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Barefoot Shoes for Your Core & Pelvic Floor

Did you know that the muscles in your pelvic floor actually originate in your feet? And your core and pelvic floor are directly connected to your feet by fascia? This wonderful system of connective tissue starts at your feet, moves up the back of your legs, and connects to your pelvis and pelvic floor.

Barefoot shoes for core and pelvic floor, yoga, dog
Hello, Cali

This means that if you’re trying to heal from a core/pelvic floor injury, or just want to optimize your core function and prevent a potential injury, working on your foot health and strength is a wonderful place to start. It’s also a refreshing and more effective alternative to spot treating with crunches and kegels (too much of which can actually be counterproductive!).

Your feet were designed with over 200,000 nerve endings per foot, to receive all the delicious, sensory information that is valuable to your body as you move around in the world. And since your pelvic floor is so intricately connected to your feet, if they’re locked up in padded, restrictive shoes, you’re literally depriving your pelvic floor of valuable input!

Try this: Stand up and hinge into a forward fold. Take note of where your fingertips touch your shins or the ground. Now, take a lacrosse or large bouncy ball and place it under your unshod foot, rolling it around and applying pressure as it feels good. Spend a few minutes massaging each foot with your ball, then stand up and bend into a forward fold again… Notice how much farther you get after releasing the fascia on the bottom of your feet!

This release extends all the way up your chain, and is a powerful example of how much your feet really do affect the rest of your body.

Another daily practice to increase foot health - and in turn - pelvic health, that will take you no extra time, is walking around with bare feet, or in barefoot shoes.

Exposing your feet to varied terrain by wearing barefoot shoes will naturally increase the amount of micromovements within the 33 joints of each foot, and this automatically maps up to your pelvic floor. Plus, depriving your feet of cushion and arch support will cause your feet to become stronger as they have to work at supporting the weight of your body (just like they were designed to!). And because of their muscular and fascial connection, the stronger your feet, the stronger your pelvic floor.

Another powerful benefit of barefoot shoes is that the lack of raised heel will encourage you to stand and move with proper alignment. This is especially important for core function, because if you have any raised heel - even in a cushioned athletic shoe - you’ll be forced to compensate in your knees, hips, and ribs in order to remain upright. This suboptimal posture puts a lot of extra pressure on your core and pelvic floor, eventually leading to aches, pains and injuries.

zero drop shoe vs elevated heal, alignment
Photo: @Paperkrane

If you’re trying to heal a core or pelvic floor injury and want to switch over to barefoot to help your healing journey, it can be tempting to do as much as possible as quickly as possible. But if you are new to barefoot shoes, please know that your body would like you to move slowly and mindfully as you begin to place new demands upon it. Transitioning to barefoot shoes can take time, and everyone’s experience is different. It’s possible for you to experience a setback by trying to transition too quickly, so please be kind to yourself in the process!

There are a million benefits to switching over to barefoot shoes, and improving your core function is just one. For me, the stronger the connection between my feet and my core, the fewer aches and pains I experience in my entire body. And - I can't fully put it into words - but I just feel really good and strong in my body. I feel graceful and fierce. There's nothing like it and I'll never go back.

If you're thinking about transitioning to a barefoot lifestyle to improve your core and/or pelvic floor function, or just for a stronger body in general, I'm cheering you on and I'm with you in it! Your body is amazing and adaptive, and it will become stronger if you're willing to put in the effort. It just needs smart input - and a perfect starting point is with your feet.

barefoot pelvic floor and core support
Strong feet supporting my strong pregnant body.

Your Barefoot Guide,


PS. I highly recommend working through Lauren Ohayon's Restore Your Core program. It's the most effective and powerful program for core/pelvic floor function IMO. (Use coupon code WWFTPZGS for $10 off!)



Hey, I'm Kim!

I'm so happy you're here.

I believe that your feet are the foundation for full body strength, and living a barefoot lifestyle is key to moving through your years with joy and freedom.

Join me as we live our best barefoot lives together.


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