Negative Heel Shoes
The philosophy behind negative heel shoe design is simple: instead of forcing the body into an unnatural state, why not assist the skeletal system and muscles to achieve proper posture? Fans of negative heel shoes say that standard shoes are designed in such a way that they throw the body out of alignment. Think about your feet when you wear high-heeled shoes or, if you’re a man, when you wear dress shoes that are slightly elevated on an incline. Your entire body weight is pushed forward, forcing you to compensate by holding your body out of alignment. Your center of gravity is switched and, over the long term, you may experience backaches, foot pain and a whole host of other problems.
In contrast, negative heel shoes are designed so that your heel is at a lower point than the rest of your foot. This causes your foot to incline gently up. Proponents of the negative heel say that this position helps relieve pressure off your back and encourages proper posture. Many people who try them report feeling instant changes in the way they walk and the way their bodies feel.
As an added benefit, walking in negative heel shoes burns extra calories. When you walk in this type of shoe you are stretching your calf muscles gently and working your other muscles a little bit harder. It’s a bit like walking up an incline on a treadmill. You exert more energy when using negative heel shoes. As a result, you burn more calories by simply doing the activities that you’re doing anyway. This is a great way to boost your metabolism without having to sacrifice a lot.
It takes some getting used to when you first start to wear negative heel shoes. The shoes will stretch muscles that you normally don’t use when walking. Although you can wear negative heel shoes just like regular shoes, it may be a good idea to break yourself into them before you decide to spend the entire day in the shoes. Use them in the afternoon or morning only for about a week to get your legs and your posture used to the new sensation.
Negative heel shoes are safe for everyone to use, but if you have orthotics or another type of insert they won’t fit into the shoes. Any inserts will undo the benefits of the dip in the heel area. Besides that, many people can get a lot out of wearing this type of shoe.
There are many different brands of negative heel shoes available on the market. The oldest carrier of this type of shoe is the Earth shoe company. Their negative heel shoes run from $47 to $130 and come in both leather and vegan selections.