There are many immediate and long term benefits of going barefoot, so why not give it a try? Those who do go barefoot often get asked, “How can you do that?” Such questions show how far removed our feet are from their natural environment and use. Fortunately, the great thing about the human body is that it is adaptable. With some simple practice, you too, can start going bare.
It should be advised, that going barefoot can be an exciting and sensational, but it’s important to take things slow to prevent injury. Feet that are accustomed to shoes may be soft and weak, making them more vulnerable. One may experience blisters and sore muscles, but such problems will go away with practice. Going barefoot under certain conditions is not without risks. Shoes should be viewed as tools and worn appropriately when needed.
Take off those shoes when indoors
One can start getting accustomed to being barefoot by taking their shoes off where it’s easiest, which is usually at home, at a friend’s house, or in the office. If you’re accustomed to wearing shoes at home, start by going barefoot. Hardwood floor however, should be avoided at first. Loafers can be a good option for the office, as they can be easily taken off while sitting at the desk. This will allow you feet to breath and move around. You may even want to walk around in socks.
Short Barefoot Walks
Even for runners or those who already wear minimalist shoes, it’s important to start their new barefoot experience by simply walking outdoors. Frequent barefoot walking will toughen the feet, strengthen the necessary muscles, and help your posture and gait. Short walks are preferred at first, perhaps for 5 minutes at a time or even just down the block. Remember to stand straight and let your legs and feet do the walking.
Choose the right surface
Surfaces that are visible and not too hard or soft are ideal. Dirt, grass, and sometimes asphalt streets can be a great surface if they are in a safe and clean area, as they are more forgiving than concrete sidewalks. Hiking paths are particularly great about strengthening and toughening the feet.
One thing people who are barefoot must be aware of is their environment. This means being able to see where your foot is stepping. Grass may seem like a safe surface, but there may be hidden dangers that can’t be seen. The weather should also be taken into consideration, as driveways, roads, and sidewalks can become quite hot during the warmer months.
Listen to your body
If you feel pain or any discomfort, stop and give your body a rest. It will take time for the right muscles to strengthen and for your feet to toughen. Shorter, but more frequent barefoot sessions are more beneficial than longer less frequent sessions.