|"An old, ancestral affinity between the human foot and the solid ground|
is replenished by the simple act of stepping outside without shoes." - David Abram
You might think that expensive shoes do what manufacturers claim and protect your feet, but that does not seem to be the case. Phil Maffetone says in his book “In Fitness and in Health”:
For the most part, shoes are tested on machines, not people, because machines give the results the company wants and people don’t. A quick look in the medical journals will point out the abundant problems.
Did you know, for example, that the support systems in almost all shoes can weaken your ankles? And the soft, cushioned shoes of today can harm your feet?
Scientific articles over the past decade or more strongly suggest that such protective features put in by shoe companies, including shock absorption and motion control actually increase the likelihood of injury.
Yikes! Why don't we go barefoot more often, considering the injustices our feet put up with for a bit of protection?
Why? Because it's not profitable. Today, shoes are a gold mine.
The global footwear market is projected to hit $195 billion by 2015. The global barefoot market? Not so much.
It is no wonder barefoot walking isn't promoted. You are either a hippie, nature nut, running nerd, or downright uncivilized to traipse treadless across the ground. But again, what about protecting your feet from hazards?
Nope. The industry is 95% fashion, and 5% protection. Shoes can protect your feet from sharp stuff, but they also separate you from feeling the earth under you, and weaken your feet over time.
There’s nothing like walking on sand or grass in your bare feet, and the more you can enjoy nature, the better for your well-being. Going barefoot more often can also save you a lot of money.
Try this when the mood strikes you: step out upon the solid earth without the intermediary of a rubber or leather sole - without another creature's tanned hide coming between your flesh and that of the earth.Walking barefoot is one of the simple pleasures that reconnects me with the earth, and disconnects me from consumerism.
Notice the way your feet pressing against the coarse ground are also met by that ground, as your skin is probed by the soil and the pliant, bristling blades. How easy it is to sense that the terrain underfoot is the palpable surface of a living presence, and to allow that depth to feel your steps as you walk upon it!
Watch how your feet spontaneously relax their pace in order to respect this odd otherness - in order to reply appropriately to the caress and the steady support of that depth, to avoid insulting the living land with your carelessness. - David Abram
It makes me more aware of how our every footprint can affect the earth. If only we were more concerned about avoiding insulting the living land with our carelessness in all walks of life.