As featured on BBC "Ramblings" with Clare Balding

Free(t) your feet

In my last blog "Shoespiracy" I suggested we should all reevaluate what we are wearing on our feet.  Our feet have evolved over 4 million years into amazing structures.  And while we now know we don't need shoes to make them any more perfect its not really appropriate, or safe, to walk around in our modern world bare foot. So, in this blog, I'm going to introduce you to minimalist or 'barefoot' shoes. They allow us to feel as though we are walking barefoot, offering protection from the ground, but allowing our feet to function as intended. To be considered minimalist, footwear should meet the following criteria:

  • Foot shaped (square toe box  allowing toes to spread out and better balance)
  • Zero drop (no heel, allowing our entire foot to be in touch with the ground)
  • Minimal cushioning (allowing connectivity with the ground)
  • Lightweight flexible uppers and soles (freedom of movement for our feet)

Based on my incredible personal experience with barefoot shoes and the rising body of evidence supporting this concept, the Walking Hub started stocking minimalist shoes over the summer of 2020.  Initially sourcing shoes from a well know brand, 'Vivobarefoot', I then discovered a little gem of a company called 'Freet'.  They're a family run company based in Richmond, Yorkshire, where they design and test all of their footwear and dare I say it, are almost as passionate about feet as The Walking Hub!  They have lots of different  models and styles, all really cute and functional, but fell head-over-heels (pun intended!) in love when I discovered the Mudee. This is the perfect combination of barefoot and boot. Used to minimalist shoes, I wasn't sure if this would cramp my barefoot style but they offer just the right amount of protection from the elements and being cosy and water resistant, they are perfect for winter walking. 

For winter use and more challenging mountain hiking the Mudee is now definitely my favourite. I've worn these fab little boots everywhere, over all sorts of different and wild terrain. They have given me back my feet and I wouldn't dream of ever putting on a regular heavy walking boot again. They have reconnected my body and brain with the ground and - no joke - they make me want to run, skip and jump for joy!  

So a big shout out for the FREET MUDEE. Free your feet and give them a go, you won't be disappointed.

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