5 Reasons to Take Off Your Shoes

  1. Bare Footing Strengthens your Feet

    Shoes stifle your foot, pushing it into an unnatural shape. Once released from the tiny prison of fabric, your feet expand and the weak muscles get a much needed workout.

  2. Going Bare Increases Walking, Jogging, and Running Pleasure

    You can’t feel the warm, smooth asphalt, the soft wet grass, or the even the fluffy, marshmallow carpet with a barrier of rubber between your feet and the ground. Walking outside bare foot awakens the many nerves of your feet, adding another dimension to running and walking. I am convinced that it also gives you extra energy.

  3. Bare Footing Improves your Balance

    As the muscles of your feet strengthen, your balance dramatically improves. I can stand solid and steady on one foot–something I could NOT do when I wore shoes.

  4. Bare Footing Helps Save the Planet

    If you do wear shoes, going bare every once in awhile will decrease wear. As a result, your shoes will last longer and will be less likely to end up in a dump where they will take ages to decompose. In a small way, you decrease pollution by going bare.

  5. It Improves your Posture

    Since the transfer and distribution of weight is better when your standing or moving in bare feet, your posture automatically improves. The muscles in your legs, waist and back, swing into action. Better posture means, easier breathing, better circulation, and an overall mood boost.

Three Crippling Ways Shoes Deform Your Feet & Ruin the Planet

Shoes are perverse. They cut us off from the world, stifle our feet, and deplete natural resources. Here are three evils of shoes:

  • Muscle Atrophy

    Did you know that wearing shoes causes the muscles in your feet to atrophy? Arch support weakens your arch causing abnormal muscle loss. Overly tight shoes or oddly shaped shoes such as high heals cripple your foot by forcing it to conform to an unnatural and potential harmful position. Stilettos aren’t much different from Japanese foot binding.

  • Over Exposure to Germs

    Chronic Shoe Wearing can lead to fungal growth and bacterial infections. Shoes super heat your feet causing them to sweat. Worst of all, the material that causes the excessive heat also retains it and the moisture it creates. This over exposure to wetness can lead to foot fungus and other foot problems.

  • Planetary Waste

    Shoes are wasteful. Most shoe manufactures use rubber and other petroleum based products to make shoes. Since shoes are not usually recycled and since they tend to wear out fast or are used as fashion statements, they are discarded into our dumps where they will take centuries to decompose.

You don’t have to be a crazy barefoot runner to save your feet from the trauma of shoes. Just let them out of the trap for a while. Take a barefoot walk around the block. Even just walking barefoot around your house can help. You might also repair or re-purpose your shoes when they show signs of wear rather than just tossing them in the trash.

Going Barefoot Gets You High

I am convinced that barefoot walking or running gets you high. Not only because everyone who sees you calls you crazy and thinks you’re stoned even though you’re not, but also because it forces you to slow down, to become conscious of your much ignored feet, and to feel the many various textures of the earth. Shoes numb us from the sensations of our planet. We sever ourselves from the earth. Exposing your feet to ground awakens nerves and sparks sensations all over your body. No wonder it ignites creative thoughts.

Even rain-wet concrete can be exhilarating. Sharp gravel keeps you in the moment–forcing mindful steps. Your brain quiets down when it’s trying to avoid pain. The worries and stress of the day float away. Your concern is to step forward safely. Sometimes you avoid the sharp rocks or maybe they avoid you.

But don’t take my word for. Take off your shoes and step outside. A world of experience awaits.

Soft Grass is Dangerous

One of the many joys in life is walking barefoot on wet grass. It’s like a foot massage from the hot Goddess Universe. But running barefoot on grass is packed with danger.

Many drunken teenagers, careless hicks, and serial polluters turn dreamy lawns into a runner’s nightmare. Camouflaged shards of glass, rusted nails, snapped screws, and wet feces of all kinds lurk between the gentle green blades of seductive lawns. If you know you are in a remote area, then running on the grass can be great, but in most cities, it must be done with great caution and should NOT be done completely bare.

Last week I almost stepped on a razor sharp shard from a green “rolling rock” beer bottle. It was embedded in a park lawn like those evil tire spikes at drive-in movies. If I had been running, I most definitely would have sliced my foot wide open. Those kinds of deep tissue injuries can become serious fast, especially when they attack your precious feet. Walking home with such an injury can easily lead to infection.

Beware the tempting green goddess, she can change into a bleeding red devil in a moment. For lawn running, it’s best to wear minimalist shoes. They offer much better protection against such dangers.