Increasing Foot Muscle Strength
Here is another article showing that minimalist shoe wear, such as the Vibram Five Fingers, increases muscle strength in the feet. Why is that important? Strengthening the muscles of the feet, theoretically, will lead to fewer foot injuries. For example, Dr Nick Campitelli's research proves that the abductor hallucis muscle was strengthened by wearing shoe wear that simulates barefoot walking. Improved abductor hallucis muscle strength should, theoretically, lead to less foot pathology by assisting the plantar fascia, ligaments and posterior tibialis muscle support the structural boney arch of the foot.
At Rappahannock Foot & Ankle we carry Correct Toes®, designed by Dr Ray McClanahan, DPM to help align, strengthen and restore the foot. Wearing Correct toes® can rehabilitate the foot from years of wearing shoe wear that is too narrow. There's some really cool educational information on their website. Take a peak.
Bottom line is that we should try to work some barefoot time into our days. It is well known that at the end of practice the Stanford track team typically takes their shoes off and runs barefoot on the grass to strengthen their foot muscles. It only makes sense that stronger feet will lead to fewer injuries.