Enthusiasts of going barefoot and minimalist shoes continue to enjoy the benefits of progressively improved foot and body mechanics. As the season turns to colder weather and floors in our homes begin to cool, especially during the morning hours, we may be inclined to think we will attain the same mechanical benefits by wearing socks while also keeping our tootsies warm. This may be true while on carpeted floors but is just not so on hardwood and tile. The decrease in friction between hard flooring and sock is accompanied by a loss of body stability, co-contraction of muscle groups and a change of mechanics up the movement chain or joints in your body. This challenge increases as we age.
One simple and effective solution to cold tootsie syndrome is to wear a pair of non- slip / non-skid socks aka “hospital socks”. This “zero drop footwear”*allows for a return to normal functioning joints, fascia and the neuro-muscular system to allow proper pronation and toe and metatarsal abduction. Whaaaat? Basically your body mechanics are closer to normal. Keep in mind that a wide foot with a normal medial arch at the inside of your foot does best in minimal footwear situations. Non-slip socks can be easily found on line at such sites as Amazon.com for around $10.
* “Zero drop footwear” is defined as a flat surface from heel to toe