What the Barefoot Shoe Community Doesn’t Want To Talk About

In this video I look at barefoot shoes. I switched to barefoot shoes about 6 years ago and haven’t looked back. Interestingly though the science around using them is rather sparse and often confusing and contradictory.

I’ve tried to find a good chunk of the science and explore the pros and cons of using barefoot shoes for day to day walking.

There are some fascinating discoveries to be made!


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0:00 Intro
0:17 What Are Barefoot Shoes?
1:06 The Problem with Pointed Shoes
1:57 The Problem with Cushioned Soles
3:09 The Problem With the Toe Spring
3:53 Heel Striking and Efficiency
4:24 What is the Natural Way?
5:43 What About Hard Surfaces?
9:06 Posture and More
9:23 The Crucial Feature in Vivobarefoot Shoes
10:46 Avoiding Injury When Switching


Why Are Running Shoes (and Feet) Pointed?









If heel-striking is so unnatural, why do apes do it?



27 Replies to “What the Barefoot Shoe Community Doesn’t Want To Talk About”

  1. Eric Dundee says:

    hahaha "the barefoot community" talking like that's some sort of thing

    everyone's an expert on the internet it seems, expecially if they wear glasses and have a PHD in some phony science

  2. John Ruckman says:

    So what barefoot shoes can we buy without breaking the bank that will last?
    What's the difference between the wide toe box barefoot shoes and the ones that have the toes besides the way they're made?

  3. gildedpeahen says:

    I wear barefoot for the toe room but add a heel and insole insert for a bit of heel lift and arch support as I have super high arches. I have titanium rods from the small of my back to my shoulder blades so unfortunately my spine can’t change position to accommodate fully 0 lift walking for extended periods. But really life is never about one size fits all solutions, it’s about finding the way that works for you

  4. look to nature for all answers

  5. thank you , very interested in finding a Vegan version ;D

  6. I'd say that striking your heel into the ground on any hard surface, (and some soft) is idiotic, evolutionarily wise, as it is loud. I am a quiet walker, so when I am indoors (wearing socks and not shoes) I walk quiet, and nothing shakes, or rumbles when I walk, a lot of people stomp around, slamming themselves halfhazardly into the floor, if it's carpet or tile.

    Conclusion, outdoors heelstriking may be effective, but as we move indoors it becomes useless unless you're wearing shoes.

  7. What about those of us who work 12 hours a day on our feet and have developed plantar fasciitis?

  8. Tammy T says:

    My feet are pretty deformed so I gravitated toward minimalist type shoes out of necessity -nothing else fit and orthopedics caused extreme pain. Eventually surgery allowed me to wear conventional shoes so I joined the Army… but I had bad running form and the Army won't let you see their running instructors until you're injured, so I had to go back to barefoot to teach myself to run properly and pass the PT run test.
    After I left the Army I reverted back to what was most comfortable for me: Moccasins and other minimalist shoes. That's when I learned some podiatrists believe you need 'perfect' feet to wear minimalist shoes. It's been years since I first heard that and it still gives me a laugh.
    Note: None of this was about heel strike.

  9. Otakar Kuby says:

    Shoes are unatural, pavements are unatural, modern civilisation is completely unatural. all this bare foot, vegan vegi no earth oils (fossil fuels is a misnoma coined by an unqualified exec), just like ADHD is a bullshit diagnostic renounced by the Pyschiatrist that used it a few times. Ther is not middle ground to modern living your either in or your out. anything else is vertue signalling. think in terms of humans being semi aquatic animals who evolved on sea food, as no other nutrition would have nurished the brain capacity. but thats something no one ever talks about. they have religion to cover those things.
    I'd love to walk bare foot all the time, but I'd not do it on pavements.
    Dig up photo's of farmers from long ago – (still within the technology of photographs in time period as exapmled in National geographic though the subject had nothing to do with the subject that the subject was about (youd havae to read it lol from 70's National geographic, dont know what copy) – that never wore foot wear, youd find it intiguing.

  10. I need the barefoot shoe, but must add extra insoles because I have low volume feet. I need the flatness and the wide toe box. Most barefoot shoes are in fact not wide enough for my feet and so I generally have to have them made. I have hypermobility and so any heel puts weight on existing neuromas (that I got from wearing flip flops with a moulded raised heel and arch—the most comfortable flip flops and the only flip flops I’d been able to wear). I’ve found that comfortable shoes with any heel will create a bunion. Before barefoot shoes I wore flat shoes and my great toes were only slightly bent, but somewhere in the time between the 90s and the early 2000s, shoe companies decided that most shoes needed heels (even if flat) and moulded arches. They harmed my neuromas and created a bunion on one foot. And these shoes were comfortable at first. 

    I grew up walking barefoot—actual bare feet—in the US much of the year on hard surfaces (the road or a sidewalk if summer time). Feet can take that. Bodies can take that. This is why I almost always wore flats. I could tell shoes with a heel were hurting my feet.

  11. fasdr says:

    I guess that's why, by intuition and feel I guess, I've used shoes 1 to 2 sizes higher than what I need (cause my feet naturally felt better cause my fingers where actually in the wider part even tho I had some free space inside after my fingers it always felt way better than a perfect fit size and to be honest maybe for the same reasons I always gravitated towards shoes with real soft bottom part that can flex like my feet can no matter how thick it is. That always felt more right and comfortable (again intuition and feel alone)

  12. S. R. says:

    The talking is too darn fast!!!!!

  13. 1789Bastille says:

    gtp: pls summarize the quintessential taleaways of this video as bullet points

  14. Wonderful explanation on the case of barefoot shoes. Walking barefoot helps so much.

  15. Mendel J says:

    An infuriatingly clickbait title. It honestly ruins the experience of watching the entire video

  16. Thanks. I will never walk again.

  17. Owloko says:

    Running on my toes really helpd with my knee and ankle pain, but I still use regular shoes. I just changed the way I walk to be less dependent on them, and It feels like I got the best of both worlds

  18. RW says:

    Thank you, you have made a few things make sense. I have solely worn barefoots for about 6 month's. I walk comfortably and easily, but slightly differently on every surface. You are right, i have adapted. I love them. I tried to wear my old hiking boots that i used to love with a really thick sole and narrowish fore front. I felt really unstable and felt my ankles were at risk on unstable ground. And my toes felt soo cramped. I wont wear them again. Barefoots have fixed my hip problem too. I wear them all day at work, plus dog walking and bush walking. I look at 'normal' shoes now and think 'ouch…' and 'yuk'. So, great explanations.😊

  19. My issue with barefoot shoes is that my walking style hasn't changed since I bought them. I've been wearing Vivo Barefoot shoes daily for almost 8 years, but every time I transition from walking slowly to walking fast, I unintentionally shift from a midfoot strike to a heel strike. Living in a city with mostly hard surfaces, my heels often get sore. Recently, I started alternating between normal sneakers and my barefoot shoes. Now, I'm planning to try something different: the wide edition of the padded ON shoes. I am curious to see how this will affect my feet.

  20. TL;DW

    just wear what you want. nothing's perfect. do what works for you. are our problems in life so little that we have to argue over the type of shoe we fucking wear?

  21. uiop clown says:

    why does he blink so much

  22. HermesGeko says:

    I hate shoes… HATE! So if I can find an in between compromise I'll take it.

  23. Profile 1 says:

    They kinda look like a duck foot.

  24. We Hypermobile people with too loose joints can run into trouble walking with a heel strike. If your knees and kneecaps are too loose, you can dislodge or partially dislocate your kneecap when you throw your leg forward for a heel strike stride. My physical therapist is also Hypermobile and he discovered that mid foot strike strides actually use so much more energy that he had to increase his food intake in order to not lose weight. But it solved the problems he had with his joints. For me and my knees, it keeps my kneecaps in place. I must consciously walk in order to do it, though. No barefoot shoes for me, though. I need the padding. But I do wear 3E or 4E ( or W for women’s shoes) widths with the widest toe boxes I can find.

  25. Never heard of these but i have fibromyalgia so burning feet happens if my shoes are too flat so i can't win lol 🙄😂 i may look into this tbh

  26. Humans are privileged with having the ability to switch between heel strikes and toe strikes. Runners toe strike walking heel strikes.

  27. All good and all but runners do front foot strikes not heel strikes

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