UFC Champion Georges St. Pierre spends a surprising amount of his book The Way of the Fight talking about feet.
My feet are the most powerful, important parts of my body. We’re too busy wearing shoes we think are comfortable – shoes we believe “support” our weight- to even think about the meaning of our feet.
Shoes kill the sensations in our feet, which affects stability. You start compensating for your lack of balance with your knees, hips and other parts of your body.
Feet are the genesis of all movements, especially in mixed martial arts. It’s where most of our power comes from.
There are 7,200 nerve endings in each of your feet. Yet every time you wear shoes or sandals, you’re breaking your connection to the ground.
Some people will say “Georges, it hurts when I run and my heels hit the ground!” That’s because your heels aren’t even supposed to hit the ground when you run – even if you’re wearing a shoe. The whole idea of a heel strike is a mistake. It’s counterproductive.
In my stance, my heel almost never touches the ground. For me, this brings my weight onto the balls of my feet, and that’s where I have an advantage over most of my opponents: I’m always ready to explode or change directions.
I wasn’t expecting to get minimilist running philosophy from a book on mixed martial arts, but I’ve rarely heard it put better.