‘My experience as a martial artist made me realise the importance of feeling with my feet. Standard shoes are made for exactly the opposite purpose: not to feel anything. Instead of having the feet trapped in rigid unforgiving boxes, the shoes are made with the understanding that feet need to be treated with the same care with which we treat our hands. My aim is to make gloves for feet. The tabi, split toe Japanese traditional shoe for indoors, is an excellent example of this, as the big toe separated from the rest allows the tendons to do their work, the toes will spread in a natural way preventing bunions and also the tabi provides an excellent sense of balance. My passion for Ninja, Samurai and Japanese culture made me go deeper and deeper in exploring tabi designs. Now I blend that with the barefoot feeling.
In the words of a group of Osteopaths and Physiotherapists (https://osteoandphysio.co.uk/the-importance-of-functional-footwear/)
In an ideal world a shoe should:
It is worth bearing in mind that your foot has more nerve endings than your hand. It has evolved to be incredibly sensitive to inform your body of what you are walking on, enabling you to balance. Each step you take initiates a cascade of muscular contractions that start at your foot, works up and across your body and ends in your opposite arm. You need your foot to be able to be receptive and to move naturally to enable this to occur.
Just like any part of the body, the foot muscles and nervous system will get deconditioned if not allowed to function properly.