Friday, June 20, 2014
Barefoot: Safe or Sorry?
It is summertime in Charleston. Weather is warm, sun is shining and the grass is plush and green- so the question remains… do we really need shoes?
Like so many other questions there isn’t one simple conclusive answer.
Many studies today are promoting ‘earthing’- the practice of walking barefoot on natural surfaces, such as sand, soil, grass etc. “Early studies are showing that the health benefits come from the relationship between our bodies and the electrons in the earth. The planet has its own natural charge, and we seem to do better when we’re in direct contact with it,” via MindBodyGreen.com.
Aside from the natural link of walking barefoot, doing so can also expose your feet to substantial injury, infections and bacteria. Also, walking barefoot at the beach can expose your feet to burns from the sand or pavement.
Since the age of man the invention of shoes has decreased the function of the feet. Meaning that the first humans’ feet were more durable, less sensitive and tougher in structure- by shoeing feet our general foot structure has evolved over time to need more support and protection.
Being barefoot is freeing and, when done safely, is completely okay. However the idea that we can go shoeless as our ancestors did is not realistic.
When going barefoot remember these tips:
- Wear sunscreen on your feet
- Properly bandage any open wounds or scrapes (or wear shoes until wounds are healed to avoid infections)
- Avoid going barefoot in extra germy environments such as public pools, waterparks and docks (always clean & dry feet well before putting shoes back on)
- Wear shoes on any rough surfaces such as pavement, cement, splintery docks and so forth