Benefits of Barefoot Stimulation for Children

Life is a sensory playground.

From the vibration of impact forces to the sound of our favorite song, sensory stimulation shapes our cognition, emotional flexibility and motor control. If we think back to when we were children, many of us may recall instinctively preferring to be without shoes. We intuitively knew that that things felt “different” in this sensory rich environment we call barefoot.


The Importance of Barefoot Stimulation for Kids

No matter how adorable kids' shoes are, walking and playing barefoot allows access to the thousands of nerves in the bottom of the feet. This direct contact between the feet and the ground has incredible benefits. Below are some of the top benefits chidden can expect from going sans footwear.

Barefoot Stimulation Allows Healthy Foot Development

Over the past 30 years, studies have shown that wearing shoes can have a negative effect on foot development. Premature supportive footwear can slow the natural intrinsic muscle strengthening that is required for future arch development and dynamic foot function.

study in the Bone and Joint Journal suggested that children who wear close-toe supportive shoes are more likely to have flat feet than children who wear sandals or walk barefoot.

Since children are going through so much growth and motor programming, the impact of footwear can potentially be greater for children than adults. For instance, children develop a foot arch between the ages of 3 and 9 which mean that the need for arch support in children may not be necessary and actually deleterious.

Barefoot Stimulation Benefits the Brain

Feeling the ground beneath the feet increases foot nerve stimulation which leads to overall higher neuro-activation.

Kids' (like adult’s) receive information about the surfaces they walk on. The sole of the foot is rich in nerve endings which are designed to send sensory information to the brain. This information is then used to prepare accurate muscle responses.

Barefoot stimulation enhances the connection between the foot and the brain. This means that it increases proprioception and mechanoception. Proprioception is the ability to perceive the motion and position of our body in space. These receptors in the body are activated by movement and pressure. Then they communicate the body's position and orientation to the brain.

Sensorial stimulation of the feet is important throughout one's life, however early childhood is a particularly crucial period for stimulation due to it being a peak window of neuroplasticity, or a period of neurodevelopment. About 90 percent of the brain develops during the first six years of life. It's during this period that a child's neural pathways form and change in response to stimuli, including that from the foot.

Barefoot Stimulation Promotes Better Walking Posture

Barefoot stimulation increases body awareness which translates to how we learn to walk and carry ourselves.

Without shoes the brain learns the pattern of normal movement from the way the muscles contract and relax, and how the joints work. This forms neurological patterns in the brain — a kind of "walking memories." Premature use of shoes can distort the natural walking pattern due to compromised sensory stimulation.

For healthy growth, a child's foot needs to feel all the clues from the environment. Foot stimulation is best when the foot touches the ground without the barrier of footwear. This promotes the natural movement needed for a proper posture, better balance and coordination.

When kids have more control of their feet, their movement is more stable. So, walking, running, climbing, and playing become safer.


Barefoot Stimulation Tips for Kids

As well as benefiting the brain, nerves, and muscles, barefoot walking and playing is fun for kids. So let's take a look at some barefoot activities for children. Then, we'll discover what they should wear when they can't go around unshod.

Barefoot Activities for Kids

It's good for your kid to walk or play barefoot at least 20 minutes a day, according to an article on Motherly. Having a no-shoes household policy helps.

Walk Barefoot. Allow your child to go without shoes anywhere that it's safe enough to walk barefoot. As kids imitate grown-ups, take your shoes off, too. Choose to walk on surfaces with a mix of textures, like a sandy and gravel beach. Or, walk barefoot along a forest path. It's even better if it has grass, mud, dry leaves, rocks, and wood. All these textures train your kids' bare feet to adapt to various surfaces they tread. In doing so, they stimulate the nervous system.

Play Barefoot. When kids play barefoot, running around, skipping rope, jumping in a mud pool, and climbing trees become more enjoyable. In addition exploring their environment with bare feet helps their muscle and brain development.

Build a Barefoot Sensory Trail for Kids.To boost kids' bare feet stimulation, you can create a sensory walking path in your yard. From rock mats and the Naboso Mat to dirt and grass, all different surfaces create. a unique stimulating environment for children’s feet.

Minimalist Shoes and Naboso Insoles Keep Kids' Feet Stimulated

Choosing the right footwear for tiny feet is crucial to avoid foot problems in childhood and later. Stiff shoes can cause deformities, like bunions. Or, they may even cause injury or foot pain. This is the conclusion of a research study published in The Foot in 2007.

So what are the best shoes for children?

The ideal shoes for kids are:

•         flat

•         flexible

•         lightweight

•         breathable

They have:

•         a deep and wide toe box

•         no arch support

•         an adjustable closure like Velcro or laces at the top

•         a puncture-resistant sole

We recently did a blog post on our favorite barefoot shoes for kids. You can read that HERE

As mentioned above, nothing is better for children than walking barefoot. But minimalist, or "barefoot," shoes come close. And if you pair them with Naboso insoles, you've got the next best thing to walking in bare feet. They help improve balance, foot strength, mobility, as well as ankle function.

These textured insoles stimulate the nervous system. This improves children's motor and cognitive development. You can trim the insoles to match any type of children's shoes. Visit the Naboso shop to find out more about Naboso Technology products.


The best way to stimulate your kids' bare feet is to let them go unshod. Foot stimulation through barefoot walking has amazing benefits. It helps their motor skills, brain, nerves, and muscles. When kids need footwear, choose minimalist shoes with Naboso insoles. The young ones will reap most of the benefits of barefoot walking with the added protection that footwear provides. With the right footwear, your children will go places — safely.

Best Barefoot Shoes for Kids

Sensory stimulation is a necessary aspect to any child’s cognitive, emotional and motor development. When we say sensory - we mean visual, vestibular and tactile input. From a tactile input perspective this can be achieved through stimulation of the hands and feet.

Some of the best ways to increase foot sensory stimulation is through barefoot play, minimal shoes and textured insoles. The purpose of this article is to review the benefits of barefoot shoes for kids and some of our favorite recommendations to keep your little ones stimulated.

Why Barefoot Is Better

Shoes with cushion, support and a heel toe drop are unnatural devices which actually work against the natural movement patterns of a child. Instead of restricting natural movement of the foot we want to allow freedom of movement - especially during this period of motor programming and development.

Below are 5 of our favorite barefoot shoes for children along with some of their top features and price point.

Merrell Bare Steps Toddler Shoes (

Merrell Bare Steps Toddler Shoes (

Merrell Bare Steps Toddler Shoes

Merrell—a huge player in the adult shoe market—is no stranger to the benefits of minimalist footwear. To that end, the Michigan-based footwear company offers a range of “Bare Steps™” shoes for children.

As you might imagine, Merrell’s catalog is both varied and stylish. The Little Kid’s Bare Steps Sneaker is a perennial favorite (the extra-wide toe box is particularly impressive). Likewise, Merrell’s Little Kid’s Bare Steps Sandal is a fantastic option for a relaxed, durable sandal capable of handling all sorts of terrain.


•         A durable, puncture-resistance rubber outsole.Merrell's "M Select Grip" rubber outsole is specifically designed to maximize traction and ground feel.

•         An extra-wide toe box.The extra-wide toe box (combined with a rounded outsole edge) perfectly mimics the natural shape of the foot.

•         A zero-drop sole.The thin, zero-drop sole offers protection, ground feel, and plenty of flexibility.


Clocking it around $50 a pair, the Little Kid’s Bare Steps Sneaker is hard to beat!

Softstar’s Barefoot Kids’ Shoes (

Softstar’s Barefoot Kids’ Shoes (

Softstar’s Barefoot Kids’ Shoes

Softstar is another great option for handmade, minimalist shoes for children. The company offers a range of different shoes including the Child Classic, Merry Jane, Roo Moccasin, and Youth Rambler.

Different styles, yes, but the core philosophy is consistent between the entire catalog. The Child Classic, for example, is the quintessential barefoot child’s shoe.


•         A wide tide box. This gives the foot plenty of room to wiggle, stretch, and breathe.

•         A Vibram rubber outsole. The Vibram sole offers flexibility, puncture resistance, and water resistance

•         A removable inner sole. Removable inner soles allow for extra warmth, comfort, and moisture-wicking when installed.


Priced at a very affordable $55 a pair, the Barefoot Child Classic offers great value for the money.

Vivobarefoot Kids’ Shoes (

Vivobarefoot Kids’ Shoes (

Vivobarefoot Kids’ Shoes

Vivobarefoot is one of the barefoot shoe world’s leading designers. The company offers a range of nearly 20 different barefoot shoes for children. Vivobarefoot’s approach was brilliant: downsize our amazing range of adult barefoot shoes and pivot them toward kids. 

At its core, a kid’s barefoot shoe should provide protection, comfort, and not much else. The more the foot can flex, grow, and strengthen, the better.


The Ababa Canvas shoe is as simple and minimal as it can be. This all-natural, 100% handmade shoe features:

•         A minimalist, easy slip-on design.

•         A durable, puncture-resistant, and grippy rubber outsole.

•         Only animal-free products.


Priced at a very competitive $80 per pair, the Vivobarefoot Kids is a true winner.

Wildling Kids Shoes (

Wildling Kids Shoes (

Wildling Kids Shoes

The project of a German-Israeli couple, Europe-based Wilding Shoes (founded in 2013) has a simple goal: provide affordable, minimalist shoes to children. The philosophy is simple: shoes should only protect the foot from harmful debris or weather. The moment a shoe interferes with movement or natural function, it’s gone too far.


•         A lightweight design. The design is great for maximizing ease-of-use.

•         A cork-rubber outsole. Cork-rubber blends are an eco-friendly, 100% vegan option that offers durability, weatherproofing, and plenty of comfort.

•         A Washi-Polyester blend insole. This 75% washi, 25% polyester blend is naturally antimicrobial.  


The Feather Dove clocks in at around $75 per pair, depending on the exchange rate that day.

Xero Prio Kids (

Xero Prio Kids (

Xero Prio Kids Shoes

Colorado-based company Xero Shoes has just launched a children’s version of one of their top sellers - the Xero Prio. Xero Shoes was started by husband and wife team, Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix in November 2009 as a way to celebrate the natural function of the foot and help people reconnect to their foundation.


•         Ergonomic fit. They didn’t just shrink the adult Prio, they changed the shape for a better fit.

•       More grip! They spaced out the lugs and made them bigger on the FeelTrue® soles to give them better traction.

•        Just-right feedback. They also thinned out the sole a little bit to make it extra flexible to give kids the right amount of ground-feel and protection.


The Kids Prio is priced at $70 per pair and comes with a 5,000 mile warranty!

Instilling a love and appreciation for natural, minimalist footwear is one of the most important things we can do for our children. The more we encourage our children to embrace healthy, barefoot shoes, the more they’ll thank us down the road. 

5 of the Best Self-Massage Tools for the Feet

“Release and recovery your feet daily.”

This is one of the most common foot health tips you will hear Naboso™ Founder Dr Emily Splichal tell her patients. With the average adult taking between 5,000 - 8,000 steps per day our feet can take quite a beating. One of the best ways to offset accumulative foot stress and micro-trauma is with self massage.

So where to start and which are the best tools? With so many options out there we’ve listed some of our favorite and the product features we like the most!

Footsie Foot Massager by Earth Therapeutics (

Footsie Foot Massager by Earth Therapeutics (

The Earth Therapeutics Footsie Foot Massager is a simple and affordable foot massager that is designed to get the job done. It is a 9" x 2" massager that has specially designed grooves carved into the wood. These grooves make sure that all of the critical points of the foot are massaged and any adhesions released.

This is one of the more simple foot massage tools that is easy to use and affordable. It helps to not only make tired feet feel good but helps improve circulation as well. And since it's small, you can easily carry it wherever you go. It will work at your desk, while sitting in a chair, or anywhere you can put your feet on the floor.

NANO Foot Roller by TP Therapy (

NANO Foot Roller by TP Therapy (

The NANO Foot Roller by TP Therapy is specifically designed for three things: to target tension, relieve aches and pains, and increase flexibility. It has raised tips on the foot roller that are similar to what a massage therapist's fingertips feels like. What this does is improve circulation and tissue by channeling nutrients directly to these key areas.

The features include a compact design with a foam roller. The material is easy to clean and claims to be sweat proof, which is excellent since it's the perfect size to take with you to the gym. This foot roller is lightweight, easy to take with you anywhere, and can be used standing or sitting.

RAD Rounds by RAD Roller (

RAD Rounds by RAD Roller (

RAD Rounds come with three different size rounds in this kit, each slightly different in size and density (hardness). The technique used for releasing the feet with RAD Rounds is compression versus actually rolling out the foot.

Due to the variety in Round sizes you get into the different muscles and fascia at slight different angles and depths. Dr Splichal has actually filmed a release technique she recommends to her patients which can be viewed HERE

Aromatherapy Massage Ball Set by T-Spheres (

Aromatherapy Massage Ball Set by T-Spheres (

The T-Spheres Massage Ball Sets are more than just a massager. Each set comes with a travel bag and massage balls infused with essential oils. The oils you get depends on which set you buy. For instance, the Inner Strength set comes with two 58mm sized Lacrosse balls which are infused with 100% Eucalyptus and Lemongrass essential oils. This set is for pain relief, rejuvenation, and is uplifting.

In addition to the essential oil infusion, what is unique about these tools is that they can be used either hot or cold. Boil the massage balls for 2-3 minutes for heat or freeze them for an icy relief.

Foot Wakers by Yamuna Body Rolling (

Foot Wakers by Yamuna Body Rolling (

The Yamuna Foot Wakers are quite unique in how they look, work, and their creation. Shaped like two spindly pods, the Yamuna Foot Wakers are designed to increase flexibility, range of motion and alignment.  Once your feet are working correctly, they only require 5-10 minutes daily to keep them happy and healthy.

These can be used seated or standing, and like the other self massage tools you get to decide how much pressure to apply to each foot. The dome shape allows for applying pressure to the feet in a variety of angles giving a more thorough release.

Your Feet Will Thank You

No matter which self-massage foot tool you ultimately choose, your feet will thank you after you perform a simple 5 minute foot release daily. Dr Splichal also adds on that a foot release can easily be incorporating in the morning and evening when brushing your teeth. This helps to make it more of a lifestyle habit!

Naboso™ Sandal Launches in Collaboration with Xero Shoes

Naboso™ Technology, creator of the first commercially available proprioceptive insoles and mats, announces its collaboration with Xero Shoes, a minimal footwear company, to create a sport sandal with built-in Naboso™ Technology.

The Naboso™ Trail Sport Sandal is the first shoe of its kind which combines the benefits of Naboso™ proprioceptive stimulation with a minimal footwear sandal. Featuring our 1.5 Insole users are able to achieve proprioceptive stimulation during their daily activities in warmer weather.

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“We are excited to announce this collaboration with a company that aligns so well with our mission” said Naboso™ Technology Founder, Dr. Emily Splichal. “At Naboso™ Technology, we believe in enhancing the natural movement of our feet and providing ways to enhance barefoot and minimal footwear living. Our partnership with Xero Shoes is just the beginning of countless Naboso™ Technology integrations we hope to accomplish to help people reconnect with their feet.”

The Naboso™ Trail is available in women’s and men’s sizes and can be found on the Xero Shoes website -

5 of the Best Children's Insoles for Flat Feet

Having flat feet is actually common in children up until a certain age. As the soft tissues stiffen and the muscles gain strength, this usually corrects itself. In fact, until a child is around nine years old, the height of the arch in the foot continues to increase. Yet in some children, this does not happen and the feet remain flat. Pediatric flat feet can cause pain and discomfort that can progress throughout childhood development and has been associated with reduced activity and childhood obesity.

What are Flat Feet?

What exactly are flat feet? As mentioned in Medical News Today:

The arches provide a spring to the step and help to distribute body weight across the feet and legs. The structure of the arches determines how a person walks. The arches need to be both sturdy and flexible to adapt to stress and a variety of surfaces.

In some people, including children, this arch is very flat or almost non-existent.

According to The Conversation:

A complex and sophisticated interaction of bones, ligaments, muscles and nerves within and above the foot defines its anatomy and function. Anything that interrupts the integrity of these structures leading to a collapsed arch can cause symptomatic flat feet.

There are a few reasons why a child might have flat feet.

One condition is where there is abnormal anatomy issues. For instance, the legs bowing inwards, called knock knees or genu valgum, is a cause. Another is where there is restricted ankle movement which is called equinus. Some people may have lower legs that rotate outward, while others have a condition where the bones are joined together called tarsal coalition.

It is interesting to note this that was mentioned by the Institute for Preventative Foot Health:

According to the 2012 National Foot Health Assessment conducted by the NPD Group for the Institute for Preventive Foot Health, 8 percent of U.S. adults ages 21 and older (about 18 million people) have the condition. Another 4 percent, or about 8 million U.S. adults, have fallen arches.

While this does not mention how many children are affected, that is still a significant number. And keep in mind that many of the adults mentioned had flat feet as children as opposed to having a condition that caused fallen arches later in life.

Flat Feet in Children

In the past, it was thought to be incorrect footwear that caused flat feet in children. Yet, upon further research, that does not appear to be correct. Arches form in children around the age of two or three years old. In some children, these arches simply do not form like in others, causing the child to have flat feet. Simply put, some children are simply born that way while adults can develop flat feet over time due to environmental or physical issues.

Most flat feet are caused by loose joint connections and baby fat between the foot bones. These conditions make the arch fall when your child stands up. Some people call this fallen arches but that is simply because it may look like there are arches. Yet, when the child puts weight on their feet, the arches disappear and the foot is flat against the floor. This is more of what is called a flexible flat foot.

If it has not been diagnosed by a doctor, you may have an idea that your child has this problem if they mention some of the symptoms. Your child may complain of pain when running or jumping. Or in some cases, you child will tire easily and want to be carried.

So what can be done for the child with flat feet? Below are 5 of the best insoles for children with flat feet. These recommendations are made in conjunction with a weekly foot strengthening program for child and still ensuring proper barefoot / sensory stimulation.

The Top 5 List of Best Children's Insoles for Flat Feet

Birkenstock BirkoBalance Children's Arch Support Insoles

Birkenstock BirkoBalance Children's Arch Support Insoles

Birkenstock is a name that has been trusted for years. In addition to shoes, they also offer children's insoles with plenty of features and benefits. These are specifically for low to neutral arches. There is plenty of shock absorption and cushioning with the deep heel cup. They provide low impact metatarsal support as well as longitudinal medial arch support with the contoured arch. Another benefit is these are waterproof with a patented EVA foam from Birkenstock.

•         Rigid orthotic arch support insole

•         3/4-length footbed

•         Orthotic arch design provides proper foot alignment

•         Latex foam inner liner for extra soft and cushion for foot pain relief

•         Fun multi-color top cover

•         Raised side flanges aid in controlling foot movement and stability

•         Hand Washable

KidZerts Children's Support Insoles

KidZerts Children's Support Insoles

KidZerts insoles are designed with the active kid in mind. These Podiatrist recommended insoles feature what is known as Footbed Technology. The Footed Technology can be molded to fit any kid's foot. This foot molding is done by activity level and natural body heat. Another advantage of this insole is that it has an antibacterial top cover that destroys over 650 types of bacteria. Last but not least, it helps with muscle fatigue by promoting proper balance and alignment.

•         Podiatrist recommended

•         Ideal for active kids

•         Prevent future foot problems

•         Add support & cushion for healthy growing feet

•         Match the standards of products for adults

Naboso Children's Insoles

Naboso Children's Insoles

The Naboso Children's Proprioceptive Insoles are designed to stimulate the skin on the bottom of the feet which is helpful to your child's foot. Designed by Podiatrist Dr Emily Splichal these are the only textured insole on the market that can help stimulate the muscles of a child’s flat foot.

These insoles are perfect for any kind of shoe. From ballet flats to sneakers and can easily be trimmed for the perfect fit. Manufactured from rubber and EVA these insoles have a 1 year life expectancy and can easily be cleaned with soap and water.

Features include:

•         1mm texture stimulates the nerves in the feet

•         A total insole thickness of 3mm

•         Maximizes stability through sensory situation

•         Can be placed on top of any other insole or arch support

•         Allows triplanar movement and freedom of rotation

Powerstep PowerKids Pediatric Orthotics

Powerstep PowerKids Pediatric Orthotics

One of the most trusted adult insole lines, Powerstep also has a great children’s line of insoles. The PowerKids line of insoles has a top layer that absorbs shock and the heel is an ample 2 degrees as well as having a deep heel cup. This insole provides rear foot balance by how it cradles the heel and is properly positioned. The arch supports are built-in and helps restore the alignment the forefoot and mid-foot requires.

These insoles are ideal for mild to moderate flat feet and work for a host of other areas such as foot pain, excessive motion, and balance.

•         Semi-rigid arch support and heel cradle for increased support and stability

•         Mildly angled heel platform stabilizes and protects the heel with each step

•         Double layer, shock absorbing EVA/PORON Cushion casing for enhanced comfort

•         Heat and friction reducing, anti-microbial top fabric

•         3/4 length leaves extra room at the toes

•         Moveable from shoe to shoe with no trimming required

UCBL Preform Children's Orthotic

UCBL Preform Children's Orthotic

This one is a little different from some of the other insoles as it is more rigid and provides the greatest amount of control. A UCBL is often utilized only under a Podiatrist’s recommendation and specifically for children up to 5 years of age. Whether it's pronation or flexible flat feet, this insole controls forefoot and rear foot motion.

•         Construction is semi-rigid subortholene thermoplastic

•         Comes with high medial and lateral flanges

•         Deep heel cups

•         More support with higher lateral flange

•         Increased heel stabilization

This one is typically used for children from 18 months of age and up to 3 years of age although some adults use this design when they have severe flat feet.

The Choices are Many

No matter which insole you choose for your child, all of them provide help for flat feet. Your choice depends on what you feel is specifically needed according to your child's doctor recommendations. Before starting children’s insoles it is always good to speak to your child’s Podiatrist to make sure that flat feet are the cause of any issues they may be experiencing.

In addition, don’t forget that foot strengthening and barefoot stimulation are still a necessary part of any child’s healthy foot lifestyle. You can learn more about these recommendations by reading the book Barefoot Strong.

Enhancing Your Pilates Practice with Naboso Technology

As a former gymnast and now aerialist, I greatly appreciate the methodology and progressive programming of Pilates.  Centered around deep core engagement and postural alignment, Pilates focuses on proper form and technique during every exercise execution.  

 Founded by Joseph Pilates in the early 1920s, Pilates was developed through Joseph’s personal movement experience, his work with World War I vets and his training under Rudolph Laban.  In 1923 Joseph Pilates opened his first Pilates Studio in New York City which quickly became a favorite practice for dancers.    

 Classical, Contemporary, Fletcher, Stott… the variations in Pilates methodology are vast but the core foundation of mind body connection, breath to pelvic floor, postural alignment and grace are all integrated into each method.    

 With the evolution of every methodology comes the opportunity for innovation to enter the room!  Innovation of new apparatuses.  Innovation of new exercises.   And innovation of new ways to stimulate the nervous system. 

Enter the World of Sensory Science 

 With the launch of Naboso™ Technology in 2017, our proprioceptive material has quickly become popular among the Pilates community.   Allowing students to better connect to their foundation (foot) translates to a powerful connection to body and breath.    

Since movement is built around sensory connections – both internally and externally – it was only a matter of time until sensory science began to be integrated into the Pilates Studio.    

At Naboso™ Technology we have several products and opportunities for Pilates Practitioners to enhance their student practice through specific placement of our textured, proprioceptive product line. 

Enhancing the Jumpboard Experience 

The Pilates Jumpboard offers the unique opportunity to bring dynamic movement and impact into the Pilates Practice.    Integrating Jumpboard exercises also allow for an opportunity to train proper foot placement and landing techniques that are built around foot to core sequencing.  

The Naboso Training Mat can be placed over the Jumpboard allowing for enhanced integration into dynamic exercises.

The Naboso Training Mat can be placed over the Jumpboard allowing for enhanced integration into dynamic exercises.

By integrating the Naboso™ Standing Mat or Naboso™ Training Mat onto the Jumpboard students are able to sense the foot / board relationship much faster, allowing for a smoother landing technique.   In addition, since efficient movements are built around the anticipation of the ground – or in this case the Jumpboard – the textured surface allows for faster neuro activation.   

Enhancing the Footbar Experience

Proper foot placement and foot strength is further emphasized and trained on the Pilates footbar.  Again this offers a great opportunity to integrate the Naboso™ textured material.   Some of our Pilates Practitioners have been using the Naboso™ Standing Mat around the bar or we also have our raw material available for sale.   

Available in 3mm thick sheets a studio can purchase a 2’ x 5’ sheet for only $85 USD. Please contact for information on sheets of our material.

Enhancing other Pilates Apparatuses  

The opportunity to enhance foot (or hand) stimulation through a Pilates session is not just limited to the Reformer.   The Naboso™ Material can be integrated into all Pilates Apparatuses and is only limited by your creativity.    Below you can see how some of our Pilates Practitioners use the Naboso™ Mats with their clients. 

Photo Credit:  Roots of Integrity - Chicago, IL -

Photo Credit: Roots of Integrity - Chicago, IL -

Photo Credit:  Cynthia Bahmani | Bay Area, CA

Photo Credit: Cynthia Bahmani | Bay Area, CA

Photo Credit:  Jakarta City Centre Pilates | Jakarta, Indonesia

Photo Credit: Jakarta City Centre Pilates | Jakarta, Indonesia

Enhancing the Pilates Mat Workout 

 Last but not least, Naboso™ Technology can also be integrated within a group setting. Our Naboso™ Mind Body Mat is 6.5mm thick which provides enough cushioning for floorwork but incudes the added sensory stimulation.


Bring Naboso To Your Studio

In honor of our expanding outreach within the Pilates community we are offering a special 15% off deal on all Naboso™ Mats and Material. Enter code PILATES

Valid though Sunday July 21, 2019

Are you using Naboso™ Technology in a creative way? Share with us and we could feature you on our Instagram or Facebook pages!

Looking to get more than 1 mat? We offer bulk pricing on all orders of 10 Mats or more. Contact for wholesale pricing.

How to Manage Foot Pain During Pregnancy

Foot pain is one of those frustrating health conditions that can be difficult to combat. Between plantar fasciitis, bunions and fallen arches, there’s a never-ending stream of causes of foot pain.

Many pregnant women experience foot pain especially as they enter the third trimester. Contrary to common belief, simply “dealing with it” is not the correct answer! Painful, swollen feet, arch pain, and restless leg syndrome are all common causes of foot pain in pregnant women.

If you or your loved one are suffering from foot pain during pregnancy, this article is for you. Below, we'll break down some of the common causes of foot pain during pregnancy and present several practical treatment options.

Common Causes of Foot Pain During Pregnancy

#1 - Weight Gain

Weight gain during pregnancy is natural and completely expected. Women of average weight can expect to gain upwards of twenty to thirty pounds, whereas underweight women can expect to gain even more. Overweight women can expect to gain around fifteen pounds.

Weight gain can contribute to foot pain due to the increased plantar pressure, especially to the ball of the foot. A 2001 study by Goldberg et al. showed that pressure during walking shifted towards to front of the foot to help offset the increasing shift in center of gravity. In addition floor contact times increased, indicating a progressively slower walking speed, both of which can contribute to foot pain.

#2 - Swelling + Edema

Edema is puffiness and swelling caused by excess fluid buildup in the body. Pregnant women most often experience edema in their ankles and feet. It is quite common for women to experience edema during pregnancy — more than three-quarters of pregnant women suffer from it — and it can begin during the second trimester. 

Edema occurs due to the body’s need to produce additional fluids for both the woman and the baby. During pregnancy, the body produces approximately 50% more fluids than it does normally. Increased blood flow and fluid pressure in the lower extremities may lead to fluid retention (and buildup) in the ankles and feet.

While uncomfortable, edema is typically not a serious medical issue. Mild edema (light to moderate swelling) is normal and is not a cause for concern for most pregnant women. It’s important to note that if the swelling continues to worsen (or spreads beyond the feet and ankles), you should contact your physician.

#3 - Relaxin Hormone

Pregnancy impacts every aspect of a woman’s body, including hormones. Hormones are ‘signaling molecules’ (chemical messengers) that regulate bodily functions. Think of hormones as the couriers that tell the body what to do in order to prepare for the pregnancy.

One of the most well known hormones associated with pregnancy is relaxin. Relaxin appears in large quantities during the first trimester and continues to increase as birth approaches. Like all other hormones secreted into the bloodstream due to pregnancy, Relaxin has a unique role to play. Unsurprisingly, Relaxin is true to its name and helps the body loosen up. Specifically, Relaxin ‘relaxes’ the muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments of the body. 

Relaxin plays an important role in childbirth. This hormone causes the ligaments in the pelvis and cervix to loosen, widen, and soften in preparation for the coming birth. Unfortunately for many pregnant women, Relaxin is a little overzealous in its approach. This hormone doesn’t just soften and loosen the pelvis and cervix: it impacts the entire body - including the feet!

Relaxin weakens and softens the supportive structures in your feet. If you have ever heard women complain that their feet grew a size after pregnancy - this is why! As you gain weight during pregnancy, that increased weight bears down on your arches. Relaxin weakens these already-stressed structures and contributes to their collapse.

Treatment Options for Foot Pain During Pregnancy

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#1 - Release Feet Daily

As much as you’d like to get off your feet, life is never so easy. One of the most effective ways to treat (or rather avoid) foot pain during pregnancy is a daily 5 minute foot release.

One of our favorite products for the daily foot release is the RAD Rounds by RAD Roller This self foot release is a fantastic way to release the tight muscles that make up the arches of your feet. Massage does more than simply feel good: it improves blood flow, stimulates muscles, and reduces soreness.

Click HERE to note how to perform the 5 minute foot release:

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#2 - Arch Supports

Even if we prefer to be #barefootstrong when we are not pregnant, the unique stresses placed on the body (especially during the third trimester) may actually require the need for arch supports. Mommy Steps offers, as their name implies, a series of insoles aimed specifically at pregnant women. Their MommySteps™ Maternity Insoles provide a perfect blend of arch support and general foot comfort.

Unlike other insoles on the market, Maternity Insoles stress arch support above all else. When it comes to foot pain from pregnancy, the vast majority of problems arise from increased stress to the ligaments that support the medial arch. With MommySteps™ Maternity Insoles, you will be able to support your arches from the very beginning of your pregnancy.

Even better, the company offers a mix of different insoles designed for common situations. For example, Maternity Insoles designed the Athletic & Active Insole specifically for pregnant women who are out and about in runners, trainers, and hiking boots. The Casual & Flats Insole fits perfectly inside your loafers, Toms, flats, and similar footwear.


#3 - Textured Insoles

Naboso™ Insoles are specially-designed insoles that target the nerves located at the bottom of the feet. Stimulation of the plantar foot leads to contraction and activation of the small muscles of the feet making them stronger. The stronger the muscles of the feet, the more they can resist the increasing stress of pregnancy.

Naboso Technology offers a range of different insoles for people with varying needs. The Naboso 1.0 Textured Insole, for example, is ideal for someone new to a barefoot or minimal footwear lifestyle. For someone with more experience in the world of barefoot footwear, the Naboso 1.5 is a better choice. Lastly, for anyone looking to enhance their neuro-rehabilitation program, the Naboso Neuro is an excellent choice.

Regardless of the specific product chosen, all Naboso Insoles offer a great way to keep foot pain at bay by stimulating and massaging the feet on a daily basis. An added bonus is that all Naboso Insoles are thin enough to be placed on top of a arch support. So our vote is to combine the benefits of Maternity Insoles + Naboso Textured Insoles!


#4 - Topical Magnesium Oil

This is one of our favorite treatment options for the end of the day. Magnesium plays an important role in many bodily functions. This naturally-occurring mineral is responsible for over 300 different chemical reactions in the body. In the context of pregnancy, magnesium is vital for muscle and nerve health. This means topical magnesium may also play an important role in reducing muscle cramps and restless leg syndrome.

Using topic magnesium oil is simple. Most magnesium oils come in a simple spray bottle: simply apply the oil to your feet and legs before bed. Research has shown best absorption is actually through the bottom of the feet and provides the added benefit of enhancing sleep.

A side note is that if you find the magnesium oil itches, it can be washed off after 15 minutes.

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#5 - Belly Band Support

How does belly band / pelvis support relate to foot pain? The alignment of our pelvis and stability of our core muscles greatly impacts the pressure and forces that go through our feet.

By using a belly band the ligaments of our pelvis are supported taking stress off of the lower back and abdomen during pregnancy. These flexible support garments may provide many benefits to active women who are pregnant, especially during the second and third trimesters.

What’s the Takeaway?

Painful feet during pregnancy is an (unfortunately) normal occurrence that impacts many women. If you suffer from painful feet, consider the treatment options discussed in this article. You may benefit from topical magnesium oil, Naboso Technology Insoles, regular tissue release via massage, or arch supportive footwear.

As a general rule, do not pursue active weight loss during pregnancy and always consult with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

The Best Standing Desk Mats to Avoid Foot Pain

Giving the problem this nation has had with issues such as obesity, standing desks were created as a means of combating the overly sedentary lifestyle associated with various career paths and positions. Unfortunately what came along with the shift from seated to standing, was a myriad of foot-related problems from too much standing.

One solution to this problem is the standing desk mat. Although finding the best standing mat can be a tedious task, it is well worth the effort. This article will include some of our favorite recommendations based off of quality, features and efficacy in reducing foot pain.

The Benefits of Standing Desks and Standing Desk Mats

Before we take a look at some of the best standing desk mats on the market, let's take a look at some of the benefits of using a standing desk mat:

•         Reduce Back Pain- Although back pain is typically correlated with being overweight, aging, etc. it can also be caused by sitting in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time. For those who sit at a desk daily, you could be at an increased risk of developing severe back pain later in life. However, by using a standing desk and a premium mat, you will not have to worry about being forced to sit in uncomfortable chairs and positions, thusly, reducing the development of back pain.

•         Reduce the Risk of Obesity- Since you burn more calories while standing than sitting, a standing desk can also reduce the risk of becoming obese. When coupled with a standing desk mat, you can comfortably stand at your desk for hours on end.

•         Increased Productivity- Given that you won't have to worry about back pain, sleeping limbs, and other issues, using a standing desk and mat can also help boost productivity. Integrating a mat that provides foot stimulation has also shown to enhancing creativity and brain stimulation.

The Best Standing Desk Mats to Avoid Foot Pain

Now that we've reviewed the benefits of standing desk mats, let's look at some of your top options:


Known for being one of the most comfortable, secure standing mats money can buy Ecolast Standing Mats are certainly worth the investment. Made with anti-slip technology (which makes it possible for the mat to stay in one spot, regardless of pressure or subtle movements), this mat is ideal for those who work at standing desks, but may get a tad antsy from time to time. Also, made with 100% Polyurethane Technology, these premium mats are incredibly durable, making them last for years on end.


Known for being "the coolest thing to ever happen to the standing desk", Fluid Stance Standing Desk Mats come in an array of designs. A balance board for your standing desk, Fluid Stance standing mats were created to withstand large amounts of weight and come in a variety of colors.A design that was create to promote natural movement of the body, these mats help to burn calories, soothe stiff joints, and much more.


A unique standing desk mat made from patent-pending material, the Naboso Standing Mat is a true gem. With its patent-pending textural design and 6.5 mm of thickness these mats naturally stimulate the soles of your feet, making them ideal for those who work barefoot.


Highly revered as one of the top standing desk brands on the market, many people favor Topo Mats because they allow for hand-free positioning, promote healthy, dynamic standing, and more. Made from premium material, environmentally-conscious polyurethane, Topo Mats are also engineered especially to provide cushion and support.

Overall, there are plenty of high-quality standing desk mats on the market. However, this list if comprised of some of your top options. No matter if you prefer to stand in one place, stretch, or even move around while working, you are bound to find a great option for your needs on this list. Moreover, all of these mats are made from premium materials, which makes them a worthy investment for the long-term. Either way, be sure to do a bit of research before deciding which one works best for you.