I’m here with Anya today, a barefoot expert and fellow mom. She runs the site Anya’s Reviews which I’ve followed for years to help me choose the best barefoot shoes for myself and my family. Anya struggled with a long history of pretty severe foot pain and issues but was able to turn that around by changing her footwear.
I’m almost always barefoot now, but it’s been quite the journey. Over the years I’ve seen drastic changes in my own feet and overall health. Anya’s story is very enlightening and she shares how she was able to change her life by strengthening her feet and body. We cover some practical exercises you can do right now for healthier feet, and why healthy feet are really the foundation of a healthy body.
Anya also shares her thoughts on high heels, the 80/20 rule of footwear, and what her kids do for shoes. Even if you don’t go barefoot or wear barefoot shoes 100% of the time you can still benefit from using and strengthening these important muscles! We know that muscle strength correlates with a longer life and our foot muscles are no exception.
I hope you’ll join me today as Anya and I talk all about our feet.
Episode Highlights With Anya
- How she studied four languages including Russian and Chinese!
- Her personal story with foot health and foot problems that led her to research minimal footwear
- How pregnancy made her foot problems worse and how this led her to research alternatives to overly supportive shoes
- When her foot pain got super severe and started causing other joint pain as well
- The book that opened her eyes to another way to heal her feet
- What foot shaped footwear and barefoot shoes are and why they are important
- How to rehab feet and transition to better footwear
- The benefits of barefoot time when possible
- What to look for in barefoot shoes and all the different types available
- How sitting too much can also create foot issues even if kids aren’t wearing restrictive footwear
- The main things to look for in foot friendly footwear: foot shaped (asymmetric), flat, zero drop, bendable
- Exercises and movements for strengthening and mobilizing feet
- What toe yoga is and how to do it
- Her take on toe spreaders and when they can be beneficial
- Tips for making the transition easier
- Fascia release tools and how they can be helpful
- Her parting advice: You don’t have to be a foot nerd and be only barefoot to benefit from the ideas of this and how to 80/20 it
Resources We Mention
- Anya’s Reviews – website
- Anya’s Instagram
- Whole Body Barefoot: Transitioning Well to Minimal Footwear by Katy Bowman
- CARS video from Hunter Fitness
- Vivo Barefoot
- Xero Shoes
- Earth Runners
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.
- Acupressure Rock Mat
More From Wellness Mama
- 202: Gordon Hay on How Footwear Affects Posture, Alignment, & Movement
- 380: How to Use CARs: My Secret for Mobility and Strength (+ HRV, FRC & Kinstretch) With Hunter Cook
- 267: Hunter Cook on Why Sports Aren’t Good for Kids & Solving Joint Pain
- 521: Aaron Alexander on How to Create an Environment That Benefits Your Body
- 273: Aaron Alexander on The Power of Movement for Mind and Body
- Benefits of Going Barefoot (and the Best Barefoot Shoes)