Today, there is growing awareness among people of all ages about leading a healthy lifestyle. Among the various lifestyle changes adopted – sipping green tea, practicing yoga – there is growing trend of wearing negative heel shoes. Though inspired by the famous mountain yoga pose, there are certain drawbacks associated with it. This WellnessKeen article will give you a brief understanding about the advantages and disadvantages of negative heel shoes.
Did You Know?
Negative heel shoes were first introduced in the United States in the year 1970, marketed under the name Earth Shoes.
Some people are obsessed about footwear, women, in general, love to wear heels for a special party or occasion, though, sometimes, walking on heels can feel like walking on thorns, not to mention that they are bad for us women. In the 1950s, Danish yoga instructor Anne Kalso developed a unique type of shoes which mimicked the famous Tadasana, or mountain pose, in yoga. Apparently, this pose helps relieve stress on our back, hips, and knees, transferring it to the right place, which is our leg muscles.
Unlike traditional footwear, where the heel is elevated shifting the body’s weight on our toes first, Negative heel shoes are designed in such a way that the heel is slightly lower than the rest of the foot. So when we walk, our whole body’s balance falls on our heel first. Introduced in 1970, they became a popular rage among the hippies. However, the rave died in the year 1980, but it regained popularity in the year 2000, when environment conscious people were looking for alternatives that were safe for our mother Earth.
The basic premise behind these shoes was that they simulate the feeling of walking barefoot―the way you would feel like walking on a beach with your heel sinking down, rather than your toes. The arch of the shoe is different than a normal shoe, and the toes are wide enough to keep them from being squashed and cramped. Negative Heel shoes can be worn by men and women.
Now, you may ask do negative heel shoes work, or are negative heel shoes bad for you? Well, let us take a look at their pros and cons to get answers.
Pros of Negative Heel Shoes
▲ Many individuals vouch for these shoes as it relieves severe backache caused due to improper sitting posture, driving, lifting heavy objects, etc.
▲ Due to the unique design of the shoe, the arch of the shoe is kept wide, and there is ample space for your toes to move freely. It helps people to walk better.
▲ Research has indicated that walking or exercising with these shoes burns calories more effectively. People who struggle with weight loss find these shoes very helpful because it helps reduce cellulite too.
▲ It enables the wearer to maintain a correct posture, which in turn helps relieve back and joint pain. It is also considered to be improve the head position while walking and is a good remedy for individuals with muscle problems.
▲ For fitness freaks, it helps to tone up each and every muscle in your body. Specially toning the thighs and calves.
Cons of Negative Heel Shoes
▼ These shoes may not be ideal for someone who has chronic back pain or any other issue, the body requires some time to adjust to the footwear. If you plan to use them, don’t expect to get used to them on the first day itself.
▼ Individuals with flat feet and short calf muscles may experience discomfort walking around in these shoes. As they strain the calf muscles by exerting them.
▼ The heel cord is a nerve situated around our heel area, now if the entire body weight would fall on our heels, pressure would exerted on the heel cord. Because we are used to wearing heeled footwear, there will be a slight change in our posture.
▼ People suffering from diabetes and arthritis are in for a big disappointment. Wearing these shoes may give them blisters, which, we all know, is not good for people with diabetes.
▼ Exerting too much pressure on the heel and having the thicker part of the shoes near the toes, forces our feet to drag our whole weight, which again strains our calf muscles and ankles.
If you can’t stand upright without any health issues, merely changing your shoes won’t help you at all. An individual needs to possess flexibility and balance so that he/she can easily shift his/her weight from the toes to the heels.