Are Birkenstocks healthy for your feet? Today we will talk about prophylactic German Birkenstock shoes based on an orthopedic insole that repeats the shape of the foot, the history of which dates back to 1774.
These very fashionable and comfortable shoes have been very popular with the public for more than a season.
Today, of course, “Birkenstocks” are called such shoes of any brand. These can be found in mass-market collections like Zara or H&M, and even on the catwalks of Celine, Givenchy, and other giants.
We would like to express our thoughts on the trendy sandals that spawned a whole family, namely the Birkenstock (BIRKENSHTOK).
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Of course, from all corners of online stores and competent sales assistants, we hear about the new European aesthetics of comfort, unprecedented convenience, and other joys of these shoes. Let’s put aside all the marketing ploys and try to figure out what is good and bad in such shoes and whether or not Birkenstocks are healthy for your feet.
Are Birkenstocks healthy for your feet? Birkenstock cons
1. Arch Support Makes Your Feet Weak
When artificial arch support is used continuously, the foot muscles become weak. That happens with any of our muscles. Lack of use causes muscle fibers to atrophy and function is lost.
The arches of the feet are designed to dynamically support the weight of the body.
When they do not have to do their work because there is an artificial system that supplies them, the foot muscles that would take care of it are weakened.
The next consequence is an increase in injuries and foot pain.
A weak musculature is not able to react correctly. These weak muscles suffer much more stress from day to day and can be injured, causing problems such as plantar fasciitis and foot pain. The use of these supports can serve to relieve the muscles but they should not be used continuously.
In addition, when the muscles weaken, body alignment and weight distribution are affected, resulting in a misaligned spinal cord.
These muscles, weakened by the continued use of plantar supports, do not carry out their function of supporting body weight correctly.
That is why the other muscles must compensate for their inefficiency, muscles that were not designed for this function and that fail to keep the body aligned correctly and balanced, with the usual result being plantar fasciitis and
severe foot pain.
A strong foot musculature maintains the postural balance of the body.
If we talk about sports and resistance activities, it is essential to strengthening the muscles, without forgetting that of the feet. To have a healthy foot, the plantar arch must function as a spring that drives the movement of the leg during the step. That’s pretty much how natural arch support works.
The arch assists in acceleration, balance, and strength. Fallen arches don’t allow it to move properly, and its capabilities are limited, which may affect foot health.
The foot in the Birkenstocks sandals will not be able to contract and stretch correctly and athletic performance will be affected, possibly causing plantar fasciitis, which is not good for your feet.
2. Stiff Soles Limit Your Foot Mobility
In fact, hard shoes contribute to the development of flat feet. As one would expect, hard shoes, by limiting the mobility of the foot, weaken it.
The result of this weakness is the loss of the dynamic component of arch support in a flattened foot and possible plantar fasciitis after wearing Birkenstocks, as opposed to wearing shoes with a regular footbed.
3. Slides Cause Toe Gripping
The last problem with wearing Birkenstocks is the lack of a back strap, which they share with other flip-flops. Essentially this means that your foot does not have back support. This, in turn, may lead to a variety of foot problems, such as toe gripping and shuffling which is not good for your feet and may damage your walking gait, your big toe bar, and your feet overall.
Are Birkenstocks healthy for your feet? Birkenstock pros
One of the best features of wearing Birkenstock and other barefoot shoes is their toe bar. They resemble the shape of a foot, giving its toe box more toe space for the first and second toe of each leg. This makes them more comfortable and healthy for your feet than other shoes in this regard, even for wide feet.
1. Proper Alignment. Another one of the benefits is the proper alignment of those sandals. Zero drop barefoot shoes keep your foot straight and parallel to the ground. This places your body in what most would consider being proper alignment, which can give you a better posture and reduce stress on your joints.
2. Balance. Zero drop barefoot shoes provide a better connection to the ground below. This gives us better balance and stability, making it one of the best Birkenstock benefits.
3. Less jarring impact. A traditional running shoe with excess cushioning promotes heel strike. This causes jolts in all the joints of the lower body which can lead to injury. A zero drop shoe encourages the wearer to strike more with the forefoot.
This can lead to a more efficient forward stride and the foot absorbing more shock. This can prevent ankle, knee, and back pain.
Are Birkenstocks good to walk in all day? Are Birkenstocks healthy for your feet?
Are Birkenstocks suitable for walking then? The greatest footwear for prolonged walking is not a pair of Birkenstock sandals, as was said in the opening to this article. This is due to a number of factors, so let’s go through them in more detail:
1. Comfort. The Birkenstock is, first and foremost, merely a comfy sandal for walking on slick surfaces and day treks. On rough terrain, they are not the greatest for extended walks. Your feet will become fatigued and uncomfortable if you travel too much.
Instead of backpacking or camping, we advise bringing a pair of Birkenstocks. You can put on your Birkenstocks instead of your bulky hiking boots, for instance, during a break or when camping. After a long journey, they are the ideal to put on.
2. Protection. Second, there isn’t much protection provided by Birkenstocks. The ankles, foot arch, and toes are all affected by this. Your feet are liberated and slip easily in Birkenstocks. If you’re trekking or backpacking, this won’t be the ideal option, but it might be okay if you’re walking down a regular, cobbled street.
You must minimize slipping when walking by keeping your foot in the same position and minimizing shoe movement. Your feet would be more comfortable if you wore shoes with strong arch support. Having ankle support is also crucial because you don’t want to injure your ankle when riding.
If your shoes do not properly fit around your ankles and feet, you run the danger of getting hurt. Call mountain rescue services and ask for assistance if you are hurt while hiking. Consider investing in a pair of hiking trail-appropriate shoes rather than going through all of this trouble and discomfort.
3. Waterproof. Are Birkenstocks good in terms of water protection? Well, no. Because of their open designs, your feet can easily become wet. They are adequate if you must cross streams on foot, but the period afterwards is not pleasant.
This is because damp footbeds have a tendency to be slick, which makes sandals less comfortable and supportive. Your feet will suffer from the pain and fatigue of all that slippage, and you might even notice some blisters there.
Not to add that Birkenstocks are waterproof, which shields your feet from fungus growth and other negative impacts.
The sandals’ soles can also get slick if they get wet, are worn on pebbles, or are placed on uneven terrain. You require footwear with far more traction and grip than Birkenstocks. So bear that in mind when searching for a pair of boots or sandals.
Going Barefoot as a Better Long-Term Solution to Foot Pain
Walking barefoot is a significant strengthening and healing exercise. Large numbers of receptors found on the soles transmit nerve signals to the brain.
The neuroendocrine, circulatory, pulmonary, excretory, and other bodily systems are eventually saturated by this energy. Similar signals are sent by the foot inside the shoe, hastening the weariness and unbalance processes.
When barefoot walking, different irritations—prickly, gentle, harsh, damp, cold, etc.—selectively influence physiological activities, conditioning them. Walking barefoot promotes healthful feelings in the body, reducing ailments and diseases.
Walking improves the body’s resilience to colds, boosts the sole’s capacity to regulate body temperature, and strengthens the skin of the foot.
You need to gradually and methodically become used to walking without shoes. Get used to being barefoot about the apartment, in the cold water of the tub, and finally on the dirt in the yard.
Barefoot walking on hard surfaces and fine gravel strengthens the skin of the feet and lessens the sensation of pain and cold. A significant role in hardening is walking on damp surfaces like wet grass and cold, wet stones.
In the winter, you can begin barefoot walking in cold water in the bathtub by pouring water up to your ankles. Instead of standing in the water, it is advised that you stroll. Change the time based on your feelings. Bring it up to 15 minutes starting at 3 minutes. When children have big adenoids, this surgery is extremely helpful.
It is better to walk barefoot on the street 2 times a day – in the morning and the evening. This procedure gives a tangible influx of energy into the body. The body hardens, the immune system is strengthened, and there is a reflex revival of internal organs, especially the liver, eyes, stomach, pancreas, intestines, heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.
When barefoot walking through bare feet, accumulated static electricity is discharged, which adversely affects the body, causing rapid fatigue or overexcitation, as well as various pain sensations.
When starting to walk barefoot, it is necessary to take into account that:
- barefoot walking on hot sand, asphalt, sharp stones, coniferous needles, and cones has a stimulating effect on the nervous system;
- barefoot walking on the warm sand, soft grass, road dust, and indoor carpet – soothing;
- the middle between these actions is bare foot walking on uneven ground, indoor floor, and wet grass, which moderately tones the nervous system.
After each procedure of barefoot walking, you need to wash your feet. Then make a 2-3-minute massage, vigorously kneading the fingers, soles, and calf muscles.
Are Birkenstocks healthy for your feet? Barefoot mats
So that the healing effect of barefoot walking can be experienced at home, make several rugs with different textures. Pour pebbles or cones into an old scarf, spread it on the floor, and walk around. And after the session, roll it up with the contents and put it away.
Another option for smaller particles. Spread a thick layer of PVA glue on thick cardboard the size of a magazine spread and pour various materials on it (beans, peas, sand, etc.). After complete drying, remove what is not stuck. Make several mats with particles of different sizes and walk on them one by one. Such tracks are very useful for kids.
A great tool for the feet is an ordinary rolling pin, which you just need to roll with your feet on the floor. Barefoot walking allows not only hardens the body. But it also improves immunity and fights flat feet.
FAQs: Are Birkenstocks healthy for your feet?
Why do my feet hurt in Birkenstocks?
There are several reasons for that, all of which have their roots in the design of the shoes. Arch support, stiff soles in Birkenstock footbed, and slides are the main causes of foot pain
Which shoes do podiatrists recommend?
The best shoes are comfortable shoes! When choosing any model, whether it be shoes, boots, or sneakers, you should pay attention first of all to convenience. Specialists often recommend shoes that are comfortable, ventilated and made from natural materials.
Shoes should not squeeze the foot, as well as restrict movement. The sole should be flexible enough so that it does not interfere with the “roll” from heel to toe while walking.
Orthopedic shoes should not be used if there are no direct indications for wearing them and certain orthopedic diseases have not been identified for which the doctor recommends wearing special products.
What sandals do podiatrists recommend?
Podiatrists recommend wearing well-ventilated, ankle-supporting footwear and suggest that strap-on sandals are best for this season. A large part of the footwear used at this time does not have the appropriate characteristics for the feet: lack of support or too thin soles.
For this reason, podiatrists indicate that when trying a sandal for walking it is important to check that it does not change the way you walk and that the foot does not need to make any effort to attach itself to the sandal in the flight phase of the step. There are even mountain sandals that are indicated for sports.
Look for the following features when shopping for sandals:
1. Built-in arch support. Advantage if the shoe has a removable arch support that allows you to slip on your brace or additional arch support if needed. This improves your walking gait.
2. A slight wedge to relieve pressure on the Achilles tendon and prevent plantar fasciitis.
3. Adjustable buckles that stabilize the foot and reduce the chance of an ankle sprain.
4. Suitable width. A narrow width is suitable for narrow feet. Just make sure it sits around your feet firmly.
Are there any alternatives to Birkenstock sandals?
Arizona sandals are a great alternative to Birkenstock products (such as Birkenstock mayari) if you are looking for new shoes and have foot issues.
Another great alternative to wearing birks is wearing orthopedic insoles made of memory foam or natural latex. An Eva outsole is a great option in this regard, giving great arch support, shock absorption, orthopedic support, and preventing ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis, and hammer toes.
Just get your best shoe, put that in and get better arch support than Birkenstocks support.
The good thing about orthopedic insoles is that frequently they are made individually. meaning that you will get the right foot size, deep heel cup gives you a soft footbed and shock absorption.
So, pair them up with minimalist shoes! We suggest those with a flat foot and good heel cup and natural cork footbed. They also should have an adequate toe area (a wide toe box if you have wide feet). Thus, they will probably perform better than Birkenstock clogs, and with a big choice of minimalist shoes, you will be able to get a match for most summer outfits and won’t get any heel pain.
Wrap-Up: Are Birkenstocks healthy for your feet?
Are Birkenstocks healthy for your feet? Thanks for reading our guide to Birkenstock sandals. We hope you have learned a lot of valuable information about the company’s sandals. Keep in mind that while sandals aren’t very suitable for walking, you can always wear a pair of Birkenstock sandals for short walks.
Have you ever owned a pair of Birkenstock sandals? What do you think about them? Are Birkenstocks good in your case? Would you recommend others to buy that pair or another pair? Let us know your experience and thoughts on the subject by sharing a comment in the comment section below!
Also, feel free to share this article with your friends if they are going to buy Birkenstocks sandals or any other barefoot shoes so that they can consider all the pros and cons!