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New Research – Minimalist Shoes Improves Balance and Strength in Kids

I’ve said this before, and I’m going to say it again. It seems silly that in the natural movement and minimalist footwear world, we need to prove something as obvious as “use it or lose it.” Using your feet means letting them bend, flex, move and feel. “Losing” them means not letting them do those things.

So when new research comes out (getting to that in a moment) that’s all about using it or losing it, I can’t help but call it, ironically, “stupid research”. Stupid, because, do we really have to prove something as obvious as stupid as using it or losing it?

This new research is from the University of Sydney, led by Dr Shayan Quinlan. It discusses how shoes that allow for natural movement give children stronger feet with better muscle structure, and improve their balance as they grow. We can imagine this would also apply to adults. I have some more to say about the research in this video, below.

There’s also an excerpt from an article on the study I think you’ll find particularly interesting…

“Based on the study results the researchers recommend parents and carers look for a flexible shoe using the following pointers to identify the difference between available products.

– Weight: the lighter the shoe, the better

– Flexibility: ensure there is movement when you hold the toe and heel and rotate them in opposite directions also try folding the shoe in on itself from toe to heel

– Structure: the smaller the height difference from the heel to under the ball of the foot the better”

While this research wasn’t done for Xero Shoes, we can expect this would also apply to them, since Xero Shoes check these boxes.

You can find the study here and the article here, both by the University of Sydney.