Is Going Barefoot Good for You?

Is Going Barefoot Good for You?

To shoe or not to shoe, that is the question. Well, ok, that was “corny”, but we are talking about feet. Man has walked the Earth for a long time, but he has only done it recently in shoes and  sandals. So apparently you can live without shoes, but they may not let you into your favorite restaurant or work in bare feet. And, I would wager, it would be quite painful if you stepped on a piece of broken glass or a rusty nail.

With the latter two thoughts in mind, I would say that wearing shoes are indeed good for you rather than going barefoot. At this point I have to admit, my mother found it quite difficult to get me to wear shoes as a youth, and I went barefooted everywhere. Whether I was walking down the sidewalk in our suburban neighborhood that I grew up in, or walking through the cow pasture to my favorite fishing hole at my grandparents, I was barefoot. I even walked barefoot on gravel as if it weren”t even there.

I did wear shoes to school and the like, although be it begrudgingly. My favorite shoes in high school were knee-high moccasin boots. The closest thing I could get to barefoot and still be allowed inside stores and the like. Finally, at eighteen, I had to wear steel-toed boots for work, I hated them, and still do hate them. But I would say that steel-toe boots can be good for say, if a heavy thing fell on your foot at work or if a tractor ran over it. Yes, that happened.

But let”s look at the question from a medical point of view. A quote from an article published in Women’s Sports & Fitness, August 1994 issue:

” “A recent study demonstrates that the skin on the soles of your feet resists abrasions and blistering and that going barefoot is beneficial to the musculoskeletal structure of your feet and ankles. … Kicking off your shoes can help prevent a host of foot injuries: bunions, heel spurs, and bone deformities, among others. ” ˜Shoes act like casts, holding the bones of the foot so rigid that they can’t move fluidly,” ™ [Steven] Robbins [MD and adjunct associate professor of mechanical engineering at Concordia University, Montreal] explains. ” ˜The foot becomes passive from wearing shoes and loses the ability to support itself.” ™”   Cheryl Sacra

Other research shows that wearing shoes, or rather overly-tight shoes, often, make your feet dependent upon the shoes for support and so become unable to support themselves, which may lead to injury and generally unhealthy feet. Barefoot running has been around for awhile, and proponents say that running shoes cause more damage to the feet than going barefoot. This claim is based on when running in shoes the heel tends to strike the ground first, and that when running barefoot runners tend to land on the balls or the middle of the feet and so actually produce less shock to the leg.

Other research has determined that women that wear high heels frequently tend to have a smaller calf diameter than women that do not wear high heels regularly, and women”s shoes that compress the toes into the point of the shoes cause painful conditions such as bone spurs and corns. That doesn”t sound very healthy, or pleasant.

So, it would seem that yes, going barefoot IS in fact healthy for your feet, but practicality speaking, you can”t go around everywhere barefooted. So what to do? Think about what your feet go through daily; give your feet a break. Go barefoot at home around the house, try to not stuff your feet into pointy heels very often if that can be avoided and try to wear quality and correct fitting shoes that allow your feet room to move and expand as you walk in them rather than having a ” “binding”  effect on them. And a little foot rub never hurt anyone.

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HealthStatus Team

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.


  1. Emily Reply

    Yes I go barefoot everywhere.It don’t matter where I am like a at home our side public restraunt and even church.I love to get my feet dirty and go barefoot

    1. alan hutchinson

      I am starting to walk bare foot in my apartment it feels good
      also I walk long distances about 5 miles on thin soled flip flops
      which I find superior in wear and comfort to all my other shoes
      try walking at home on the floor bare foot or in a gyp with a smooth

  2. David Reply

    I go barefoot every where I can. I even go barefoot in the winter in the snow, this is one of my favorite pastimes. I wish I had friends to do it with.

  3. Eddie Reply

    In the summer I do my job as a catalogue distributor totally barefoot, out for two or three hours. I never now get tired feet. I also have a regime of stretching and standing (not rolling, just standing) on golf balls every day. At first yes it was excruciating but after several weeks it became quite ok and now it is not a problem. I reckon our feet are so coseted that they are hyper sensitive so by “treating em rough” we actually do them and ourselves an enormous favour. If people butch up, accept the pain at the start they will get real benefits from this. I certainly have.

  4. SHBeardslee Reply

    I was told not to go bare foot after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. I’ve been barefoot nearly all of my 69 years, so why would I now have to wear shoes?

    1. Marla

      Your doctor will make more money, the shoe company makes more money. You end up with worse problems. Check out some videos on YouTube thera are a lot of answers. We we’re made to walk barefoot, shoes move our feet in the wrong way. Leaving no choice for your feet but to move with the (wrong) shape of the shoe.
      I wish you the very best of luck in feeling better.
      Take care

  5. Tiras Reply

    I have lupus (SLE) and I have lupus rashes/blister on my feet. I have had to go barefoot for the last 2 years. I live in Alabama. Yes, I have to do everything and go everywhere barefoot, church, shopping, restaurants, everything. I can now walk on any type surface, rocks, cement, even hot asphalt. The bottom of my feet are now that tough. I have been barefoot for so long, that even if I could wear shoes, I would still go barefoot. Being barefoot is natural.

  6. Noob Reply

    Being barefooted is not bad, but people who do it all the time can have trouble at some times. Like they can get sore feet, they can possibly get bitten by a wild animal, and it is a common thing.

  7. Dinu Reply

    Shoes are not for me (I don’t like to wear shoes). I was born to live BAREFOOT.
    I’m a barefoot hiker, 59 years, in my country, Romania.

  8. Angela Kifer Reply

    My daughter hates shoes. She is twenty and will go without as much as she can. She wears boots when she is horseback riding, but other than that she has some thin soled summer shoes for everything else. I have been looking for another pair of her favorite shoes and they no longer make them. I looked up shoes for people who prefer bare feet and came up with Xero brand. They got amazing reviews and I am about to order her a pair. Might be something you guys would be interested in.

  9. Sunny Thomas Reply

    I am diabetic type 2 and my doctor recently advised me to wear footwear inside home also. After 1 month my soul has become very sensitive and I cannot walk without footwear inside home also.

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