You probably know about the benefits of minimalist, “barefoot” shoes:
- No heel strike; less back issues & strain on your posterior chain. Mid-foot strike is more natural and bio-mechanically efficient.
- No cushion; strengthens your leg, feet and ankle muscles, tendons and ligaments. This results in less injury and better balance & proprioception (your body’s sense of movement and position).
- Wide toe box; promoting a healthier, stronger and more natural grip for your toes. This is especially beneficial if you let your children grow wearing barefoot shoes, optimizing their feet development.
Here’s a nice study you may wanna look at:
There were significant group–time interactions for all muscle size and strength measurements. All muscle sizes and strength increased significantly from weeks 0 to 8 in the FS and MSW groups, whereas there were no changes in the C group. Some muscles increased in size by week 4 in the FS and MSW groups.. Minimalist shoe walking is as effective as foot strengthening exercises in increasing foot muscle size and strength. The convenience of changing footwear rather than performing specific exercises may result in greater compliance.Walking in Minimalist Shoes Is Effective for Strengthening Foot Muscles © 2019 American College of Sports Medicine.
Foot muscle size & strength (crucial to absorbing the impact when you walk or run, and for preventing injuries like shin splints or plantar fasciitis) both increased in the group that used foot-strengthening exercises, and the group that walked around in minimalist shoes, but not in the control group.
They suggested these significant improvements are because minimalist shoe walking “may require more muscle activation to support the foot, due to the decreased cushion and support.”
All these benefits are because minimalist, barefoot shoes mimic the way the human body has been operating since time immemorial. If you stretch our evolution across a roll of toilet paper, only a tiny bit, much less than one single square, is the time we’ve been wearing modern shoes. In short:
Our body is a prisoner of time, still structured to operate barefoot.
We can’t become oblivious to reality. What if your job forces you to look classy? What if you wear dress shoes on a daily or weekly basis?
Carets to your rescue.
Carets Minimalist Dress Shoes
I discovered Carets not too long ago, and for me they have been nothing short of a life changer. Now, thanks to them, I got something to wear on weddings and other social events. Something to wear on business meetings, even when I go No-Bag for an extended business period abroad.
The idea behind this shoes is quite genius. To the naked eye, they just look like normal leather dress shoes:
Yep, they don’t even look like barefoot shoes at all. How dare they even call those barefoot shoes? Those things are elevated! They have heels!
It’s an illusion, because Carets have come up with the most perfect patent ever. Now take a look more closely:
Genius, isn’t it? ;)
Now you can have beautiful, genuine leather dress shoes that are also healthy for your body. I even plan to get married in them.
Personally, I chose the Zetone model. I like the plain-toe more than I like normal cap-toe oxfords, which you can also get from their website.
So far, here’s what I have to say about the shoes:
- Good for your body; a world away from normal elevated oxfords.
- High quality leather; feels very premium.
- Sole is sturdy and grippy yet flexible; I love it.
- Very nice and luxurious-feeling footbed.
- Super comfortable.
- Sizing is accurate; get your normal size. (Ed: Carets emailed me, “Our shoes run slightly large because of the wide width and false tip. Most of our returns are for a size smaller. I would suggest customers message us on carets.com first about sizing!”)
- Incredibly pretty; nice lines and angles; gets compliments ;)
- Top-notch service and personal communication.
- Not cheap. Those are $350 shoes.
- One of my shoes has a strange coppery discoloration on it (you can see in the photos above). Not too visible, but it’s there. (Ed: Carets generously offered to reimburse me for either a trip to a local shoe repair, or a jar of Saphir cream to DIY. It’s easy to affect color in full-grain leather shoes. Did I say superb service?!)
- Laces are very hard to keep knot. Tends to loosen up. (Ed: Carets said I should try the Berluti knot. That’s supposed to prevent the laces from coming undone, and let me slip in and out without retying).
Overall? Premium shoes, at a premium cost. If your occupation (or travel style! more on that soon) demands it, the Carets are a solid choice. They’re the most stylish, luxurious barefoot shoes your money can buy.
Buy them from Carets.com. Highly recommended.