As soon as you learn to walk, you put on a pair of shoes and never look back. Is it time to stand on your own two feet?
Humans are not born to wear shoes, but they are a form of protection as you go about your daily business. They protect your feet from bacteria, infections, harmful surfaces and materials like glass, and uncomfortable temperatures.
However, experts say that walking barefoot can restore your natural gait, and work certain muscle groups to strengthen your body. It can offer better foot mechanics and positioning as you walk, and stronger legs to support your lower back. If your feet work better, then your core, knees, and hips can as well. You may also notice improvements in your balance.
Shoes that don’t fit properly can cause bunions, blisters and deformities, so you could say goodbye to those too. As you can see, there is plenty to love about bare feet, but that doesn’t mean you should suddenly stop wearing shoes.
You need to start slow to strengthen your feet over time. Begin with short sessions, letting your ankles and feet adjust to using different muscle groups. Participate in barefoot activities such as yoga, and go barefoot around the house. Balance exercises should also form part of your “going bare” plan.
When you decide to leave the house with no shoes, be wary of all hazards. Start on safe surfaces such as sand or grass, and ease up if you feel any pain or discomfort. If you are prone to infections or wounds, then choosing light, minimalist footwear may be a better option for you.
There are many benefits of walking without shoes, but you must take all safety precautions. Consult your chiropractor for advice, or if you plan on completing any vigorous exercises without footwear.