Flat feet, bad back...

Was just wondering if there are many other people here who switched to barefoot shoes in the hope it would help strengthen flat feet and ease back pain?

It's been 6 weeks of wearing Vivo Barefoot Lucy's all day every day, and just bought some KSO's last week.

I have an office job, I'm up and down from my desk more than others maybe, but it's still fairly sedentary. In past office jobs where I got up less frequently I had constant back ache, sometimes a burning numbness in my lower back, and even numbness in my feet and legs and a burning feeling in my toes...  I went to a chiropractor and he scared the bejeesus out of me by saying that I had a protruding lump in my lower spine, possibly from a fracture! I went to my GP for a second opinion and he concluded that I was otherwise strong and the lump may just be having a slightly larger ridge on one of my lower spinal bones, My biggest problem was that my back muscles were weak and that I needed to get exercise to strengthen them and support my body properly...

My father also has flat feet and has had lifelong issues with bad back. He has had heel pain where he can hardly walk, and he now wears orthotics.

After 6 weeks of wearing Vivos, and running short distances several days a week it could have made a difference to my back. I don't get the dull ache in my lower back anymore, and my knees feel better. My feet are still complaining though! Obviously they are now taking the pressure that was previously on my back and knees.... well, they just have to slowly learn to strengthen up, don't they? ;)

They have also taken revenge on me for buying the pair of KSO's. I went out for a 5 minute run last night in them and now one of my middle toe pads is very tender, perhaps bruised...

I'd be interested to hear from other people who switched to barefoot shoes - and running - to help their flat feet and/or bad backs.  Have running in the shoes helped your back pain? Show long did it take to strengthen your feet?  :)


  • Cannot really give you a direct answer to the question you posed.

    went this route to see if my running improved. It has.

    As a by product, my feet are stonger, more arch than I started with, knee, hip, IT band troubles are gone.

    Look up the Arches post. Not to early for you to re-measure your feet and take foot prints to compare later. Others have reported feet measure slightly shorter due to the arch, arching.

    edit: try here. https://forum.birthdayshoes.com/vff-or-barefoot-running/arches!/
    And Here. http://www.margulisfamily.net/paint3_4_2010.jpg
  • yes getting out of shoes alleviates back pain.  there have been countless studies on it, especially in people who do a lot of standing/walking during the day.  the average shoe has heel lift, where the heel is taller than the toe of a shoe.  this is placed there in most shoes to give you padding in the heel area for landing comfort.  the by product of lifting the heels is to tilt the pelvis forward and down in the front to maintain balance.  that raises the back of the pelvis and places stress on the lower lumber as well as contracting the lower back muscles, typically the erector spinae.  Dropping the heel back down will alleviate these issues.  continuing the heel drop by wearing shoes without heels will begin to work the opposing muscles allowing the body to balance itself back out and poof, no more back pains. 

    This same logic applies to knees which is one of the reasons why so many minimalist runners find themselves without chronic knee pains after making a switch.  i have alleviated all of those issues since i made my barefoot running and living full time.  i did it to get rid of knee pain and the back pain followed as well.  i would have to suffer through a mile or two of back pain and spasms during a run before i could finally settle in.  it was terrible and by the time my back let up my knee started in and every run was nothing but pain the entire way.  i now face none of those issues because i took what i already knew and have taught so many other runners; applied it to myself and now it's all gone. 

    i'm glad you are seeing the benefits and give your feet some time as they will come around.  i would also say let them get some barefoot time as well.  maybe just some short walks barefoot to let the skin develop is sensory abilities as well as being to "toughen" up. 
  • As regards foot size I think my feet have got around 3-4 millimetres shorter in a month - or my big toes aren't reaching the lines I previously drew a month ago.  The way a foot is shaped, this loss of length must mean the arches are picking up a tiny bit.

    feet are hurting all over though. All good fun...
  • being only 17 i find it akward to tlk about knee pain. but it was definately there. found vff's, no more pain. but it comes back within five minutes of walking in regular shoes. i think the pain is mostly genetic, but heavily prompted by lots of runnning and lifting.

  • I've had a bad back for years. Was getting debilitating pain about once a year. Extreme pain, difficult to stand upright, painful to walk. Would take up to a week to subside to where I could stand up straight, and several more weeks for pain to subside. Would all start with a slight twinge in back when bending over.

    Started wearing VFFs in April 2009, mostly 3-4 days out of 7. Had the back twinge again in October, but after 3 days it was gone. Happened again at end of December, and all I had were some sore muscles in my upper back. Went mountain biking the next day. Been wearing VFFs mostly full time since January and haven't had any back pain at all.

    I'm thinking the increase in frequency at the end of last year might have been from me running a lot more. Just glad the severity of each incident dropped significantly from the previous one. From being un-able to stand up straight (with a great deal of pain) to being barely noticable.
  • Orthofeet’s shoes were recommended to me by a family member for my back pain problem. I was happy to find a wide selection of shoe choices and colors. I eventually settled on a walking shoe. I was expecting a "break-in" period but I was happy that, after about an hour, the shoes felt good on my feet. When I wear these walking shoes, I experience no heal pain whatsoever. I can highly recommend these shoes to anyone that suffers with back pain!
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