Monday, September 24, 2012

Forefoot Walking - The Shoes

Last week, I decided that I finally needed to replace my light AND flat walking shoes.  I had worn them out.  Actually, I read some reviews and found out that everyone was wearing them out.  They all loved the shoes except for the fact that the material for the upper (the top part of the shoe) was too fragile.  So, I ordered new shoes (below I give some suggestions for getting the correct shoe).  The interesting thing is that for the past few days, I have been wearing an older pair of shoes.  They're pretty light, but they are NOT flat.  Which leads me to the reason for my post.

The tips I gave in my last post on forefoot walking were based on the assumption that you are wearing flat AND light shoes; but, almost all shoes have an elevated heel; not just women's high heels.  This means that the shoes you are currently wearing probably put you in some degree of plantarflexion when your foot is on the ground.  This makes it extremely difficult to land with your foot plantarflexed.  In my previous post, I recommended that your ankle be plantarflexed from zero to five degrees at foot contact.  Let's say the shoe is designed with 5 degrees of plantarflexion.  That means when you try my tips, you ankle will be plantarflexed between 5 and 10 degrees  You may feel like you are walking on your toes.  But, you must remember that the entire forefoot walking technique is premised on "barefoot walking".  You have to get have be wearing shoes the are flat AND light.  This is only type of shoe that is equivalent to barefoot walking (see my original post on forefoot walking).

Now, here are my suggestions for finding shoes that are flat AND light.
  • Don't assume that light means flat or that flat means light.
  • You need to find the manufacturer's shoe specifications.  I had to look at two websites to the get necessary information.  Here are the links
Link 1
Link 2

On the the first link, I found the weight of the shoes (213 grams - 7.5 oz - 1/2 pound).  That's about half the weight of walking shoes.

On the Amazon link, I found the drop from heel to toe (4 mm).  The distance between the heel of my shoe to the toe region is about 8 inches; that's 203 mm.  If you do the geometry that creates a plantarflexion angle of 1.13 degrees.


  1. Yeah, true. I had tried forefoot walking with a 10mm heel-toe drop shoe (Brooks Pure Grit) and it seemed impossible... when I tried on Merrell's Trail Gloves it all made sense.

  2. Have you looked into these shoes?

  3. @Joe: It depends actually on the person who is wearing how comfortable that person feels, but you are also right it make sense..!