The phone rings.
On the other end a male voice asks for minimalist shoes.
For the thinnest one we have. He's referring to the thickness of the sole.
He's from Ronda, where the Tajo river comes from.
And he calls recommended by a podiatrist.
'The feet are stiff, with a pronounced bridge, he has crowded toes and when walking the ankle turns inwards.'
In my head I imagine the situation.
A man in his forties who works in an office, many years in narrow, stiff shoes, with a heel.....
But he surprises me when he says they are his son's feet.
Only 12 years old, but with feet that look over 50.
The man looks worried.
As a responsible father, he knows that his son's feet are not working properly and may eventually lead to other problems.
As we say, health starts with the feet, and he knows it.
That's all in that conversation.
A few days later, a young woman appears at the door, nervous and in a hurry.
She is accompanied by a shy and quiet child.
Mother and son are night and day.
She comes from her husband, from Ronda.
She talks a lot, non-stop, at a speed that steps on her words.
She doesn't know much about the subject and is surprised when she picks up a pair of minimalist shoes from the counter.
She was expecting an orthopaedic type shoe.
Something her son would put on and it would solve the problem instantly.
Like when you get an itchy tooth and the dentist fills it.
Or when you go to the optician because you can't see well and he puts glasses on you.
I raise a hand to try to speak. She doesn't stop and I want to explain to her the reason for the minimalist/barefoot shoes.
'I don't see what you're saying," I tell her, "because if you put on a shoe that prevents the foot from moving and the ankle from turning inwards, it's as if you were putting a crutch on the foot.
It's good for a few days, but you can't walk around with crutches all the time.
That's why you have to let the foot work. Let it move in all directions and let it feel where it's stepping.'
I keep talking:
'You say that your son has cavus feet.
That's why the podiatrist has recommended wide shoes, so that the foot has space and the arch can move freely.
Also with a thin sole so that the foot can feel and improve its stimulation.
And without any kind of reinforcements on the sides and very flexible, so nothing will influences his movements, the muscles gain strength and the ankle functions correctly'.
While I give her the explanation I am turning the shoes and pointing out the features.
She assents and comments:
'Besides, they're really cool. That at this age they're already at the puberty age and he only want good-looking (and from known brand) shoes.'
She continues pleasantly surprised:
'I thought I was going to get something rough for my son and I'm getting some really nice shoes.
So much so that I'm going to buy some for myself".
She finishes with:
'If I spend €200 on his glasses, why not on shoes so I don't ruin his feet.'
We often try to solve a problem by overprotecting the damaged area,
but most of the time it is solved with the opposite, letting it act, let it work, let it move.
Feet are the clear example.
Putting it inside a shoe that prevents its movement, that is narrow, with a heel and reinforcements, does not solve the problem.
You could be able to alleviate some discomfort,
but with time the problem will get worse, it will limit your movement and you will end up sitting on the sofa, without wanting to move.
The minimalist shoes that mother and son chose, and that allow your feet to move, are the Geo Racer II.
The boy has a big foot (27 cm) so he had to choose adult shoes.
If he had a smaller size he could have chosen the Primus Sport II, which have the same benefits for his feet as the Geo Racer II.
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