I’m smitten by the barefoot craze. As a long time Nia dancer I’ve felt the many benefits of dancing sans shoes. And loved the extra strength I have in my feet.
Yes, I do realize its winter. Jim (what a guy) just gifted me a pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes. It’s pretty darn close to barefoot with a dash of protection from the weather and the roads. My feet are happier than ever.
Dare To Go Bare (Foot)
Shoes can be less than comfortable. If you’ve ever suffered through a wedding in four-inch heels or patent-leather dress shoes, you’ve probably figured this out. But does that really mean we don’t walk correctly? (Yes.) I mean, don’t we instinctively know how to walk? (Yes, sort of.) Isn’t walking totally natural? Yes – but shoes aren’t.
I know what you’re thinking: If shoes are so bad for me, what’s my alternative?
Simple. Walk barefoot.
Okay, now I know what you’re thinking: What’s my other alternative?
Nothing beats the heightened sensory experience that comes with feeling the sand (or grass or dirt) between and beneath your toes.
According to experts, walking or running barefoot develops muscle strength in the feet, legs, and hips, which are usually used less rigorously when locked up in restrictive shoes. Plus, you will stretch and strengthen your calf muscles as well as improve your walking or running form, agility, and equilibrium. It is no wonder, then, that many top-notch runners routinely finish their workouts with a few barefoot sprints in the grass.
However, if you have certain serious medical ailments, like poor circulation, diabetic neuropathy, or open skin fissures, experts stress that you should leave the shoes on.