Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

October 27, 2013

New-Age Minimalist Hiking Boots

Mocs

… aka Moccasins.

On the one hand

I wore these on the hike mentioned earlier in the week. You’ve heard about bare foot running, and I’ve mentioned the book about the Mexican long-distance runners who go bare foot, or nearly.

What the researchers are finding is that the neurological stimulation from going bare foot is profound. Profound in terms of brain development and function. The difference between walking on a flat (floor) surface in padded shoes with flat bottoms and walking, hiking or running in bare feet (or nearly), in terms of stimulation, would be like walking around with your eyes closed. Big difference.

This neurological input is huge. And it’s one reason that when you are adjusted and the reflexes from your spinal joints are normalized, the input can result in so much impact on health.

So bare foot everything is good right?

On the other hand…

If you have good joint function, and you have good stability and alignment – which is part but not all of good joint function – then going “bare” is good.

But if you have poor joint function for whatever reason, and your alignment, motion or stability are impaired in some way, then minimalist footwear will just add to your troubles.

Like any other part of your body, sometimes the feet and ankles need to be stabilized and supported, temporarily hopefully, until they can support themselves. That’s what bracing is about whether it’s orthotics, a back brace, or any other brace that restores function.

Like your spine, your feet will influence everything else they are attached to. If the feet are dysfunctional then your knees, hips and pelvis will be stressed and become painful or dysfunctional… then degenerative. And that will happen sooner or later… You may not know for a very long time (read the last paragraph of this Post). That’s why it’s important to understand the implications before you commit a crime against your body:)

And, of course, the idea of going from braced and supported with orthotics, or adjustments, or special exercises, to fully functional self support is a conversation about progressions: one of my favorite subjects.

The Take Home Message

The benefits of minimalist footwear are great, but it might not be right for you right now. Get the opinion of a professional who can ask all the relevant questions, provide you the relevant physical examination, and help you with the decision. It’s a risk verses benefit thing.

Happy hiking!!

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3 Comments »

  1. […] some recommendations about how to get the most out of your walk. And I’ve talked about it from the standpoint of your feet and the neurology involved – make sure that you have good feet and ankles before attempting any walks in shoes that are […]

    Pingback by Walking | Everett Chiropractic Center Blog — January 8, 2014 @ 12:27 am

  2. What type of Moccasins are those in the pic?

    Comment by JD — May 11, 2015 @ 9:11 am

  3. They are made by a guy out of McMinville, OR. He goes by the name “Sodhopper” and has many many choice options!

    Comment by doctordilday — May 12, 2015 @ 1:57 pm


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