I absolutely love walking barefoot, always have. There’s something exhilarating about making direct contact with the dirt or grass. Bare feet make me feel grounded and more connected to the earth.
In recent years, walking bare feet has gone from being just a cool trend, to a scientifically-backed practice with dozens of significant health benefits. Walking barefoot in nature is known as “earthing” or “grounding.” This seemingly simple act offers many benefits that are often overlooked.
Science says that walking with your feet directly touching the soil, grass or any other natural earth surface allows your body to absorb negative electrons through the Earth. This can help stabilize daily cortisol rhythm and create balance. It can also help regulate the endocrine and nervous systems. As another added benefit, walking barefoot on grass can help release pent up static electricity stored in the body. This can have a soothing and calming effect on both the body and the mind by creating a harmonious bioelectrical environment.
Another study found that earthing changes the electrical activity not only in the body but also in the brain and it also reduces blood viscosity- a major factor in cardiovascular disease.
Modern lifestyle has increasingly separated humans from the primordial flow of Earth’s energy field. Shoes are a necessary part of modern life, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a natural phenomenon. We know that we all need to live and thrive in our metropolitan, concrete jungles, which requires shoes.
Shoes are not very comfortable, and the more chic and fashionable a shoe looks the more it’s likely to be an egregiously discomforting piece of footwear. For women who wear heels, it’s an even bigger abomination due to the stress, tension and blisters inflicted by the heel. Men, however, are not exempt from these discomforts, and most if not all, fashionable men’s shoes are certain to cause a level of foot fatigue and soreness. A common feature of modern athletic footwear is the increased sole thickness which is marketed as providing cushioning against harmful impacts. Recent research has shown that wearing this type of footwear causes greater interference to ankle stability.
As a solution, to offset the perils of daily shoe wearing, it’s a great idea to incorporate some barefoot time when possible. We suggest that minimalist shoes (for men or women) to be used as an alternative to barefoot walking or a transition option between shoes to barefoot for older adults. Walking barefoot (even indoors) is also conducive to achieving a better foot position when it strikes the ground. From an ergonomic perspective, it can do wonders for the spine, back and posture if practiced frequently. Medically speaking, direct contact with the ground can lead to improvements in balance, proprioception, and a deeper comprehension of gravity and body awareness. This can all lead to better pain management and improved foot mobility for healthier hips, knees, and core.