(I didn’t realize how long it had been since I posted. I’ve been doing some “back-end” work to help this blog look and read better. Still in progress.)
Anyway, I really do hate wearing shoes. Always have. I remember when I was a kid, like 2nd or 3rd grade. I walked with my two older sisters to school. More than once we’d get halfway there and they would realize that I was barefoot. The oldest sister would have to run all the way home to get my shoes.
I never guessed that the fact that I went barefoot a lot would actually have an impact on the way I walked. Then I came across a video that talks about how people walked differently during earlier times. And it had everything to do with shoes.
In Medieval times, people either were barefoot or wore soft shoes. Because of this, people walked by placing the ball of the foot first, sort of feeling their way, before putting the whole weight of their body through the heel. You can see in many Medieval manuscripts that people have their toes pointed. That’s just the way it was.
The video also talked about the different effects from walking heel-first vs. ball-of-foot first. It’s actually more efficient to walk with the heel-strike, and with the invention of the hard framed shoe, if was “safe” to walk heel-first.
One “side-effect” of walking toes first is that your calves get worked, and therefore strengthened, more. If anyone is still reading (if I haven’t bored you to death), you’re probably wondering, uh, why is she telling me all this stuff?
It’s because I have always had strong, well-defined calves. I never really knew why, just thought it was genetic or something. So, now, I am suddenly aware of how I tend to walk which is toes first. I walk more like a Medieval person than a modern one, which I think is really cool.
I can also apply this information to my life. Because walking with the heel striking first is much more efficient, I can improve my walk (when I can eventually put weight on my foot) by working to put the heel down first. Probably sounds stupid, but I’ve always gotten tired so quickly when walking places. Hopefully, I can now catch up with the crowd (or at least close the gap a little) when I’m wearing shoes and have more stamina.
Anyway, hopefully I’ll get back to the regular programming soon.
Here’s an image from The British Library (G70075-22 – Illustrations of operations for haemorrhoids, nasal polyps and eye). See how they are all standing on the balls of their feet. That’s just the way it was.