Walking Barefoot is Good for Your Feet!

I love to be barefoot. As soon as I walk in the door, I take off my shoes — it’s a good way to keep contaminants out of the house, but I just do it because I’m more comfortable barefoot!

Walking barefoot can actually be good for you. Wearing shoes can make your foot muscles weak; going barefoot can stretch and exercise your toes and arches. Walking barefoot also helps improve balance! (I do find that I have better balance without shoes — I once climbed some rocks at a lake and was surprised at how much easier it was once I ditched my shoes.) Going barefoot also can help improve shock absorption and reduce risk of foot injuries.

The best place to walk barefoot is at home — you know it’s safe and clean because it’s your home. There’s less risk of stepping on something dangerous when you’re on familiar turf.

Some other tips for barefoot walking:

  • Start with short walks and work your way up. If it’s been a very long time since you went barefoot, you may only want to go shoeless for five or ten minutes at a time. Work your way up to spending forty-five minutes barefoot three times per week.
  • Walk on a soft surface — like sand or grass — because it engages more foot muscles. In fact, walking on different surfaces engage different muscles each time. Varying your walking surface will ensure that you get a full foot workout.
  • Watch your step. I once stepped on a bee in the back yard… I don’t EVER want to repeat that experience.

However, walking barefoot can lead to tough, callused feet. You can help counteract the toughening of your skin by using lotion regularly, smoothing skin with a pumice stone, wearing socks to bed, and drinking plenty of water to help keep your skin plump and hydrated. I think it’s a fair trade-off, though.

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