When we’re just toddlers, we begin misshaping our feet by squeezing them into narrow shoes every single day. Even if you have a deep love for your shoes, the truth is: they aren’t very good for your body. They prevent you from properly distributing your weight when you walk and can lead to back pain or headaches.
Most people don’t have many opportunities to go barefoot in their everyday life, and then there’s the hurdle of feeling like it would look weird. But once a month could make a difference.
Check out the tips below to grasp how big your foot’s impact can actually be. You’ll agree, it’s worth a try.
We always try to protect our feet from the outside world, but we do it so much that our feet rarely get the chance to send any “information” about the temperature, texture, or give of the surface to our brains. In fact, walking barefoot can almost feel unstable at times. The earlier young children are forced to wear shoes, the faster problems develop.
The first step to re-train your feet is to return them to their natural habitat. The best surfaces to start walking barefoot on are soft, with plenty of give, like grass or sand. Later, you can try walking barefoot on harder surfaces like stones or asphalt.
After just a short time walking barefoot, your feet and brain will start to communicate better. You can achieve two things with this technique:
1. Learn how to walk again.
Most people walk with heavy heels or locked knees. Few are actually aware of how they step. Walking on sharp or pointy rocks requires taking light steps and striking with the center of your foot instead of the ball or heel. Gaining more body awareness this way has huge health benefits, but most obvious is that you can decrease the pain you have from bad walking habits.
2. Regenerate your feet.
You might feel a little pain in the soles of your feet at the start, but this can actually be thought of as “information” for your feet. And information can be interesting!
When you’ve done this a handful of times, your feet might look a little crazy but they’ll hurt less and you’ll feel more at ease walking without shoes.
Similar to your hands, there are thousands of nerve endings in your feet. Having bare feet is the best way to signal to your knees and hips how they should position themselves to prevent injury while walking. If your feet don’t have the chance to adjust to new surfaces, they loose their sensitivity, precision, and the ability to work as one with the rest of your body.
Walking barefoot thus also invigorates the nervous system, helping your body fend off depression and other nervous system disorders by stimulating the brain.
Vacation is the perfect time to leave those shoes off for a little longer than usual. Try it for yourself and see how differently your feet feel!