Barefoot has always been here and will always be

We make it sound like a new trend, writing and speaking about the topic, coming up with minimalist shoes etc. But the truth is it’s the shoes that are new.

Going barefoot is not something new.


But why are we made to go barefoot and why should we? Here are a few reasons to go barefoot.

Muscle activation

When wearing shoes there are muscles in your feet which are not  being used as they should.

There is so much support, for the arch of the foot in particular, that allows these muscles to get lazier and lazier to the point where they are so weak they have trouble supporting the body.

That’s when we add extra support which weakness the muscle even more.

It’s a vicious cycle

Injuries often happen from having weak muscles in the body. Remember, you are as strong as your weakest link. Your foot muscles must be allowed to activate and strengthen, going barefoot will help them do just that.

Unless you have had accidents, fractures, or were born with muscle or foot problems, going barefoot will help you strengthen the foot muscles, so they support your body as they should.

Muscle relaxation and flexibility

Having your feet constantly crammed in shoes of all shapes and sizes, particularly office shoes and high heeled shoes, causes your actual muscles and bones to change shape….and not in a good way.

Bunions are often the result of wearing poorly fitted shoes. Bunions are rare in populations that don’t wear shoes.

If you suffer from bunions counterbalance wearing shoes with spending some time barefoot every day.

By ‘some time’ I mean at least 1 full hour, ideally more of course.

Just take off your shoes whenever you have the chance

Spend time barefoot in your house for example, taking off the socks as well.

Let your feet and toes relax and take their natural shape. Over time you will feel so much better. Plus walking barefoot on different surfaces can also massage the foot muscles, helping them to relax.

take off shoes_2Reduce risk of injuries

Having stronger muscles will reduce risk of injuries. Go barefoot, and start feeling the ground underneath your feet and you will get the extra benefits.

Proprioception is the body’s ability to sense movement within joints and joint position. Going barefoot means your body can adapt to situations faster and prevent or reduce the risk of injuries such as ankle sprains.

When you step on something, particularly uneven or sharp surfaces, your body reacts.

It’s an inbuilt reflex, which is triggered when the soles of your feet send information to the brain through nerves.

If the foot cannot feel the surface, the transmission is inhibited, there is no reaction from the body and so it cannot adapt effectively.

Skin health

You may be surprised but, if you think about it, walking barefoot on different surfaces (pavement, forest floor, grass) will exfoliate your skin.

Having your feet in socks and shoes for hours and hours, you sweat and increase your chances of developing fungal infections.

Going barefoot will allow your skin to breathe.

Smelly feet? Why do you think that is?

Bacteria of course. The more time you spend in shoes and socks the worse it gets; the less time you will spend barefoot and more in shoes and socks.

It’s a vicious cycle again.

Let your skin breathe and, with time, you will not need to spend any more money of chemical products to spray in your shoes.

Should you go barefoot everywhere?

The problem I see today with going barefoot everywhere is what you find on the ground. There are animals, cars, broken glass, needles and rusty nails.

You can find these things all over the place and infection is a risk.

Although, when you walk barefoot you are more aware of where you place your feet so the risk of actually cutting yourself in a broken glass is not that high.

But we are not all the same. There is always a risk of injuring yourself on debris you haven’t noticed.

The benefits of going barefoot outweigh the risks, but we still need to take care. Thus, the places to go barefoot are your house, your garden and forests you know are clear. You don’t need to go barefoot all the time and everywhere, balance wearing shoes with going barefoot and it will be just enough.

Connect with Expert Alexandra Merisoiu

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