Foot Graduation · 27 June 2013

My feet have graduated and are ready for being completely unsupported all the time now.

I did not realize it until recently, but my feet have been changing. They have been getting stronger by being close to bare all the time. Now, they are ready to shed even the little arch support that my Merrels have been giving me.

As I look back on the past year, I realize that my Merrels have been like training shoes. They were the bridge from conventional shoes to being barefoot or as close to barefoot as social norms and streets allow. They provided a little arch support as my arch and other supporting muscles became strong enough to support my whole body and I would highly recommend them as a stepping stone to going barefoot. However, I realized that my feet had graduated from my Merrels when I wore them for a couple days straight.

A year ago, I would not have known my feet were sore because of having too much support. I was blissfully unaware that my feet were longing to be free. But after a school year’s worth of wearing no drop, no support casual shoes all day, I knew what my feet should feel like. My feet felt great being in those shoes all day every day. They were strengthening my feet all day long just by standing and walking, and when I did anything athletic, my Merrels helped my foot muscles to develop even more.

Unfortunately, at the end of the year, my feet were aching to get out of my Merrels like they used to do when I wore conventional shoes with much more arch support. Those couple days led me to believe that I was ready to have all my shoes be the no drop, no support variety. But I had to test my theory first.

My test was running around the basketball court barefoot, running back and forth, cutting, and shooting at both baskets. When all was said and done, my feet felt great, aside from being sore from the asphalt bumps and bruises. I knew my feet were ready. I knew it was time to take off the training wheels. It was time for my feet to graduate to no drop, no support shoes all the time.

My feet have been working hard all year long to keep me supported at work and on athletic courts and fields. Now I have rewarded them for all their hard work by making sure all my shoes have no support. It is amazing that it took almost a year for my feet to get strong enough to be free. But it is fitting that the end of the school year brought my feet to graduate to being completely unsupported all the time.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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