Summer Means Shedding the Shoes
Being the shoe police is one task most foot and ankle-focused physicians dislike. Evidence says that taking away shoe support can result in positive changes to foot muscle activity, but only after some training. So we can take our sandals conversation and make it a chance to educate.
Windlass Mechanism Overstated?
For their article, "Foot Stiffening During the Push-off Phase of Human Walking is Linked to Active Muscle Contraction, and Not the Windlass Mechanism," authors Dominic James Farris et al. studied the human feet in vivo during the push-off phase of gait. EMG showed that active contractions of the ankle plantar flexors provided the source of tension in the plantar aponeurosis in conjunction with the foot intrinsics.
A Simple Intrinsic Strengthening Protocol
Strengthening foot muscles to improve the ability to generate and absorb forces can be achieved with a 4-point exercise program consisting of short foot exercises, doming, toes curl and towing exercises, according to "How to Evaluate and Improve Foot Strength in Athletes: An Update," an article by Romain Tourillon et al.