s only a matter of time until more people will get in love, like me, with actually feeling the ground as they walk and especially on hikes.