Brendan and I were recently invited to be on our friend Steve's webcast at Integrated Health Sciences. We discussed all things health, wellness, and life.
While discussing the various benefits of barefoot training, Steve went on to talk about the importance of the big toe and achieving full extension of the toes.
"The ability to get your big toe and the rest of your toes in full extension, is really hard to do with a padded shoe. Going barefoot helps you achieve greater extension and a nice rigid foot. This rigid foot is necessary for greater push off/power."
He also compared being barefoot and wearing padded shoes to a boxer punching through a pillow...
"A great example of this is a boxer. Think about how much harder it would be to deliver a knockout blow if he or she had to punch someone through a pillow. Removing that pillow (a padded shoe) will allow you to bury that knuckle and drive your fist directly through the target (knockout blow). Going barefoot yields greater power output and a more efficient use of energy as you are pushing directly through the ground and not the sole of a shoe."
In the photo above, you can see the extension of the toes in the back foot. If there were a shoe over the foot, the toes would not be bending that far back. This extension creates that rigid foot that helps maintain balance and a more powerful thrust forward.
Thank you to Steve and the Integrated Health Sciences team for having us. You can check out the full webcast HERE.