How have my feet changed with minimal shoes?
I really had not thought about the answer to this question until I
saw someone write about their shrinking foot in the VFFs, having to go
down a size.
I have not noticed a size change with my foot, nor have I noticed
an arch change. I suspect this is because I regularly go barefoot in
the summer, and I was a dancer as a kid. Dancing has left a very long
lasting impression on my body, and I suspect part of my foot health can
be contributed to this early experience (no, I was not in the original ballet toe shoes for very
However, I have noticed three major changes following 3/4 of a
year in minimal shoes with regular (3 to 6x per week workouts): 1) more
resistant to cold, 2) less spider veins, and 3) more sensitive to
My feet were always cold. Even if going barefoot in summer, I'd be wearing a pair of socks.
However, in the last six months, this has been much less of a
problem. I only recently noticed, because I wasn't wearing out socks nearly as
quickly, that I could stand on my tile floor for much longer without my
feet turning into ice cubes. This is a nice change.
If I try to slip into bed with icy feet and cold everything else, it will take me hours to fall asleep. My core temperature must fall to a fairly low point.
Now, everything else may be cold, but my feet are not icy ... it does not take me nearly so long to fall asleep. I could probably change this with a couple glasses of hot water or tea!
LESS SPIDER VEINS
My feet, my brother's feet, and my dad's
feet - along the inner (medial vs. lateral) side - are covered in spider veins. Definitely a
family trait. Those red and blue veins do not hurt, but they are
rather unattractive. Whenever my brother and I would joke about being
adopted, we'd just look at dad's feet and go, "Nope, we're in the right
So imagine my surprise when I took a look at my feet after
several months of minimal shoes and exercise, and lo and behold, I have
many fewer spider veins than I used to have. Granted they have not all
disappeared, and I'm sure quite a bit of it is the exercise too, but
wow, what a change. I wish I had taken before pictures ...
MORE SENSITIVE TO PRESSURE
I have a large-ish shoe
wardrobe, and while I don't have any ridiculous heels (nothing much over
2.5 inches in height), I do have some shoes that make pressure spots on
my feet. Before I went to minimal shoes, the pressure spots were
fairly easy to handle, even if I was teaching all day long.
Fast forward several months, and those easy to handle pressure
spots are not so easy to handle anymore. In other words, my feet have
become more sensitized. I have several pairs of shoes that may end up
in the donation bin due to this problem.
I have also lost a lot of the calluses on my feet as a result of wearing more minimal sole shoes. The ones I have not lost are steadily shrinking.
I keep waiting for the fat pads on the bottom of my feet to thicken, but so far, I am waiting in vain ... perhaps that change will come next year (hey, I could gain a cm in height ...).