What is the purpose of the shoe?
The purpose of our footwear is to recalibrate your feet back to their innate strength and function. This is done by a wide toe box and flexible sole, so that your toes can spread like nature intended and your foot muscles can activate and work. At the same time the sole is thick enough to protect your feet. While using a pair of Wydes you will regain your foot function and over time be stronger barefoot. Your functional feet will help your whole body foundation, minimizing risk of injury and optimizing an active and pain free life.
When or during what activities am I supposed to wear the shoe?
At Wyde we believe shoes can be of multi-use, and that a uniquely designed shoe such as the Hallux 1.0 can be worn doing many different activities; the office, for a walk or at the gym. If you have functional feet and strong calves you can also take your Wyde out on the running trail. For activities with a movement pattern more like padel or tennis your ankles need to be very strong if you use the Hallux 1.0. For those activities, it is recommended that you await our future models with more torque stability.
How do I know my size?
Please refer to the Size Guide
Can I wear toe-separators inside of my Wyde Footwear?
Yes, the Hallux 1.0 is designed to fit your foot wearing toe-separators. A functional foot has room in between the toes and is naturally as wide as most feet are wearing toe-separators. Since the Hallux is made for functional feet, a dysfunctional foot with toe-separators is the same width as a functional foot without toe-separators. We recommend using toe-separators in your shoes until your foot is as wide naturally by themselves, then continue to wear Wyde Footwear so that your foot is kept in its natural shape. The Hallux 1.0 is designed to ensure that your feet fit inside the shoe where they can be strong, functional and have room between your toes with or without the toe-separator tool.
Why do I need wide shoes?
Most humans are naturally born with wide feet, and therefore need a wide shoe. Since most people in modern society are wearing shoes with a narrow toe-box, this will cramp the toes together creating all sorts of problems over time while hampering foot biomechanics and foot muscle strength. Hallux valgus and plantar fasciitis are examples of conditions that can be developed by wearing shoes with a toe-spring and a narrow toe-box. Cramping the toes together will also increase moisture and the risk for foot fungus will increase. These are just a few reasons to have a wide shoe.
Do I need special socks when wearing these shoes?
You’ll get more of the benefits of a Wyde shoe if you also wear foot shaped socks. Although, a conventional sock inside of a Wyde shoe is superior for your feet compared to any conventional shoe.
Do you recommend toe-separators with these shoes?
We recommend using toe-separators in your shoes until your foot is as wide naturally by themselves, then continue to wear Wyde Footwear so that your foot is kept in its natural shape. The hallux 1.0 is designed to ensure that your feet fit inside the shoe when they can be strong, functional and have room between your toes with or without the toe-separator tool. The hallux prides itself with being wide enough for fitting inside them with your toe-separators compared to many other brands in the market where that is simply not possible. Just remember that if your feet are not used to toe-separators, the amount spent with them might need to be gradually increased.
Do you recommend any specific exercise program for feet?
We see great progress in feet function after just wearing foot shaped socks and our shoes daily. Even better to complete that with a gradually increased use of toe-separators until splayed toes are natural for your feet. If you want to achieve quicker results, head over to myfootfunction.com and look at their online-workshops. We recommend “Fix your feet” as a start.
Are these shoes for everyone?
Yes indeed, we do however recommend a gradual increase in time spent in our shoes if you are dealing with foot pain/functional problems etc. And if your troubles are severe, please consult a medical professional to help you transition from a conventional shoe to a Wyde shoe. If done correctly it will be great for your feet and your whole body.
Why not the thinnest possible outsole like other barefoot shoes?
The idea of a thin outsole is great, the problem is that if the sole is too minimal and you step on a small rock, it might trigger pain which might inhibit the nervous system and gait/running reflexes. The important aspect of using a barefoot shoe is so that the foot muscles can work/gain strength as intended naturally. This will also happen in a flexible Wyde Footwear sole. But the Wyde Footwear sole will also protect your feet and let your nervous system execute full power. Many people transitioning from a damped sole with a thick sole will also have a hard time transitioning to a barefoot shoe and often develop pain in calves and/or feet. These risks are a lot lower with a slightly thicker sole. Depending on how functional your feet are we do recommend a gradually increased time of use with your Wyde shoes as well.
Can I use Wyde Footwear if I have a medical condition?
Yes we do recommend Wyde Footwear, but remember that your body prefers a gradual transition so that it can adapt in a healthy way. We also recommend the transition process to be supervised by a medical professional, especially if you’ve been using very damped shoes with very thick soles, toe spring and a narrow toe box. Use our shoes with toe separators for approximately 10-15 minutes every other day in the beginning. If it feels comfortable, increase your use to daily. After a week if everything feels fine, slowly increase the time spent in the shoes but avoid longer walks and running in the beginning. When you can comfortably walk for longer and longer periods of time, you can go for a short run to see how your body adapts. Your goal is for the experience to be comfortable and to see your feet expand in width and your toes to spread and relax.
Are you saying my damped running shoes with a 3 cm outsole are bad for my feet?
The extra damped outsole doesn’t need to be bad per say. We would say that the narrow toe box, the toe-spring and elevated heel are bigger problems for your feet. For some people a damped shoe is needed (prior injuries, heavy body weight with strain on feet/ankles, weak feet etc), but we would prefer the damped, thick outsole to be more flexible and bendable, with a wide toe box and a minimal or no drop. This way your feet can start the transition to becoming more functional and supporting your body in a nature-intended way. Look for future Wyde models to offer you this. For some this is a great start for a while, to then transition for the Hallux and even to barefoot models in the future. Since this shoe is yet to be released, we would recommend a gradual transition to the Hallux 1.0 while parallel working on your feet with exercises and under the supervision of a medical professional. (for example the workshops at myfootfunction.com).
My friend said minimalist/barefoot shoes increase the risk for injuries, is this true with Wyde Footwear?
If used correctly, the short answer is no. But let us offer a deeper explanation. In the long run, having strong functional feet is very healthy for your body, balance, and functionality. Having toes that can splay and strong foot muscles increase balance (Fall injuries is one of the biggest problems in the elderly population). Dr Lieberman at the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University has found that people who use minimalist footwear have stronger feet than people who use conventional shoes. So using Wyde Footwear will help you greatly in the long run. Short term, depending on how your feet function while transitioning to Wyde Footwear it might be important to gradually increase your use of the shoes and also do foot exercises (myfootfunction.com). This will make for a smooth recalibration of your feet back to their natural state. Some people can make the transition directly while others need to do a gradual shift, but in the long run your feet will thank you. The Wyde outsole is also thicker than the most barefoot/minimalist shoes and this will minimize the risks of injury. We are proud at Wyde Footwear to have created a sole that is thick enough to protect your feet and thin/flexible enough to promote healthy strong feet.
Why is the shape so different? The shoes don't look like my other shoes?
The Wyde Footwear is a foot-shaped shoe, honoring the human evolution and innate form of our feet. Combined with the Scandinavian design we believe our shoes blend in at many activities and make the wearer look cool & trendy and at the same time caring for your feet. With Wyde Footwear you do not need to compromise between style and function.
Are insoles bad? Can I have my insoles in my Wyde Footwear?
Insoles can be of fantastic use in the acute phase of pain in your feet by offloading the injured tissues. In this case you can use your insoles in your Wyde shoes. We do believe that insoles are a temporary solution and that you will be better off trying to use foot exercise to lessen your need for the insoles. In the long run your feet will be better off without the insoles inside a Wyde Shoe so that your natural innate foot strength can be reset. This way you will likely not get new injuries and will have strong independant feet inside your Wyde shoes or when walking barefoot at the beach. This should be the end goal even though some people might need insoles at isolated time periods dealing with acute phases of pain/injuries.
How about children, do they need these shoes?
The earlier in life wide shoes are worn, the better. Wyde Footwear for kids is under development and will be launched upon thorough testing. Depending on the age of the child, the Hallux 1.0 with our smallest size might work.