My first job in high school (after my paper route) was working for a shoe company called Wolverine World Wide. This company owned multiple footwear brands and was located in my hometown in Michigan. I always liked shoes and enjoyed getting a new pair of shoes, the design of footwear and how it applied to my life personally. Working at the corporate headquarters in retail taught me a lot about footwear, mostly about design. Form over function is what matters most in footwear.
More than anything it’s about the style of the shoe and how it looks, and how comfortable it feels. Looking cool and feeling like you’re walking on the clouds is how footwear designers design their shoes.
Posture isn’t even taken into account, it’s all about how it looks and how it feels. But shoes play a big role in the posture of our bodies align, or don’t align. This is why you should know what Hoka shoes are doing to your body and posture overall.
How Shoe Design Influences Posture
Believe it or not the design of the shoe does influence the posture of your body. Shoes can create misalignment in your posture or help to correct your posture with each step. Think about it, you have all of your body weight going into this design (that’s typically created for comfort and fashion) more than posture itself.
There are two main shoe designs that you want to watch out for that harm posture the most, and I don’t just write this from what I read online. I’ve actually experienced the negative side of this myself firsthand.
When I was 19 years old I began a job as a meter reader and during this time I wore a pair of Nike shoes that had elevated heels and a toe box that was narrow. These are the two big mistakes that shoe manufacturers make with their shoe designs that harm the posture of the individuals wearing them.
At 19 years old I was in shape, lean and had no real health issues. After about 8 months of wearing these shoes (basketball shoes technically) I began having pain in my knees with each step that I took. I couldn’t figure out why and it took me a few years to realize that the footwear I was wearing was creating this knee pain.
I would have been better off barefoot! Believe it or not. Sure, the soles of my feet would have hurt a bit more under that circumstance but it was harming my overall joint and tendon health wearing these shoes.
This is Why Hoka Shoes Are WRONG For Posture
The two biggest things that influence posture and potential pain caused by misalignment of posture such as knee pain, hip pain, back pain, even neck pain are caused by misalignment in the kinetic chain. The kinetic chain is the series of muscles and skeletal parts of the body that connect to the spine. Hoka shoes while comfortable because of the coious amounts of foam and rubber put into the shoes are within the top few shoe companies that may feel ‘comfortable’ at first but are horrible for your posture in the long run.
The reason for this is simple. There are two main factors that influence how your posture and potential pain that comes from misalignment like I had.
An Elevated Heel:
As You can see the back of hokan shoes are higher than the front of the shoe. This means that the heel area of your shoe is higher than the toe portion of the shoe. While this may be comfortable (to some degree) and propel you forward a tad easier as you’re slightly leaning forward it wreaks havoc long-term. These shoes create an imbalance in your posture as the elevated heel naturally kicks your knee’s forward slightly as a by-product of that. Think about it. What happens if you lift your heel up a bit? Your knee points forward, further out. This causes curvature within the whole spine and kinetic chain. This can throw the knees off and cause knee pain, lower back pain or even neck issues.
A Narrow Toe Box:
The second big challenge with Hoka shoes that harms your posture and balance is the shoe box. The shoe box is the front of the shoe which allows your toes a place to sit. The toe box of Hoka shoes (like many shoes today) are narrow and crunch the toes together. This creates ‘ballet feet’ as opposed to ‘tarzan feet’ with your posture. Think about how ballet shoes crunch the toes together. They do this so that they can stand on their toes but it affects their lateral balance and lateral movement patterns. This harms posture and weakens little muscles and tendons within the foot and ankles that allow for you to have strong feet and balance.
Very few shoe brands design a toe box that is wide and gives your toes room to wiggle. This is good because it allows your toes to breathe and for the stinkiness of crunched toes to not build up as much, but also it is more comfortable. It feels like you’re barefoot and your toes have room to move.
These two factors play a large role in the posture of your body and the potential pain that your body holds. I learned that my shoes which had an elevated heel and narrow toe box (just like hoka-shoes) was creating ongoing pain in my knees with each step.
The other barefoot to choosing barefoot/minimalist shoes like Xero shoes (what I know wear) is that the tendons, muscles and ligaments develop more versatility and strength. I feel stronger on my feet and there have been times where I was walking and twisted my ankle or stepped on a curb in a way that would have really hurt my ankle before. My ankles are much more flexible, and my tendons, ligaments and muscles provide me more strength and security with each step that I take. I am no longer in knee pain and I tell people all the time to ‘stop putting these casts on your feet’ and instead wear a barefoot or minimalist (pretty much the same thing) shoe.
The Important Question To Answer When Buying Footwear
The important question to answer when buying footwear is very simple..
is the short term comfort worth the long-term pain? I thought my shoes were comfortable because they had an elevated heel with a lot of cushion, but this pushed my knees forward and posture over the edge causing knee pain with every step that I took. I realized when I started wearing barefoot mimicking shoes that my posture came back into alignment. I believe that every chiropractor in the country should be recommending these shoes, but they probably don’t want you to know about them because they’d have less visits from you!
These shoes will help to realign your posture as they mimic what walking barefoot is like. These strengthen your muscles and help to support your natural biomechanical movement patterns. I have tried three barefoot shoe brands now and by far Xero shoes are my favorite. They simply have the best comfort and mimic feeling barefoot the best. My feet can move naturally without constriction and I feel where i’m walking and how i’m walking. Hoka shoes are like a cast for feet that cause these small muscles to become weaker because the shoe cushions this.
Visit XeroShoes.com here today.
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