shoes? Not!

Do you remember when you were young, how you ran barefoot in the summer? Feeling the grass on your feet, the texture of warm pavement? So why are you wearing shoes right this moment? Is it because (almost) everyone does? Because the rules (what rules?) say you must? Because your boss says you must? Because the sign at the entrance says you must?

It’s probably for all of these reasons and many more myths that need to be forgotten, changed or unlearned. The truth is going barefoot is incredibly natural, more healthy for you and puts you in touch with your environment like few other experiences can. Wearing shoes cramps the feet, affects your posture, promotes athletes foot and a host of other nasties, costs more and is not particularly eco-friendly.

Going barefoot in the modern world is unusual perhaps (given our social mores) but is not particularly hazardous. Many of us work in offices, retail establishments, at home, schools and universities where the greatest hazard is having someone wearing oxfords stepping on our toes. There are lots of places where the hazards of the environment call for some sort of protection for your feet, factories, construction and overheated kitchens come to mind. However in general going barefoot is not hazardous at all. There are in fact no laws that prohibit going barefoot in any retail establishment, restaurant, office or while driving. Individual stores or establishments may well choose not to serve you if one is barefoot, that is their choice (to give up my sale) just as my choice is to go barefoot.

In the modern profit oriented materialistic society that we live in, even the big name athletic shoe makers have discovered that there may just be something to this barefoot thing and have started marketing “barefoot” sneakers. These are shoes that are more ergonomically designed to match walking barefoot, doing away with raised heels, arch supports, thick rubber soles and such. Seems like an ok way for the sneaker makers to get in on the game I guess but why not do away with the sneakers all together and go barefoot? I will be I assure you.

Happy barefooting!
Additional Reading:

New York Times article

Wikipedia says …

Vibram barefoot shoes

Running barefoot prt.1

Running barefoot prt.2

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