Shoes are more of a recent happening. Modern society started wearing them as strictly ornamental. They presented a sign of power and status.
There are of course risks to everything and going bearfoot is no exception. However, the risks are light and can be managed! Of course there’s the danger of cuts, frostbite from the cold, and parasites.
The benefits are amazing though. The modern shoe restricts the flexibly of the foot and alters your stride increasing the impact force absorbed by your heels. When barefoot the body is allowed to move in it’s natural gait eliminating the hard heel strike and generating less collision forces in the foot and lower leg.
Many sports involve barefoot activity such as beach volleyball, gymnastics, martial arts, swimming, surfing, water polo. And many others can easily incorporate barefoot athletes such as water skiing and hiking.
Modern society encourages high-heels as a sexual prop. Heels dramatically alter posture putting unhealthy forces on ball of the foot. Over use can result in bunions, corns, and hammer toe. A survey by the American Pediatric Medical Association showed that 42% of women admitted that they would ear a shoe they liked even if it gave them discomfort.
Dangers of walking barefoot include cuts, abrasions and bruises of course. There’s also the danger of parasites such as hookworm and athletes foot.
Recent evidence has shown that adults with osteoarthritis may benefit from walking barefoot. Another study entitled “Shod Versus Unshod: The Emergence of Forefoot Pathology in Modern Humans?” compared 2000 year old skeletons to modern skeletons. This study saw the older skeletons without foot ware, had healthier feet than our modern skeletons with foot ware. With all of these it has been shown that people who regularly go without shoes have stronger feet, with better flexibility and mobility, and fewer deformities such as flat feet or toes that curve inwards.
One alternative to going bear foot is wearing barefoot shoes. One such excellent brand example is Five Finger Shoes. These provide substantial protection from abrasions, cuts, etc. yet allow for the foot to operate in it’s natural state. They are similar to a glove which conforms to the foot and allows for maximum flexibly.
This kind of shoes is like the second layer of human skin, so that When the feet touch the ground, the reaction force is concentrated in the center of the sole of the foot instead of the heel, which helps maintain balance. Five-finger shoes are one of the best Barefoot Shoes that can effectively exercise the muscles of the feet and calves, thereby improving running posture and better preventing injuries.