Comfort and the path of least resistance
People said I was "brave" when I sold all of my belongings and set off to travel around the world. I said I wasn't brave, I was prepared. It felt so right to go that it would've been harder to stay. At that time that was my path of least resistance. Those unprepared to do that at the moment would not have been as comfortable. In that moment it was not their path of least resistance. It was easiest for them to continue what they were currently doing. Now let's say they had been inspired. That they find themselves WANTING to travel but at the moment it would be tough. Change however is, of course possible. They would need to change something to make the travels easier, or even better, the easiest.
To repeat: the path of least resistance is the easiest path available to you at that time. You can change what is easiest for you in many ways for different situations.
It is currently recommended that one chooses shoes based on comfort. "Whatever feels right, is right," a biomechanist said in a recent article.
It's true, the path of least resistance IS more comfortable.
But the question when choosing footwear is:
Is your foot's path of least resistance the right one in terms of foot function?
And the second question is: do you care?
Picture a severe hallux valgus (commonly generalized or referred to as a bunion). The big toe is certainly most comfortable right where it is. If I were to pull it back to where it originally was (anatomically correct), THAT would not be comfortable. Shoes that allow you to be comfortable that way: are they then, as the biomechanist said, "right" for your foot?
If deformed feet are shaped like the ones below, then they may feel comfortable in these shoes for obvious reasons. If they are comfortable, are they right? Of course the choice is up to you. Will you keep the path or change to a path of better foot function?
If you're going to go by comfort, and you desire the best for your feet, then it is crucial that you first make the path of least resistance the right one when it comes to body movement.
Reverse the thinking. The original foot doesn't have to be made to feel comfortable. The foot is comfortable all by itself. It would love it if you just let it do the work it was originally designed to do. Today's footwear does not allow this. Most hardly give it a chance.
In the quote below, a major shoe company's senior global product line manager justifies these types of designs. To me this says, ah, keep that old path, no worries! Don't work on YOU, the SHOE will do that for you AND, wait there's more...the foot will ACCEPT it. Here it is an excerpt. I hesitate to link to the whole article because it is abominable.
"If you lose the ability to maintain your natural pattern, your body accepts help from the shoe. The support of the shoe, instead of stopping motion, is supporting the preferred motion,” he explains. "If you need a support post in your shoe—because your foot doesn’t want to pronate but is pronating because of fatigue—a shoe with a post will feel most comfortable on the run."
That may be fine for some people, but not for FEET FREEX.
Have you met Fred yet? If you haven't then you should. Then tell me if he'd agree with this industry insight claiming to know what he "wants." [Click here to meet Fred.]
Want comfort? Want the best for your feet? Then be sure to start with making your path of least resistance the right one. Click here for FEET FREEX Recommendations on foot use and footwear design and if you haven't already, lend your voice on our community page here in support of shoes that do not inhibit the foot's original, natural movement.