Nordic walking has long been one of the most popular sports. Many shoe manufacturers have jumped on this trend and offer special walking shoes. But do you really need special shoes or can you also do Nordic walking barefoot or with barefoot shoes? In this article, we go into detail on the subject and show you our ZAQQ barefoot shoes, which are perfect for training.
The origins of Nordic Walking
Back in the 1930s, cross-country skiers trained walking with poles during the snow-free months of the year to keep in shape and prepare for the next ski season. It was not until the 1970s that a Finnish cross-country coach called this snow-free training method Nordic walking.
However, the breakthrough for this sport did not come until the 1990s when a sports equipment manufacturer brought the first special Nordic Walking poles onto the market. With the appropriate marketing campaigns, this sport received more and more attention and is now one of the most popular activities. And that is not surprising, because Nordic Walking is simply good for the body and the soul.
Advantages of Nordic Walking
Nordic Walking is one of the most popular sports for a reason, it can be practised practically anywhere. All you need are your poles and you can start walking. There are no more excuses, because you can walk on asphalt, in the park, in the forest or even on the beach. Nordic walking is much gentler for the joints than jogging and not only exercises the leg muscles, but also the arm and back muscles if you use the poles correctly. By individually adjusting the training intensity, this sport can be practised at any age - alone, in pairs or even in a group.
Besides strengthening the muscles, Nordic Walking can also have many other positive effects on the body:
- Improving endurance and resistance
- Strengthening the immune system
- Stress reduction
- Relieving tension in the neck, shoulders and spine
- Stimulation of fat metabolism
- Improving the oxygen supply in the body
Now the question is whether you need special shoes or whether Nordic Walking can also be practised barefoot.
Practising Nordic Walking barefoot
If you want to practise your favourite sport barefoot, you should have trained barefoot walking before. By wearing shoes all the time, the foot has to get used to it step by step. It is not only the skin that feels every prick as pain at the beginning, but also the muscles and tendons that have to adapt to barefoot walking.
In modern shoes with cushioning soles, which are usually much too thick and inflexible, the foot cannot roll properly. The active footwork that is so important for Nordic Walking is therefore made much more difficult in conventional shoes. Due to a heel elevation, which almost every conventional shoe has, the foot comes down hard on the heel when walking and must therefore be supported by cushioning properties of the shoe.
When walking barefoot, the natural movement and rolling of the foot provides the cushioning. However, many people have forgotten how to walk naturally. When switching from modern footwear to barefoot walking, the foot muscles must first be strengthened. You can read about the right way to do this in our magazine:
Despite the advantages, radical barefoot walking is not an option for many because firstly, your feet are not protected at all (e.g. from broken glass) and secondly, the social norm forbids it for many. If you are looking for an alternative, the advantages of our ZAQQ barefoot shoes will absolutely convince you.
Nordic Walking with ZAQQ barefoot shoes
Nordic Walking is all about good and precise technique. Active footwork, i.e. rolling, is particularly important in this sport. In order to achieve a higher walking speed, the foot is pushed off powerfully from the ball of the foot and the toes after rolling. The active footwork is supported and coordinated with the poles.
Our ZAQQ barefoot shoes are so-called minimal shoes. They offer your foot maximum freedom of movement thanks to sufficient space in the toe area and a particularly thin and flexible sole. ZAQQ barefoot shoes are super light and protect your feet from broken pieces, stones, dirt and moisture during Nordic Walking. At the same time, you can roll your foot optimally and feel the ground with every step so that you can adapt your entire movement accordingly.
If you have already practised Nordic Walking in conventional training shoes, you will immediately notice in our barefoot shoes that the active footwork is much easier and more efficient due to the thin and highly flexible sole. However, the musculature is also put under much more intensive strain. If this has not yet been built up and your goals are set too ambitiously, it can lead to muscular overload.
As in all other areas of the body, your muscles must slowly get used to the strain. You will soon notice that when you wear barefoot shoes regularly, your foot muscles will be strengthened and you will develop a natural and, above all, joint-friendly movement.
Which barefoot shoes are best for Nordic Walking
In short, you can practice Nordic Walking in all of our ZAQQ barefoot shoes, because they all have these features:
- thin, highly flexible sole
- sufficient space for your toes
In other words, it all comes down to your personal preferences in terms of material and design. Since many people prefer a particularly light and breathable shoe for sports, we have assigned our barefoot shoes to different categories. Among our ZAQQ running shoes you will find all models that are perfect for all sporting activities due to their material and design.
Look for your favourite barefoot shoe for your next training session.
We wish you lots of fun and even more success with your next Nordic Walking training.
Your ZAQQ Team