Vivobarefoot make barefoot footwear (see the bottom for a link for £10 discount). Why barefoot? Well they say that human beings did not evolve to wear shoes - we do, clearly, to protect our feet from man made surfaces and objects that we wouldn't find in a grass field in the country. There are however, people who live in natural surroundings that walk, run, and live in only their bare feet.
Why do I wear barefoot shoes? I used to wear what I call 'cloud shoes' - walking shoes with so much support that I could walk for 10 miles or more and still not get any blisters or sore feet. I wore these shoes for decades, eventually the muscles in my feet became so weak that whenever I wore flat shoes (not high heels surprisingly - but they are not good for your feet), I would sprain my ankle. Unfortunately, this happened on a quite a few painful occasions.
I remember the day that I decided to change my footwear, I was in Aden Country Park with my family, everything was great, until I stood in a hole in the grass, went over my ankle, crumpled to the ground, and sat there in agony unable to get up for several minutes. When I could stand, I remember being so cross that I took off my boot and threw it across the grass (I was in a lot of pain and fed up of repeatedly spraining my ankle). It was then that I realised that despite the pain, I could manage to walk with my foot bare. This made me stop and think.
For the next two weeks, I went everywhere I could with no shoes on, to test my theory that barefoot worked better (thank you to my wonderful husband for putting up with my eccentric behaviour). I then came across barefoot footwear online, did a lot of research, put away my normal shoes and boots (I have since given them away), and bought myself my first barefoot shoes.
I have been wearing barefoot shoes for a few years now, I no longer own or buy normal footwear. I have trainers, boots, and pumps, but they are all barefoot footwear from Vivobarefoot. I would like a pair of Vibram Fivefingers that let you see all your toes :) but I can't afford it. I still sprain my ankle occasionally, but my ankles are getting stronger, and when I do go over my ankle, instead of falling to the ground - my ankle and foot spring back up and I manage to stay upright, also the pain seems to be less (with the one exception of the time I tripped down the stairs and then fell over my son's shoes that he left lying at the front door - kids don't leave your things lying on the floor!).
It will take time for my ankle to get a lot stronger, I really should walk more, and I have hyper-mobility which means my ligaments don't support my joints properly leaving the muscles to do the job - but I am really pleased with the improvements since switching to Vivobarefoot footwear and I won't wear any regular footwear again - unless it's a sandal with a really thin flat sole :).
There are several manufacturers out there that make barefoot footwear but I like the range that Vivobarefoot has, and they have regular end of season sales :D
Visit the website for £10 off your first order - Vivobarefoot