If the key to good foot health is walking barefoot, then probably you need to walk barefoot more often. You may be eager to go, but start slowly; you’re feet are likely debilitated from years of shoe use and it takes time to build up the skin, muscles and bones in your feet.
For many people, the physical hurdles to ‘barefooting’ are not as challenging as the social ones. As a society, we need to allow bare feet back into the public square. Each of us can play our part by being barefoot friendly!
Here are some helpful tips to help you overcome both physical and social hurdles:
1. Decide to spend more time barefoot. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already made that decision!
2. Take off your shoes! This step may seem obvious, but for some it’s the hardest step to take. So bend down, unlace your shoes and rip them off your feet (and your socks!)
3. Make your home a “Shoe-free Zone.” Going barefoot at home is an easy way to increase barefoot time. Don’t trade your work shoes for house shoes at the end of the day, just go barefoot!
4. Spend a day without shoes. Try spending a whole day barefoot. Some shoe companies even ask people to do this (for erroneous and self-promoting reasons), but you can spend a whole day barefoot to enjoy the benefits of letting your feet be feet! In fact, try spending two days without shoes. Your feet work in shoes all week, they deserve the weekend off. CAUTION: You may never go back to shoes!
5. Try barefoot sandals. Barefoot sandals are becoming very popular these days. They decorate your feet but leave your soles completely bare. At first glance, they appear as if you are wearing regular sandals. This can definitely boost your confidence and also get you past most ‘Shoes Required’ signs! ~ Although most barefoot sandals on the market are for women, my friend Kellie Soper has designed barefoot sandals for men.
6. Join a Feet-friendly Fitness Program. You may not be interested in running barefoot, but there are other exercise options to strengthen your feet. Fitness programs like Willpower & Grace are wonderful ways to give your feet a workout. Walking and hiking barefoot are also excellent ways to strengthen your feet and enjoy some barefoot time.
7. Know your rights! While any private business can set rules (like a dress code), it’s actually legal to go barefoot in public, it’s legal to drive barefoot in all 50 states, and there are no health codes that prohibit bare feet in shops, markets or even restaurants! Go barefoot and help eradicate the myths.