Barefoot Resources and References

In this section we have collected together a range of information about barefoot shoes and foot health. We have included some recommended reading, relevant media articles and scientific papers together with links to some of those people who’ve inspired us over the years. We hope you will find it useful and interesting.

If you know of anything you think we should be including here then please do Contact Us to let us know.

Background Reading

We've listed below a few of the key books that we have found most useful over the years and that we strongly recommend reading if you want more information.

Do also have a look at our Blog Page where we try to keep up to date with all the latest developments. These books below are ones we have found particularly useful and provide great information and context to your barefoot choices. We particularly recommend the first one in the list, Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief, as essential reading for anyone wanting to find out more about foot health, common foot problems, exercises to strengthen and support feet and the importance of natural movement and barefoot shoes:

  • Katy Bowman (2016) Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief, The New Science of Healthy Feet, BenBella Books Inc
  • Katy Bowman (2015) Whole Body Barefoot, Propiometrics Press
  • Katy Bowman (2013) Alignment Matters, Propiometrics Press
  • Katy Bowman (2014) Move Your DNA, Propiometrics Press
  • Angela J Hanscom (2016) Balanced and Barefoot, New Harbinger Publications
  • Christopher McDougall (2010) Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Profile Books
  • Simon J Wikler, DSC (1961) Take off your shoes and walk: Steps to Better Foot Health, Devon-Adair Co. Out of print but a nice extract here

General Media Articles

Below are some key articles in the press about barefoot shoes, some interesting background reading:

Specialist Media Articles

Scientific Papers

A really comprehensive list of scientific papers from published medical journals that support the claim that going barefoot can contribute to good health and wearing conventional footwear can have detrimental results is given on the Society for Barefoot Living Website.

We have listed below some of the research papers that we have found helpful and referred to over the years:

Lauren Welte, Nicholas B Holowka, Luke A Kelly, Anton Arndt, Michael J Rainbow "Mobility of the human foot’s medial arch helps enable upright bipedal locomotion", Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, May 2023
A study looking at the role of arch in the evolution process and concluding that the flexible arch helps reposition the ankle upright, which allows the leg to push off the ground more effectively. This sets us apart from the great apes and is crucial to bipedal walking. They also suggest that allowing the arch to move during propulsion makes movement more efficient and if arch motion is restricted it is likely that there are corresponding changes in how the other joints function.

A good summary of this study is given in this link to Frontiers Science News.

Shayan Quinlan, Peter Sinclair, Adrienne Hunt, Alycia Fong Yan "The long-term effects of wearing moderate minimalist shoes on a child’s foot strength, muscle structure and balance: A randomised controlled trial", Gait & Posture, February 2022
A study looking at the benefits of minimalist shoes on a child’s foot strength and concluding that there are positive benefits for balance and foot strength and these shoes should be recommended.

Caleg Wegener, Adrienne E Hunt, Benedicte Vanwanseele, Joshua Burns & Richard M Smith, "Effect of children's shoes on gait: a systematic review and meta-analysis", Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, January 2011
Excellent review and overview of a number of research papers looking at the effect of children's shoes on gait and development.

Dr. William Rossi, DPM, “Children’s Footwear: Launching Site for Adult Foot Ills,” Podiatry Management, October, 2002
A brilliant overview of children's footwear and the issues that they can cause.

Hillstrom HJ, Buckland MA, Slevin CM, Hafer JF, Root LM, Backus SI, Kraszewski AP, Whitney KA, Scher DM, Song J, Furmato J, Choate CS, Scherer PR, "Effect of shoe flexibility on plantar loading in children learning to walk", J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2013 Jul-Aug;103(4):297-305
Looking at the impact of sole flexibility and concluding that flexible shoes give rise to plantar pressures that are similar to those while barefoot. This in turn enhances proprioception or sensory feedback from the feet which is a desirable attribute for children learning to walk.

Rao UB, Joseph B, "The influence of footwear on the prevalence of flat foot. A survey of 2300 children", J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1992 Jul;74(4):525-7
Analysis of the incidence of flat feet in 2300 children finding that supportive shoe-wearing in early childhood is detrimental to the development of a normal longitudinal arch.

Wolf S, Simon J, Patikas D, Schuster W, Armbrust P, Doderlein L, "Foot motion in children’s shoes; a comparison of barefoot walking with shod walking in conventional and flexible shoes". Gait Posture. 2008 Jan;27(1):51-9. Epub 2007 Mar 13.
Study demonstrating that thinner soled and more flexible children's shoes do not change foot motion as much as conventional shoes and therefore should be recommended.

Hollander K, Riebe D, Campe S, Braumann KS, Zech A "Effects of footwear on treadmill running biomechanics in preadolescent children". Gait Posture. 2014 Jul;40(3):381-5. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2014.05.006. Epub 2014 May 23
Study showing that cushioned footwear significantly increased maximum ground impact forces and affected step length, step width and rate of rear-foot strike in children's running biomechanics.

Samuel B. Shulman. “Survey in China and India of Feet That Have Never Worn Shoes,” The Journal of the National Association of Chiropodists, 49, 1949, pp. 26-30
Excellent comprehensive study of people who have never worn shoes and concluding they acquire very few foot defects, with remarkable full foot activity.

People we've been inspired by!

Katy Bowman - Nutritious Movement

Katy Bowman is an internationally recognized biomechanist, author, and science communicator, her passion is for reintroducing movement into people’s everyday lives and she is a powerful advocate for going barefoot and barefoot shoes. She has published numerous bestselling books on movement and foot health, many of which we list in our recommended reading. She also delivers an award-winning podcast and classes both in person and online. Her blog is a great resource for anyone looking for more information and food for thought. She also publishes a really useful list of barefoot and minimal shoe brands.

MuTu System

A great online programme to support maternal health and wellbeing founded by Wendy Powell. Wendy is another advocate for barefoot shoes who trained with Katy Bowman, and is responsible for first introducing me to barefoot shoes.

Tracy Byrne Podiatry

Tracy specialises in Podo-paediatrics (infant foot care and development). She runs a specialist clinic in London and is also the advisor to a number of leading barefoot brands, including Bobux. Tracy's approach is to encourage parents to let their children walk barefoot as often as possible, to develop the muscles and ligaments in the foot, increase the strength of the foot's arch, improve proprioception and contribute to good posture.

Steve Bloor - Cornwall Podiatry

Steve is another podiatrist with a barefoot passion and his practice focusses on promoting good foot-health and "Positive Podiatry" taking healthy feet as foundational for general health. His focus on barefoot walking occasionally getting him into hot water!

Reviews and Blogs

A selection of reviews and blogs featuring our shoes;

Froddo Barefoot winter wool boot review
Review of the Froddo Barefoot Winter Boots.

Happy Little Soles for a Busy Little Boy
The lovely Nic reviewed her experience of getting her first barefoot shoes from us for her little boy.

The Outdoor Dad
Fun review on our fabulous Stonz Booties - ideal for outdoor adventures.

Living with a Jude
Lovely review on the experience of buying vegan shoes from us!

Naturalists Guide to the Best Barefoot Running Shoes
The best barefoot running shoes reviewed.

Charitable initiatives and organisations which recycle your old shoes