How Do You Transition To Barefoot Shoes?

Transitioning to barefoot shoes is a process and will look different for every individual. Zero drop shoes with a natural toe box make it possible to move naturally, but many people have weak intrinsic foot muscles and learned unnatural gait patterns (heavy heel striking for example) that carry over even in barefoot shoes. So you’ll have the best results if you consider other ways to improve your overall gait and foot health in addition to wearing better shoes.

Here are my tips for transitioning to barefoot shoes:

It might take several weeks, months or years for your muscles, ligament, nerves, and skin to adapt to the new stresses of being in barefoot shoes. This is why going slowly and carefully is often the best path. Give your brain and your body time to relearn how to be comfortable barefoot, and remember to walk before you run! If you’re unable to adapt your walking and running to a barefoot style, barefoot shoes may not always be comfortable. This is ok – you can alternate between barefoot shoes and your old shoes as your body adapts. If you are already used to being barefoot often and are physically fit, you may be able to switch over immediately. Biggest take away: Everyone is different.

Check out the FAQ on How To Pick Your First Pair of Barefoot Shoes to get started!

List of Resources/Professionals Who Can Help the Transition Process:
Walking 101 – Tips for walking well in barefoot shoes
Whole Body Barefoot, by Katy Bowman
Gait Happens My Foot Function Membership & Virtual Consultation
Andy Bryant Virtual Consultation
Ray McClanahan Virtual Consultation
Gait Happens Certified Practitioners
Healthy Feet Alliance Health Directory

*For the entire searchable FAQ list, visit Barefoot Shoes FAQ

*Disclosure – Anya’s Reviews is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

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Hi. I'm Anya.

Hi. I'm Anya.

I first discovered barefoot shoes after a long history of foot issues. By changing my footwear and strengthening my body I was able to completely transform my life. Anya’s Reviews is my way of sharing with the world that healthy feet are happy feet!

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