You'll never choose thick soled shoes again for your child after reading this!
Ever wondered how kids feet work? Well, in a nutshell here it is…….
We start with all these little nerve endings in the sole of the foot as well as in the joints and connective tissues. These nerve endings are constantly sending information back to the brain.
The brain over time learns to understand all this information and then activate the right muscles, at the right time, in the right sequences to store and transfer energy efficiently and produce a foot ankle that adapts well to the environment. What we see is kids becoming more balanced, faster and more able to operate in different surfaces like grass or sand.
So it all starts with the sensory information from the feet and ankle going to the brain. Without this, the brain doesn’t have the opportunity to try and understand it and has less information to work with when it tries to activate the muscles the most efficient way.
This learning in terms of the nerves and muscles coordinating in the foot and ankle happens at a subconscious level. So it will just be happening all the time in the background.
It makes sense then that we need to afford kids feet the opportunity to learn how to control their arches and store and release energy when contacting the ground. We need from a young age to get as much sensory information to the brain coming from the feet and ankle.
It is now widely acknowledged that stiff, thick-soled shoes stop this sensory information getting through to the brain. That’s why medical professionals now recommend that at least up until the age of 10 years, physically healthy kids spend a lot of time bare feet or as close as possible to bare feet.