Walking barefoot: good or bad?

Humans are meant to be barefoot. Wearing shoes may actually create more damage than walking with unshod feet.

As we walk or run our intrinsic foot, lower extremity and core muscles need to maintain a level of contraction to create tension in the muscles and fascia of our legs and core to absorb the impact forces that occur every time our foot steps on the ground.

The sensory nerves in our feet are stimulated with every touch of the ground.

However, after a lifetime of wearing shoes that are designed to minimise these sensations, these nerves may remain unresponsive. The impact forces are not dampened, but instead absorbed by our joints, tendons and bones, which will result in our joints being highly impacted by big stress and pressure.

Walking barefoot is the best way to reduce this stress on your joints! This way, the front part of the foot helps to bounce off the impact, which puts less strain on the joints from the toe, over the ankle, knee and hip and even to the back.

For example: if you are suffering from osteoarthritis (OA) in your knees or hips, going barefoot can reduce the stress and pressure on the joints by 12% – 15%, compared to wearing common shoes.

So, forget shoes and start walking barefoot!