Exercises

Below are strengthening foot exercises that you can do at home.

STOP exercise if you feel pain.  You should know the difference between the feelings of pain, muscle soreness, and stretching.  If you are not familiar with these feelings, you should seek a professional for initial supervision and guidance.  If your feet get sore (or any other bodypart) are sore after exercise, give them at least 24 hours rest, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop exercising.  Continue to exercise other parts that are not sore (arms, hands, etc.) because having a daily exercise routine is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and your life.

TOE ABDUCTION: wrap a rubber band around your toes and spread them apart as far as you can (see figure 1).  Hold them in that position and count to five, then relax.  Repeat 5 more times.  It’s best to do this exercise 3 times per day, but if you can only get around to doing it once or twice, just add a few extra repetitions to your session.

tarsal abduction
Figure 1

TOE GRASP: Pick up stuff with your toes.  Get a bag of marbles, place them in a pile on the floor and sit in front of it.  Pick up the marbles with your toes one by one and put them in a plastic cup.  Let each toe take its turn picking up a marble.  When you’re done, pick up the cup by its edge with your toes and pour the marbles out.  Start again with the other foot.  For an added challenge, try this exercise while standing.

RUN BAREFOOT (or walk):  One of the best foot exercises you can do is to walk (or run) barefooted.  Though, many of you will probably want to put a little something between your feet and the city sidewalks or parkways.  If you don’t want to go full barefoot, I’d recommend a pair of Luna Sandals.  Run or walk at least 15 minutes, 4 times per week on trails, rocky terrain, or grassy fields.  If you live next to a beach, even better because sand is great for foot strengthening.  Any uneven surface will do.

The first time I ran in Lunas, I only ran for about a half hour on a flat, gravel-covered trail and my feet were sore!  It’s not like I never ran before either – prior to discovering Lunas, I was running about 10-15 miles per week in the New Balance Minimus.  I still average about 10-15 miles per week, but with these sandals, my feet are doing more work (and getting stronger).  It only took about a couple of weeks before my feet were strong enough to handle running without getting fatigued.  Below are a collection of foot-strengthening running apparatuses.  You can go for the Lunas, or whatever you think will suit your needs.

Luna Mono
The Luna Mono sandal. Most of you will want to have something under your feet while you exercise. These are perfect for building up strength of the intrinsic foot muscles. Just remember not to get a thick pair. The ones that are between 9mm and 12mm thick are the best for allowing your feet to move as it would need to for building muscle.
Unshoes
Unshoes – Womens Wokova Feather Sandal