It has become abnormal to be seen barefoot in public. I have heard the same comments over and over when going barefoot in the store, walking down the road, or even in my own neighborhood: Where are your shoes? Put some shoes on! You are going to step on a nail! In reality risks from broken glass, nails, and other sharp objects in public places are drastically overstated and essentially nonexistent. In fact, it could do more damage to ALWAYS wear shoes. Shoes are known to restrict the foot’s flexibility and strength, and contributes to nail fungus, athlete’s foot, bunions, hammer toes, corns, calluses, blisters, ingrown nails, and more. Also elevated heels on many shoes throw the body’s posture out of alignment, which contributes to joint pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back.
Earthing is the process of grounding ourselves. It is a natural process of being connected to the earth in order to “neutralize” our body’s electrical makeup. Medical experts believe that walking barefoot in grass or dirt 20-30 minutes daily, can have outstanding benefits such as improvement in sleep, feeling rested upon waking, elimination of chronic back, and joint pain, and a reduction in muscle stiffness.
A day without shoes:
In an attempt to gain an understanding of people who are always shoeless, Toms shoe company started a project called ‘One Day Without Shoes’. Businesses like AOL, Zappos, AT&T, banks, schools, and others participate in this event yearly and allow everyone to go barefoot for the day.
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The Barefoot Is Legal group is about making the barefoot lifestyle more mainstream. They are doing this by sharing with the public via blogs and social media, that going barefoot while driving, going into a store, or eating in public is not a crime. The group also shares with businesses that allowing their office employees to wear open shoes and even go barefoot within their working area is not only healthy, but can lead to more productive employees. Businesses will even be able to save a little bit on health care costs by not mandating closed shoes with heels. Stores and businesses are losing money based on sending people away over footwear, so they want to educate people that being healthy should be accepted and embraced.
The Barefoot Alliance is a growing movement of groups and individuals who keep our feet as nature intended: free of unhealthy, uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous footwear. Going barefoot is human. It is a simple, vital way to stay feeling young, healthy, relaxed, and more connected with our surroundings. Footwear should never replace the job of our feet. Maybe it is time for you to kick your shoes off and go for a walk! Spend some time with your feet in the sand or toes in the dirt, it’s good for your health!