Being barefoot is a natural way of being. We learned how to walk barefoot. It seems that shoes for training have become a requirement, but we forget we all came into this world without shoes on and did many things without wearing our first pair of shoes. We forget our feet are actually designed to support us properly. Going barefoot is something simple we can do to improve our overall health and the health of our feet.
Your feet are your foundation. Your feet are the base of support and stability from the ground up. Going barefoot strengthens the stabilizing muscles in the feet and ankles, making them stronger. Barefoot training helps with proprioception, which helps to improve the way we feel and connect to our environment, improving balance and helping to develop the body’s natural movements.
By cramming our feet into shoes, we are taking away the sensory input the feet produce along with limiting our mobility. We need to remember that our whole body is connected. When we put a limit on our feet, we are also impacting and limiting the legs, hips, pelvis and that impact can continue to the thoracic spine and shoulders. Going barefoot while training improves and strengthens the neuromuscular pathways of the feet and legs. By strengthening these pathways, we are molding the muscle firing sequences.
Our feet are often the only parts of the body that touch the ground, release energy and create the force that we use throughout our bodies. Therefore, going barefoot helps that energy to flow smoothly through the body. When we are training the body, it’s important to remember we are not only training the muscles but also the nervous system.
Going barefoot can improve the overall health of your feet. If going barefoot is new to you, start out slowly by simply walking around barefoot more often. Because you are strengthening the muscles a little soreness can happen, so be cautious and listen to your body. If it hurts, take a couple of days to let your feet recover and then try again. A slow and steady approach is best when training the feet to do something they are not used to doing. In the end, your feet will thank you for their freedom.