I just picked up my first pair of TerraPlana‘s “Barefoot” shoes that have only a thin, puncture-resistent sole making the act of walking nearly exactly like going barefoot. The thinking is that all the extra padding and support in traditional shoes actually causes all sorts of posture and muscle issues and that the body is designed to walk on bare feet.
From the first step there is a huge difference. In fact, the first 20 steps or so felt completely disorienting. For starters, there is no raised heel, something I had so idea how adjusted to I had become. It leads to a changed gait that stops me from pounding down hard on my heel with each step.
I’m a little worried about the impact on the balls of my feet but, as their literature says, it takes time for your feet to get used to being set free.
Oh, and I got the green ones and they are REALLY green.