Going Barefoot

Laura Hollington  — 

Fashion trend or a statement? An increasing number of people is getting into the barefoot trend. There are a lot of articles written about barefoot running and doing everyday chores. People are starting going barefoot shopping, dining and even going to work.

However, there is a question of going barefoot in less urban environment. This needs your special attention. There are some pros and cons to this and you need to think them through before making your call if that is a good or a bad idea for you.


Massaged as you go

The first thing that people who are all for ditching their shoes and socks tell you is that going barefoot gives you the natural massage and acupressure. This means that walking on the sand, soil, grass and all other surfaces press all those important points on your feet and give your entire body the beneficial effects of such massages. However, going barefoot in the wild also includes stepping on thorns, insects, wet leaves, poison ivy and other things that will cause only pain and discomfort. You can be careful, but it would be very hard if you are running.

The skin of your feet

Skin that has been kept inside the socks and shoes is more sensitive. However, your skin can and will adapt to the conditions of being barefoot in the nature. You need to start going barefoot around your home, then start going outside and walk around your garden. Continue going short distances away from home and you will see that your skin becomes less and less vulnerable to heat, cold, scratches and similar effects of the outside. If you do not feel comfortable without a backup plan, bring a pair of barefoot sandals with you that you can put on at any time.

barefoot nature

Less prone to injuries

Our feet are constantly trapped in our shoes. Over the years, feet lose their natural durability and they depend on the footwear for support. That makes them weaker and that increases the risk of injuries. On the other hand, if you are new to the barefoot hiking or running, going to the less urban environments should be done gradually. Your feet are used to the support and they need time to adjust and strengthen muscles.

Footwear in general

Footwear reduces the durability of muscles and the skin of your feet. The dark and moist environment inside the shoe is perfect for the bacteria and fungi to start growing and developing. Different defects, calluses and injuries are the cause of improper footwear. On the other hand, footwear protects your feet from the effects of the outside. In time, however, going barefoot in the wild will make your feet regain their resistance to those effects.

There are pros and cons to going barefoot into the woods. When it comes to those reasons, it seems like it is a tie. The choice is yours. However, both sides agree that – if you plan on going barefoot, the key is to do it gradually and give your feet the time to adapt to your new way of spending time outdoors.

Laura Hollington