Not wearing shoes or sandals is known as going barefoot or barefooted and is considered to be a natural human state. However for functional, fashion and social reasons we more often than not wear some form of footwear. Have you ever considered that wearing shoes is an exclusively human trait?
For many the concept of wearing of footwear is a sign of civilization and wealthy living, while being barefoot is considered a sign of poverty.Even when poverty is not relevant some people choose to be barefootin some situations. Here’s a few interesting facts about going barefoot:
In 2006 a study found that shoes may increase stresses on the knee and ankle, and suggested that adults with osteoarthritis may benefit from walking barefoot (1)
In 2007 a study entitled, ‘Shod Versus Unshod: The Emergence of Forefoot Pathology in Modern Humans?’, was published in the podiatry journal ‘The Foot’. 180 modern humans were examined the their feet compared with skeletons that were 2,000-years old. They conclusion was that prior to the invention of shoes humans overall had healthier feet.(2)
A 1991 study found that children who wore shoes were three times more likely to have flat feet than those who did not, and suggested that wearing shoes in early childhood can be detrimental to the longitudinal arch of the foot.(3)
People who habitually go barefoot generally have stronger feet. They are more likely to have better flexibility and mobility, fewer deformities like flat feet or toes that curve inwards, and less complaints about their foot health and wellness.(4)(5)
Walking barefoot encourages a more natural gait, eliminating the hard heel strike and instead, allowing for a rocking motion of the foot from heel to toe.(2)
Although not always practical, taking some barefoot time is an important adjunct to using Foot Reflexology. Balancing life is important to our overall health and well-being, so a little barefoot time each day will lead to improved health and well being. Paying attention to your foot health will lead to improved overall health.
So, I’m concluding that we can Choose Happy with Healthy Feet. Kicking off my shoes and going barefoot for a while today is now part of my wellness plan. Will you join me?
Jacqueline Fairbrass RRPr
The Happiness Coach
Founder, School of Complementary Therapies