In this article, I will talk about some general misconceptions people have regarding barefoot walking. Some of these myths can be a bit exaggerated and should not be adhered to. Not only does barefoot walking help improve the flexibility of the ligaments in your foot, but it also gives you better control of your foot movements.
It is a widespread belief that barefoot walking is suitable for your feet to be healthy, mainly because shoes can sometimes do more harm than good.
- Transitioning to barefoot walking without proper guidance can be dangerous, even more so when the advice is based on misconceptions or does not adhere to the problem at hand.
It is my pleasure to guide you about transitioning to barefoot walking as one who has also experienced such issues before. So, without further ado, let us bust a few myths regarding barefoot walking with me!
Here is a summary of the myths we are going to cover:
If you are curious enough and wish to know more, come aboard as we explore these myths together!
Are bare feet a thing of the past? Nowadays, the grounds are filled with harmful substances.
This is not necessarily true. Back in the day, the ground was not as clean compared to today. When you do start going barefoot, only then will you notice how clean the earth truly is.
Besides, factories that do produce these harmful substances are often not near the leading establishments. I, for one, have never seen anyone dumping chemicals on public grounds or streets.
However, do wear shoes where there is visible filth or any indication of it. As the saying goes, “Being safe is always better than being sorry!”
Can barefoot walking damage the structure of the feet?
Just like the evolution of humans, their feet have evolved as well. Unless you got a severe injury, bare feet can perfectly support your entire body mass. People used to walk barefoot in the past; therefore, it makes little to no sense that we cannot do the same as our predecessors.
Meanwhile, shoes that are not fit can cause many foot issues like fallen arches and plantar fasciitis. In addition, I have personally experienced severe heel pains after long sessions of shoe walking in the past.
Does walking barefoot cause infections?
Once again, the only way you are going to get infected is through a cut. However, the bacteria will infect even if you’re wearing shoes.
- In actuality, shoes have a higher chance of infecting a cut as the moisture in shoes does a much better job breeding bacteria than open winds.
If you get a cut, the only method to lessen the risk of being infected is to apply a bandage or protective medicine to the area.
I also recommend consulting your doctor just in case.
Are you not allowed to walk barefoot in public?
No law states that it is illegal to walk barefoot. Of course, a few people could ask you about going barefoot out of curiosity, but that is about it.
No one holds the right to ban entries based on walking barefoot.
I often visit different grounds for my morning walk and have always been allowed entry to go for a barefoot stroll.
- It is a great and fresh experience, and everybody should try walking barefoot at least once.
Is it necessary to strengthen your calves and tendons before walking barefoot?
So, you are walking barefoot now. Naturally, you will use different muscles, so obviously, your feet will get sore, so OBVIOUSLY, you need to strengthen your muscles first, or you risk an injury, right? Wrong!
- Calves or Achilles soreness happens when you either did too much or walked after a long time which can cause muscle soreness regardless of what you are wearing.
It is a healthy process that lets your muscles adapt naturally. Therefore, you do not have to worry about it specifically unless it’s bad enough to affect your daily activities and vice versa.
Do you need to stretch the Achilles to walk barefoot?
People generally have a common misconception that their Achilles heel has become shorter due to wearing shoes with significant heels.
Therefore, they should be unable to walk long distances because their heel cannot support them. Unfortunately, this idea is untrue 99 percent of the time.
Walking barefoot is not something you need specific foot anatomy for. As long as you can lean a bit from your Achilles’ tendons successfully and do not have a severe prior injury.
The soreness you might feel could be just the muscle soreness of you over-exercising. A hack that works for me is rubbing an ice cube on the sore area.
I sincerely hope these picks help you in making your decision about transitioning to barefoot walks! While walking barefoot is completely fine or even better in most places, I would still urge you to confirm that no visible dangers could harm your feet. For example, it is never good to go barefoot in public toilets or construction sites.
- If you have any medical issues, always contact your doctor for advice before trying to walk barefoot.
There are always drawbacks with benefits, so it is a good practice to balance them along the way. Now, of course, some concerns can be unwarranted, just like the ones we discussed. Nevertheless, you should always be vigilant and judge your surroundings properly when walking barefoot.
Doesn’t dirt on feet feel gross?
It strongly depends on the perspective of the person. For me, it is hard to tolerate sweaty or smelly feet. Of course, your hands get dirty during prolonged activities, but that does not mean you stop doing those activities.
Should I walk barefoot in the public restrooms too?
Definitely not! But that is mainly because it has a strong “yuck” feeling to it. Although scientifically, it might not be a bad thing.
What if I got a splinter stuck in my foot?
Disinfect the area and pull it out. But if there are chances of infection, see a doctor immediately!