It makes sense, if you think about it. Being barefoot is being most natural, and close to the earth, like our ancestors lived many years ago.

Sure, we can’t necessarily walk around barefoot at our board meetings, the shopping mall or, say, the doctor’s office. But we can get rid of those tekkies when we go for walks in nature, on the beach, or lounge around at home!

“The most straightforward benefit to barefoot walking is that in theory, walking barefoot more closely restores our ‘natural’ walking pattern, also known as our gait,” explains Dr Jonathan Kaplan, foot and ankle specialist and orthopedic surgeon with Hoag Orthopaedic Institute, according to Healthline.

Here are all the advantages of showing some (foot) skin:

  • You have better control of your foot position when walking
  • It improves balance and body awareness
  • You maintain an appropriate range of motion in your foot and ankle joints
  • You develop stronger leg muscles, adding support to the lower back

Walking on textured terrains like grass or grainy sand is especially helpful in promoting blood circulation too.

A concept called “grounding” is also relevant here. That means getting in direct physical contact with the earth’s surface, without any barriers, so as to connect with the earth’s subtle electric charge. According to The Washington Post, walking barefoot can play a role in changing certain physiological measures, improve sleep, reduce pain, decrease muscle tension and lower stress. Research shows it may also regulate our autonomic nervous system and keep our circadian rhythms synchronized.

So, next time you head outside, release your inner child and ditch the shoes!

Picture: Unsplash

Article written by

Anita Froneman