You already know that I’m a big fan of shoes that mimic the mechanics of walking barefoot. I own a pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes because they are comfortable and make it feel like I’m — well — barefoot. In any case, a study was published last month at the University of Antwerp that’s germane to that whole discussion:
Barefooters have a relatively wide forefoot and manage at better distributing pressures over the entire surface of the foot sole, resulting in lower and most likely favourable peak pressures. As such, the fundamental scientific results are also important for clinicians and for the design of quality footwear, which should not hamper the foot’s biologically normal function (emphasis added).
Check out a brief summary of Footwear Alters Normal Form And Function Of The Foot.