Walking barefoot used to be the status quo. Until about 10,000 years ago, shoes didn’t exist at all! Now they’ve become a key part of everyday life.
The truth is, shoes aren’t that great for your body. Wearing them everyday changes the natural shape of our feet. Shoes restrict the movement and natural shape of our feet, leading to both weak and overcompensating muscles. Walking barefoot stimulates the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the foot, promoting their strength and flexibility. Research conducted by Prof. Steven Robbins at the University of Leeds found that barefoot walkers have stronger foot muscles and greater arch stability compared to those who regularly wear shoes.
Walking barefoot encourages proper posture and alignment throughout the entire body. As we walk barefoot, our feet can sense the terrain and adjust accordingly, promoting a more natural gait. This improves the alignment of the ankles, knees, hips, and spine. The increased stability that comes from walking barefoot leads to better athletic performance!
The circulatory system also benefits from walking barefoot. It stimulates the numerous nerve endings on the soles of our feet, promoting better blood circulation throughout the body. Improved circulation can aid in reducing inflammation, preventing varicose veins, and speeding up the healing process.
As we’ve discussed before on The Lifestyle Artist, skin contact with the earth is also considered “grounding”, a proven practice to improve mental health and lower stress.
In a world dominated by cushioned shoes and hard surfaces, reconnecting with the Earth through walking barefoot can bring remarkable benefits to our physical and mental well-being. So kick off your shoes, feel the earth beneath your feet, and embark on your next journey- without the shoes!
If you’re not convinced, buy a pair of Vivobarefoot shoes. They don’t affect the natural shape of the foot and are grounded to the earth through a special sole technology. Plus, there are lots of styles to choose from. Use code HumanGarage15 for a discount if you live in Canada, and HG15 if you live anywhere else!