Why Barefoot Shoes? My Barefoot Story
Updated: Oct 7
One of the most commonly repeated stories in my repertoire, is how I went from an average guy, and turned into a barefoot shoe advocate/blogger. It gets a bit frustrating having to repeat it to people, and I wish I could have a playback button at times - However, it's a story that most people in the barefoot world can relate to, and it reinforces that you don't know what strange paths life can lead you to.
In 2017, I suffered an ankle injury. More specifically, an overuse injury to the Peroneal tendons on my left side - which was diagnosed as a 'minor delamination'. Being injured was something new to me, especially since I was relatively unscathed prior to this injury. The major symptoms were a general instability, a twitching of the tendon with certain movements, there was very little pain, a decrease in confidence when moving, and an increase of sensitivity in my feet.
It's fair to say that I was at an all time low... I left my job to recover, I couldn't keep active and I was unsure what was in store for the future. I tried every avenue and remedy... Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Myotherapists, Acupuncture, Dry-Needling, Ankle braces, Anti-Inflammatories, Cortisone injections, creams... You name it! These treatments, although a part of my road to recovery, felt temporary, and not helpful at all in some cases. My A-ha moment came when I started focusing more on my footwear.
I noticed that my cuboid bone felt restricted with certain footwear, so I began to subconsciously gravitate towards wider shoes. I went to numerous stores, and tried every shoe brand imaginable... Brooks, Asics, Saucony, Nike Free runs etc. After a decent amount of time on my feet, it became apparent that I needed something even wider. My first breakthrough was a pair of Crocs Classic Clogs. Yep... Gross! But the relief was unimaginable, and almost instant! Finally, my feet could breathe and therefore, heal.
At this point in time, I spent hours searching online for shoes, which I could actually wear in public with confidence. I eventually stumbled upon a minimalist shoe page, (which stopped being updated around 2013ish) and found a recommended brand, by the name of Olukai. By chance, I found a pair at a hiking store one day and bought them. Not long after, I got a pair of VivoBarefoot Stealth, and here I am today.
I started the blog to help others with similar circumstances, as there were minimal resources available at the time. I was inspired by a story from my partner Jade - who had skin graft surgery on her leg when she was a teenager, and told me that a girl from England had a blog which helped her get through her recovery. I would have never thought that I would've had success out of this journey, and am honoured to help those along the way. I believe that although barefoot/minimal footwear aren't a magic pill, they're an integral component to gaining healthier feet, and in my case, recovery.