The Barefoot Trend
I was awaiting a flight at the Port Elizabeth airport when a lady and her young adult daughter sat down opposite me. The daughter was wearing a fashionable summers dress with a large, trendy bag on her shoulder. She wasn’t wearing any shoes. That caught my attention because she appeared to be very well groomed and dressed accordingly. She boarded the plane and when it was time to collect our luggage in Cape Town, she was still without shoes at the carousel.
Close family members of mine recently visited Gauteng over the December holidays. Upon their return they discussed how surprised they were with the amount of people walking barefoot in public, whether shopping malls, markets or during breakfasts and lunches in local restaurants.
Later I was standing behind a young lady in queue at a pharmacy counter when I noticed her funky hair, colorful clothes and absence of shoes. It was a hot day; she didn’t look like a hippy so I had to ask. I tapped her on the shoulder and asked why she preferred not wearing shoes on such a hot day when the surface of the parking area alone would be scalding. Her answer was simple, she didn’t like wearing shoes. Her feet were well groomed too. In fact, the nail polish was not chipped, her feet were clean and skin was smooth.
Barefoot Health Benefits
Seeing as there is no law against the barefoot trend in public, I looked into the health benefits of exposing the souls of our feet to natural elements. The facts were surprisingly in favor of leaving feet accessories at home. For starters, most people are required to wear shoes for such long periods per day that the feeling of taking them off is ever so pleasing. Bare feet are also not known to smell whereas shoes are known to be culture mediums for a variety of germs and bacteria that cause the ill smells. The chances of picking up athletes’ feet and other illnesses are very limited when walking in public too.
To further up the benefits, scientific studies have been done that explain how direct contact with the surfaces and the soles of our feet continuously renewed electrons and that in turn was draining the body from free radicals. It would be hard to justify that people who don’t wear shoes have better balance because any flat, sporty shoes and sandals will have the same effect on one’s balance. However, women who walk on high heel and stilettos definitely don’t have the balance that people who opt for the flatter shoes walk with.
Any people who wear closed fitted shoes for prolonged will suffer from deformed toes, which isn’t always irreversible. Once a person wears no shoes or easily fitted sandals, the toes seem to straighten and become flexible, with adequate spacing between each toe. The barefoot trend can also prevent many foot ailments like heel spurs, bunions, and bone deformities.
All in all dirty feet is probably the highest concern, but then again, anyone choosing to go without shoes is well aware of the risk and gladly takes it anyhow.