characteristic of, influenced by, or representing a current popular trend or style.
In this weeks microdose for the sole, we're talking about the blossoming trend of natural footwear becoming fashionable. If you haven't already read previous blogs unpacking unnatural footwear and natural footwear, I recommend doing that before reading on.
Fashion is largely a reflection of culture and over time, it flows through different trends and styles. Until now, unnatural footwear has dominated the world of fashion but it seems like the trend is shifting and the next 10 years could usher in a new footwear fashion trend that aligns with health: natural footwear.
Over the past 30 years, athleisure swept through the world of clothing and transformed how we define fashion. Instead of wearing formal clothing that is uncomfortable, inflexible and negatively impacts our movement health, people began wearing comfortable clothing that blurs the line between clothing you would wear to the gym and clothing you would wear to work or a cafe.
Women began wearing yoga pants everyday instead just during workouts. Functional clothing became fashionable because it felt better to move freely in a pair of leggings than in denim. Advances in fabric technology and a loosening of our unofficial social "dress code" allowed people the freedom to wear clothes that felt good and athletic clothing became fashionable.
Unfortunately, footwear seems to have been left behind but it's now making up serious ground and the trend of natural footwear is quickly gaining momentum. Just as we changed our cultural acceptance of wearing athletic clothing everyday, humans are coming around and accepting the idea of wearing shoes that look like feet and allow our feet to function naturally.
When someone truly understands the negative consequences that unnatural shoes have on their foot health and whole body health, buying those "cute" shoes that create gnarly, painful feet is no longer as appealing as it used to. As foot health education permeates cultural awareness, demand for shoes that allow our feet to heal increases and creates an opportunity for footwear startups to steal away market share from the legacy companies that continue making and marketing shoes that destroy our feet.
Big footwear brands like Nike, Adidas and Puma have been able to sell unnatural shoes to a largely uniformed customer base but that doesn't work anymore once people understand the 4F's and understand how to protect themselves from shoes that damage their feet and movement patterns.
This blossoming trend is ushering in a wave of footwear startups that are designing shoes that feel good and look good. Every month I hear about new projects and the shoes being made are looking better and better as time passes.
Our mission at Sole Freedom is to curate awesome natural footwear brands from around the world that are making shoes that align with foot health, look good, and to share the story of the humans behind the projects.
Making health fashionable is something we can all be part of. Every person who ditches unnatural shoes, wears natural footwear and spreads the message to friends and family is helping to shift cultural trends. It's time to make health fashionable and we can all be part of the movement by proudly wearing natural shoes.
Thanks for reading and for taking care of yourself.
Talk to you next week.