Sense of Strength
Ask yourself this question:
Were you born with an arch support?
Before elevated heels, tapered toe-boxes, and over-engineered arch support, we walked on bare feet. We moved naturally and found balance and strength naturally on bare feet. Our toes had room to stretch and breathe. Through lightweight materials and barefoot-inspired design, our shoes will improve your feet balance, strength, and movement by simply stepping naturally.
By putting as little between your feet and the ground as possible, SOM Footwear reconnects you to your true sense of motion through healthy foot habits.
Our flexible, 8mm, zero drop soles means feet are flat to stand and step with level precision. Elevated heels force our feet off-center by lowering the toes and raising the heels. Even a subtle slope to the natural bend of the foot can tilt us forward, adding less security on unstable or uneven surfaces.
While the angle of traditional soles place bodies in a constant state of tilt, thicker soles with larger tread detach us from where we're stepping. Elevation and surface changes can go unnoticed when shoes feel like walking on pillows.
Balance comes from the ground up, and solid foundations are built on even structures. By keeping your toes and heels level and closer to the ground, not only will your posture and stability improve over time, but so will your awareness and connection to the world around you.
With the confidence of solid steps beneath you, SOMs strengthen your feet to do more.
Power and speed come from the strength of our feet, not the footwear tied to them. We exercise and tone so many parts of the body, why not the feet?
By widening our toe-box to better match the natural shape of the human foot, toes have space to flex and grip with every weight that's lifted or every trail that's run. The more room the foot has to move naturally on its own, the stronger it will become.
To see power and agility on full display, visit 4-time World CrossFit Masters Champion and SOM enthusiast Mary Beth Prodromides' page, as she pushes her workouts harder and longer with footwear that doesn't hold her back.
Balance provides control. Strength provides endurance. Motion connects the two.
By returning feet to the barefoot days of youth, there is less weight to slow us down.
According to Whatthingsweigh.com, the average men’s shoe weighs “about 2.5 to 3 pounds”, and the average women’s shoe weighs “between 2 to 2.5 pounds.” When they looked at larger boots, weights can reach “6 pounds.” Those amounts may seem small, but when considering the number of steps we take each day, the weight adds up.
The average weight of a SOM shoe (men’s size 9/women’s size 10.5) is 8.95 OUNCES.
Lightness means flexibility, and flexibility means your footwear moves how you want to move, not the other way around. SOM shoes, like the Nutrail Air, disappear on your feet, and with the enhanced breathability of many of our materials, your toes will thank you for the unrestrained breeze.
Not only are levels of movement, strength, and balance improved while wearing SOM Footwear. Many foot conditions can be helped by the presence of less-restrictive, barefoot-inspired shoes.
Correct Toes Approved- All SOMs are certified by Correct Toes, Northwest Foot & Ankle's highest level of certification. This means our shoes meet their strictest criteria for natural foot health (learn more here).
(Disclaimer: While we believe feet can be greatly improved by wearing SOMs, we are not podiatrists or physical therapists! We are presenting information we have found helpful and insightful, but as with anything, your mileage may vary!
- Back pain - Overbuilt running shoes with unnecessary padding and thick soles cause your feet to strike heel first, which, according to Harvard scientist Dr. Daniel Lieberman, is like someone "hitting your heel with a hammer.” Barefoot-inspired shoes help back pain by allowing your foot to strike the ground on the ball or middle part of the foot first, allowing your foot to act as a natural shock absorber (learn more here).
- Hammertoe - Hammertoe is an unnatural bend of the toes where the 2nd, 3rd and/or 4th toe are permanently bent downwards. Wide toe box shoes can help hammertoe by allowing the affected muscles and toes the room they need to stretch into a more natural shape (learn more here).
- Plantar Fasciitis - Plantar fasciitis is a very common cause of uncomfortable pain in the heel. Minimalist shoes with a thin sole can reduce shock and help relieve plantar fasciitis (learn more here).
Bunions- Any shoe that is narrow or forces the toes into an unnaturally pointed position may cause a bunion. But proper footwear with wide toe-boxes can prevent or help bunion pain (learn more here).
Happy feet. Happy life.
SOM Footwear allows your feet to find their natural sense of strength by putting them on and taking a walk. Nothing more. Nothing less. By wearing our shoes and going about your daily routine, you will be treating your feet to more room to breathe, more stability to step, and more time to enjoy wherever they take you.
For those new to barefoot-feel, zero-drop footwear: it is important to take your time and allow your feet to adjust to this new, minimal shoe experience. The more you stand and walk in your SOMs, the more they will feel like a second-home for your feet.
We have a blog here that describes one person's experience switching to SOMs after a lifetime of traditional footwear.
Click the images below for past blogs on foot health topics: