No one is born with shoes on their feet. Logical conclusion: Nature is not intended to put our feet in sneakers, high heels, running shoes with pronation support, platforms or other more or less comfortable shoes. For anatomical reasons, not every foot fits into every shoe. People with very wide feet in particular usually find it hard to squeeze them into their shoes every day. In the long run, you will not only ruin your footwear, but also your feet themselves. No wonder if they are crammed into a leather or cotton corset for many hours. It is hardly surprising that more and more people are giving their feet more space. And if you can’t go completely barefoot, more and more people are turning to socks or barefoot shoes.

In the following article you will find out who sock shoes make sense for, what concepts there are and what terrain the minimalist shoes are suitable for.

Even children are recommended to explore the world barefoot as often as possible. The reason is simple: While the little feet are more or less immobilized in shoes, they have to work “in freedom”. For example, they compensate for unevenness on the floor. In this way, children of daycare age train and strengthen the still-developing arch and foot muscles. And thus also reduce the risk of a later splayed, bent or arched foot. However, walking barefoot on park paths or footpaths is not without risk. Sharp stones or even shards of glass can injure your feet. And this is where the sock shoes come into play. In contrast to “normal” sports or leisure shoes, their upper material is elastic. Instead of a solid sole, a reinforced, often rubberized sole prevents possible cuts. The training effect is similar to that of running barefoot. Most manufacturers of sock or barefoot shoes offer their models for very small (like these “Leguanitos “active”), but also adult feet. Here you can find the “Classic” model from Leguano.

If you like it a bit more puristic and natural, leave out the rubberized sole. In so-called sock shoes, the sole area is only reinforced with an abrasion-resistant material. In the case of the Skinner Socks (available here, for example), this is made from Swedish polymer, a material that is also used in shipping technology. Sock shoes with such a sole are therefore an adequate replacement for normal hiking or barefoot shoes with a flexible rubber sole for trekking tours or other outdoor sports. Some models are even protected against moisture. Whether with or without a rubberized sole: both versions are challenging for the arch of the foot.

Tip: Take it slow with your first pair of socks or barefoot shoes. Running is not only more strenuous, but above all unusual at first.

Admittedly, marching through the woods or mountains in socks sounds a bit strange at first. But many people can’t imagine going to a restaurant or to the opera with only socks on their feet. Understandable. But there are also shoes for such occasions that offer the feet the greatest possible freedom – and still look elegant. Slip-on sneakers are the magic word here. The flexible soles are similar to those of sneakers or running shoes like the Free from Nike. The upper part of the shoe is reminiscent of a sewn-on sock. Neither the heel cap is reinforced, nor does the upper material need lacing. Plain and simple. Here you can get the NMD CS 1 City Sock from Adidas.

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If you are still wondering what exactly the difference is between sock shoes and barefoot socks, you should remember the following: Both terms mean the same thing, although the term sock shoes is becoming more and more popular. Probably also because you can basically wear the models mentioned above like shoes. Latest trend in barefoot socks: Because some barefoot fans find conventional barefoot fashion to be too narrow in the toe area, the trend is towards socks with a wider toe area. Possibly a healthy alternative to the toe socks that didn’t really catch on. These non-slip socks from Zyll are intended to fulfill the dream of more freedom for the toe quintet and also look good when snorkeling, diving and swimming.

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