I run barefoot and have since acquired tremendous foot muscles. Since I started, my balance is much improved and my overall calf, ankle and feet have become incredibly strong.
I run in these and, as of this spring, they have now become my everyday footwear.... Vibram FiveFingers:
I'm up to four pairs although they last quite a long time; I have two years on the ones I run in.
I've been running in Five Fingers since they first came out years back and my feet are ripped! Not to mention my calves are like steel now, since running in shoes doesn't activate your calves much at all.
If you want feet, ankles, calves and thighs like a champion run barefoot or in five fingers. Start off just light jogging and work your way up to doing interval sprinting. If you have worn shoes your entire life, you'll be amazed at how it feels as though you've never used your calves ha.
Shoes are like poison to foot strength, they literally restrict all your foot muscles from working like they were designed. Your feet are meant to bend and flex. These moron R&D guys at big shoe companies are trying to find ways of keeping your feet from doing any of those things by adding "support". Your feet don't need support, it has muscles for that, you just need to work them out so they can support you! All these feet problems are from shoes, they squish the muscles and bones and restrict them from free movement. Then you need even more support because your feet are so damn weak. The fastest way to weaken and atrophy a muscle is to restrict it from movement... shoes in a nutshell.
If you don't want to run, walk on the balls of your feet at all times. We have padding on the balls of our feet and not the heels for a reason. Shoes have changed our physiology and the way we walk. Now everyone heel strikes and most problems with structure come from our posture and the way we walk/run.
You know all these "studies" coming out are so stupid. They should have to prove that shoes are good for us, not that going barefoot is. I don't have to spend millions of dollars to tell you my running form improves, speed and endurance increases while energy used decreases when I run barefoot.
The foot/ankle strength increase directly translates into snowboarding. And you'll feel it when you ride, it's a beautiful thang.