Feet. I’m not convinced we give them enough credit, enough attention and enough love. Recently I’ve been doing quite a bit of research and reading into the whole area of being barefoot. It has truly been fascinating and is affecting our whole family.
Here are my top 5 reasons to go barefoot:
1. Most foot deformities are caused by wearing ill fitting shoes. Think about calluses, bunions, toes that grow at funny angles, the way your toe nails grow. So for more beautiful feet, go barefoot. Plus it is a great excuse to get a pedicure. Beautiful nails here we come.
2. Walking barefoot strengthens and stretches the muscles, tendons and ligament in your feet, ankles and calves. This can help with back, hip and knee pain. It is well known that you don’t want to put children in shoes too soon and it is best to have them in flexible, soft soled shoes to aid foot development. I’m not sure why as adults we change to stiff soles and high heels? Oh yes, because it looks good and feels safer. It almost makes sense, but I used to live in heels once too. I know you can’t go to work barefoot (unless you are me of course) but there are barefoot friendly shoes and minimalist shoes or just look for a flat, flexible sole.
3. It can help you be more aware and mindful when walking barefoot. You need to be aware of your surroundings and any sharp objects which can help you focus on your posture, your walking and your thoughts. Some find it almost a way of meditating. For me it just feels better. I spent a lot of my teenage years walking outside barefoot and used to walk around barefoot at work as often as I could… now I am paid to not wear shoes 😉
4. It is liberating. I love having my shoes off. Feeling the grass between my toes. Walking on sand. Even walking around the house and feeling how free my feet feel, how flexible they can be without the contraints of socks and shoes. Constantly wearing socks and shoes means your toes cannot spread and your feet cannot move as freely as they are made to do. Think about it. How can your foot flex, move, bent and react properly with a thick, hard sole attached to it? Since focusing on being barefoot more recently my toes literally shout at me when I constrict them in tighter socks or shoes!
5. It is free reflexology. Having your feet massaged, releasing the tight spots and stretching them out can have benefits all over the body. Having a tight spot in your foot can literally lead to a headache. Why? We it can mean you lean in on that foot, tightening up the side of your leg. This can lead to knee pain, which can affect how your use your hip leading to hip issues. That tightness could mean you are tilted and affect one of your shoulders, working up into the neck. tight neck flexors can lead to headaches. Amazing isn’t it.
So I’m encouraging you all to FREE YOUR FEET. Go Barefoot for some time daily. Kick off your shoes in the office, take them off when you get home, go for a walk outside barefoot. If you can’t be barefoot that often look into barefoot friendly shoes and socks. I love my toe separated socks for Pilates for this very reason. I’ve a post on this coming up.