Yesterday I made the (reluctant) decision to wear fully enclosed shoes. It was raining and usually when we go into town, I bring a pair of very loose, two flat-strapped sandals that would fall off if my feet weren't trained to hold them on with each step. I only wear them in stores. I walk and drive without shoes otherwise. I didn't bring my sandals because they have no tread and I can slide 20 feet on a good-balance day before landing on my posterior in public, when my sandals are wet.
Anyway, I haven't enclosed my feet since winter, and doing so produced some unexpected findings.
I expected that my feet would feel constricted relative to the way they are usually, and they did. I expected that they would feel too warm and they did. What surprised me though, was that I now use my feet so differently that the low, wide shoes I previously found comfortable caused me to have to completely change my gait to accommodate them! I found that I had to stiffen up my whole lower leg and foot in order to make my step conform to the shape and form of the shoe!!! And these shoes are considered, and really are by comparison, 'flexible!'
So, since that is ludicrous to me (and I am so glad that my body has adapted to moving in the way I didn't know it would or could, that actually suits its form rather than that of a shoe), I have endeavoured to make my own foot-coverings that will allow for natural motion so that when winter comes, I can still walk and not feel like I'm wearing casts on my legs and feet.
I'll post pictures of my creations when they are complete. :) So, this was news to me. Apparently, I now walk like a good-old-fashioned cave woman. :D
*ETA: I wanted to include- and have been consistently forgetting- that I was pleasantly surprised to find that my new leather-like-bottomed feet are not less sensitive, but in fact more than ever! BUT, I don't experience this heightened sensitivity as pain, and often have a need to walk on pebbly ground to relax my whole body and relieve my feet of too many hours on a smooth surface or sandals or minivan carpet. It is genuinely a delight so small and yet so delicious that in my desire to embrace the present, I am reluctant to express my sadness for having been without this experience for nearly 32 years. My feet are free; free at last!