Best Insoles for Minimalist Shoes - BAREFOOTSCIENCE™



Interestingly enough another category of insoles are emerging bio-feedback based insoles. However, in our review of this category we found only one product called BAREFOOTSCIENCE™.


The BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ insoles has been around for almost a decade and the underlying science it is based on is two decades old. The patented insole focuses on introducing a mild stimulus to a region corresponding with the foot’s center of mass. The body’s natural response to the stimulus is to move away and thus a series of continuous and minute muscle contractions are begun.


The insole works with a progressive series of inserts, much like a progressive resistance training program, to gradually introduce this muscle strengthening component to the foot. So as opposed to the concept of brace or support or the concept of cushion and mask, here the concept is strengthen/ rehabilitate. For those of us that have begun questioning the benefits of the brace-support and cushion footwear products this makes perfect sense.


Another interesting aspect of the insole is how it interfaces with the foot. The typical science of insoles focuses on primarily supporting the foot’s medial arch and possibly, depending on product, the transverse and lateral arches. The shape and concept behind BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ is in interfacing with the foot’s center of mass.


This key region is also aligned with the body’s line of action through the foot and thus it creates a dome like effect that the foot can rotate about. From an anatomical point of the view the hip is like a ball-socket, the knee is like a simple hinge and therefore the foot, to interact multi-directionally with the ground, it needs to have a ball-socket multi-directional capacity also. This aspect is especially beneficially for those running or doing any sports on a uneven surfaces.


Apart from the sock, the insole is the layer in most immediate contact with the foot. The features and benefits of this insole comes as close as we have found to bringing the benefits of actual foot/ground interface inside the shoe to the foot/insole interface. Overall, the advantages of being barefoot and or minimal translate into a more efficient and less injury invoking gait. The mechanics of the musculoskeletal are more that capable of providing the shock absorption our body requires, therefore, we do not need the cushioning insoles, plus their sensory dampening is definitely any of benefit.


Many would argue that those requiring insole based on brace and support only need these because the supporting muscles of the foot are weakened and atrophied, and they are unable to do their job in stabilising the foot. The use of these insoles is only in treating the symptom and not the cause, plus the reliance on the support feature only leads to further atrophy. It is clear that these insoles should not be our insoles of choice.


Insoles focusing on the strengthening and rehabilitation of the foot make the most sense, and BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ provides the best option. The progressive exercise aspect is perfectly logical, the ability to interface directly with the key are of the foot to provide muscle activating stimuli and enhance multi-directional movement is smart and innovative. BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ insoles are ultra light-weight, flexible and ready-made. They come in full and 3/4 length ideal for the minimalists wearers like Vibram FiveFingers out there.



Read the studies on BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ >>>

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