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How to walk correctly

Young children would walk correctly naturally if we didn’t spoil their habits with inappropriate footwear. But how do you recognize if you’re walking the wrong way? Your body will tell you through pain in your feet, heels, knees, hips and back, heel spurs, flat feet, blisters, etc. You can also have your musculoskeletal system examined by podiatrists to get a professional analysis of your gait.

There’s no shame in wrong walking. Only a fraction of people have received any training or lecture on the technique of correct walking, but almost all of us got restrictive footwear from our parents. That’s why today we have prepared a short guide on how to walk correctly.

 Sandals

Correct body posture

Before you begin moving, let’s look at your initial body position. Stand naturally in front of a mirror, and let’s evaluate if the posture meets the requirements:

  • Legs hip-width apart. Thus, knees and feet are directly under the hip joints, and weight is distributed evenly on both legs and toes.
  • Slightly bent knees. These allow you to keep your upper body upright, buttocks and abdominals muscles contracted, spine straight, and head erect (follow the pavement with your eyes).
  • Fingers pointing straight ahead. Neither the foot nor the individual toes should stick out to the side (you can easily detect deformities), and you should be able to see all the nails (unless you have hammer toes).

Correct walk

If you are not superstitious, it doesn’t matter with which foot you step into the new day. In the beginning, it is necessary to bend your foot forward at the ankle, and for that, you need shoes that allow this movement (not the ones with raised heels).

This is followed by weight distribution over the entire foot, which helps to strengthen the foot arch. Walking only on the heels, toes, or edges of the foot is incorrect.

The heel rises slowly from the surface, followed by the foot sole and then by the toes, especially the thumb. Again, we need footwear with a flat and flexible sole in all directions for the proper phasing. Active involvement of the toes in the bounce is the key to taking the right step.

Feet

The span of the stride depends on the length of the legs, but the surface also plays a role. The softer, the longer the stride you can do. For hard ones, we recommend shorter strides that allow you to keep your center of gravity and place your heel lightly on the ground. We also involve the upper body, especially the arms, to help maintain balance.

We gently step on the heel, but it mustn't be a sharp movement in which the foot cannot absorb the impact sufficiently. If you are in a hurry, switch to running rather than stomping at a fast walk.

You can feel the softness of the impact, and you can also verify it by not hearing it at all. The weight is again transferred through the entire foot from the heel to the toes. The whole step is repeated evenly with the other foot.

For learning the correct technique and the stimulation of the feet, we recommend walking barefoot, ideally on uneven surfaces (sand, pebbles, forest path, etc.). In addition to developing your coordination skills, this will also help you get better blood flow to your lower limbs. At home, you can train on sensorimotor pads or therapy boards.

In the beginning, you need to consciously think about changing your walking technique, but soon it will come by itself, just like driving a car. Barefoot shoes give your feet room to work actively, so once you have automated the correct gait, no surface will be a problem, and on the contrary, you will enjoy the feeling of incredible comfort and freedom.

For us, it’s best to prevent problems, so we recommend soft soles and barefoot shoes for children as their first shoes (also as the following ones) so that they develop good habits from the start. Of course, it’s also never too late to start working on correcting bad habits, so we have in stock thousands of barefoot shoes for women and men of all ages.

We perceive healthy walking as the base for the proper functioning of the rest of the body and barefoot shoes as a means to enable us to realize it. We will be happy to help you to choose the most suitable shoe for your feet.