Lies We Believe About Our Feet


Lies We Believe About Our Feet

  • Bunions are hereditary. My mom had them, so I will get them, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
  • I need a thick-soled running shoe to provide support for my feet.
  • It’s natural for our feet to hurt the older we get. 

The truth about our feet

The human foot is made up of 26 bones and 33 joints, 19 muscles, and 107 ligaments. All of these bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments must work in concert to execute highly precise movements. For every mile we walk, our feet must support over 100,000 pounds of pressure. Even the smallest change in the foot can cause pain by undermining the foot’s structural integrity.

When we go barefoot, we walk with our most natural gait. Shoes change our natural gait. Shoes interrupt the connection between our foot and the ground, forcing you into an unnatural stride whereby you strike the ground more heavily with your heel. Heavy heel strikes exacerbated by highly cushioned shoes, cause increased damage to our feet and joints.

Our feet were meant to feel the surface underneath them. In doing so, the impact of our stride is measured in proportion with the natural force required for walking.

A study conducted in 2007 examined the ancient skeletons of Zulu and European people. The results showed that the healthiest feet of all populations belonged to the Zulu tribe of South Africa. A people who existed before shoes were invented. The least healthy feet prize went to the Europeans.

Fashion has been wildly successful with its maniacal plan to ruin our feet with high style shoes. While we don’t have anything as drastic as the Chinese Lotus shoe anymore, we continue to deform our feet by cramming them into shoes that constrict the foot.

The truth about bunions

Bunions are caused when the big toe is forced inward toward the other toes, forcing the joint at the base of the toe, the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, to jut outwards. 

Foot shape and structure are hereditary, making certain people more susceptible to the formation of bunions. High heels and pointed-toe shoes exacerbate the problem, which explains why bunions are ten times more common with women than men. A bunion is most likely to form when the foot is repeatedly squeezed into narrow, pointed-toe shoes.

The truth about thick-soled running shoes

Remember from the first section of this blog that when we wear shoes, our heel strike is more forceful. The more cushioned the heel of our shoes, the more pronounced the heel strike because the sole of our foot cannot sense the ground under it. Thickly padded running shoes cause even heavier heel strikes, which can cause damage to our heel and joints.

We walk most naturally when we are barefoot, and some say we run most naturally barefooted as well.

We walk most naturally when we are barefoot, and some say we run most naturally barefooted as well.

 The truth about why our feet hurt

Repeatedly cramming our feet into shoes that were never intended to follow the natural form of our foot will damage our feet over time. The further removed our feet are from the ground, the more unnatural our foot strike. When we regularly wear shoes that don’t follow the original design of our feet, pain, and possibly injury will result.

Is there a better shoe out there?

The search began a long time ago. Back in the 1700s a man by the name of Petrus Camper began the search to find a shoe that would provide relief for his aching feet. Weary of restrictive shoes that pinched his feet, Camper searched high and low to find a shoe that would allow his toes natural freedom, flexibility and room to breathe.

It was recognized that indigenous people lived without shoes and “got on very well” without them. But as fashion began to dictate that waistlines and toes be aligned, it was an uphill battle to find freedom for the toes.

Fast forward to the 1980s, when pioneering spirited people began creating shoes that fit the foot and gave the toes room to spread out and breathe. That crusade has continued today, giving us a variety of minimalist, form-fitting shoes to choose from.

The Blueprint Recommendation

At the Blueprint experience, we’re more than just a gym.

We research and provide recommendations for the best athletic products available. 

Passionate about the corrective and preventative health of the feet, managing partner Casey Venters recommends the following brands for people who are serious about reclaiming the healthy foundation they were created with.


1. Vivobarefoot (best for gym, fashion & every day)

2. Joe Nimble (gym & every day)

3. Lems (everyday & special occasions like hiking)

4. Xero (best for gym & functional)

5. Altra (best for running & fashion)

Visit each website to learn more about their products and choose a brand that fits your needs and style.

Do you like having expert recommendations from knowledgeable industry experts?

Visit Adriatica Fitness Club today to learn more about how we tailor a plan customized to meet your fitness needs and goals.

Try us free for 10 days starting today – no strings attached!

ABOUT OUR AUTHOR: Blueprint member Kaylene Mathews is a freelance writer specializing in health and fitness, and personal development. Learn more at