A study by a team led by Drs. Sarah Ridge and Marc Olsen showed that merely walking in minimalist shoes built foot muscle strength as much as doing a foot-strengthening exercise program.
That study didn’t use Xero Shoes, but Dr Ridge says that wearing Xero Shoes should give the same benefit as the ones used in the study.
This shouldn’t be a surprise.
We know the “use it or lose it” principle.
When it comes to bodies — “using it” can build strength. Not using it can reduce strength, and can make you “lose it.”
Let’s dive into “losing it” for a second:
Think about what happens if you put your arm in a cast, immobilizing the elbow joint so the muscles around it don’t get used.
What happens when you remove the cast after a few weeks?
The arm muscles have atrophied. You’ve “lost it.”
Well, we think the same thing happens if you’re wearing a shoe that doesn’t let the many joints in your feet move, and get used, naturally.
In fact, a study by Katrina Protopapas showed exactly that. “Supporting” the foot’s arch by adding arch-supporting insoles reduced foot muscle size by as much as 17% in just 12 weeks.
If you’ve been wearing a shoe that inhibits natural motion, it’s like putting your foot in a cast. Losing it.
Again, it shouldn’t be a shock that if you’ve weakened your feet in “normal” shoes — with or without an orthotic — going back to USING your feet in footwear that lets them bend, flex, and move naturally, can build strength.
And that’s what Dr Ridge’s study shows.
We can’t think of a time when weaker is better than stronger.
That’s why we can’t wait to hear your “using it” story when you wear Xero Shoes.