Is Barefoot Best for Kids? Research says…

This just in to the “I’m not surprised” department:

A new study reveals children who are habitually barefoot show significantly different motor skills between the ages of 6-10 than those who are habitually shod. Researchers report those who are habitually barefoot have better balance and jumping skills.

You can read the article here.

I’m curious to hear what you see when you go to the article. Because, in the great irony that Internet advertising sometimes delivers, what I see when I go to an article recommending that kids be barefoot is an ad for one of the least barefoot shoe you can buy:


Now I know some people will read this and say, “But Steven, you sell kids shoes!”

It’s true. We do.

But keep in mind these few things:

  1. We always say that “barefoot is best”… when appropriate (sometimes it’s not, for various reasons)
  2. Most people will never spend the majority of their time fully barefoot
  3. We make our shoes, boots and sandals to give you the closest thing to a barefoot experience that you can have, given the constraints about “appropriate.” For example, for those who aren’t yet skilled enough and adapted enough to hike barefoot, we make trail shoes that are still lightweight, flexible, have wide toe boxes, and give you as much ground feel as possible while still giving you the protection and traction you currently need
  4. Give the above, we like to remind ourselves of something Harvard’s Dr. Irene Davis has said that if kids grow up in footwear that lets their feet move and feel naturally, in 20 years we won’t have adults who are being treated for the issues today’s adults have.

If your kids are spending more time barefoot or in minimalist footwear, what have you noticed about them compared to kids in constricting, padded, motion-controlled shoes (like that one in the ad I saw)?

Let us know in the comments, below…

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