Over the past few hundred years, a number of people from
a number of organizations have been at work lying to the public
in an attempt to convince them to wear shoes. Unfortunately,
for the most part, they have been successful.
Fortunately, however, there are some people who know the
truth. And, thanks to the wonder of the Internet, we now
have the ability to share that truth with the world.
Healthy as can be
One of the main fallacies that the liars have used to promote
their misinformation is the supposition that going barefoot is
somehow unhealthy. Well, nothing could be further from the
The bottoms of the feet are loaded with hundreds of thousands of
nerve endings, all craving stimulation. Wearing shoes robs
those nerves of the input they crave.
As a result, the corresponding nerve centers in the brain begin
to atrophy, starved of the sensory input they are meant to process.
Going barefoot restores life to those areas of the brain. New
nerve endings begin to grow...information is processed more
completely and effectively...new blood vessels grow in to feed
the newly revived regions...the whole brain begins to function at a
And all the way on the other end of things, the feet themselves
If you never walked anywhere, but rode around in a wheelchair all
the time, your legs would become weak and fragile. Likewise, by
being assisted by all manner of rubber, plastic, leather and other
materials, the feet become weak through the wearing of shoes.
When you go barefoot, the feet have to work on their own. They
become stronger through exercise, just like every other part of the
And, finally, actual medical research has shown that
wearing shoes is bad. Check out these quotes from a
New York Magazine
article discussing the topic.
Last year, researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand
in Johannesburg, South Africa, published a study titled "Shod
Versus Unshod: The Emergence of Forefoot Pathology in Modern
Humans?" in the podiatry journal The Foot. The study examined
180 modern humans from three different population groups (Sotho,
Zulu, and European), comparing their feet to one another's, as
well as to the feet of 2,000-year-old skeletons. The researchers
concluded that, prior to the invention of shoes, people had
healthier feet. Among the modern subjects, the Zulu population,
which often goes barefoot, had the healthiest feet while the
Europeans - i.e., the habitual shoe-wearers - had the unhealthiest.
One of the lead researchers, Dr. Bernhard Zipfel, when
commenting on his findings, lamented that the American Podiatric
Medical Association does not "actively encourage outdoor barefoot
walking for healthy individuals. This flies in the face of the
increasing scientific evidence, including our study, that most
of the commercially available footwear is not good for the feet."
"Natural gait is biomechanically impossible for any
shoe-wearing person," wrote Dr. William A. Rossi in a 1999
article in Podiatry Management. "It took 4 million years to
develop our unique human foot and our consequent distinctive
form of gait, a remarkable feat of bioengineering. Yet, in only
a few thousand years, and with one carelessly designed instrument,
our shoes, we have warped the pure anatomical form of human gait,
obstructing its engineering efficiency, afflicting it with strains
and stresses and denying it its natural grace of form and ease of
movement head to foot." In other words: Feet good. Shoes bad.
So, contrary to popular belief, wearing shoes is actually what's
Pleasure, not pain
Going barefoot is a natural, healthy way to experience the
world. The risks are minor - really nothing more than going
around without gloves, which everyone does all the time without
even thinking about it.
It is a pleasant experience, and one which every American should
be able to enjoy. The pleasures and benefits far outweigh any
possible risks. So, go out and enjoy it!
Your example will encourage others to do the same. Together,
we can build a wonderful, barefoot world. :)
Continue from Barefoot Health
to Barefoot Fun to remind yourself of how much fun going barefoot can be!
Return to The Barefoot Truth.
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