I live only a block from the beach. Most of it is through a nature strip. I was wearing these clunky sandals to the  beach and, then, taking them off to enjoy the sand. A couple weeks ago, I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” My route to the beach is through a nature strip, a small park and a short path. It is mostly grass and dirt with a few short stretches of stony earth or gravel. So, I started to leave the sandals at home. Ah, the freedom.

I soon discovered other benefits than loosing the weight of the sandals. My feet soon became accustomed to the rough surfaces. Sure, there is a bit of discomfort when walking on gravel or stony ground, but, it isn’t that much. What’s great is that my I am feeling the bottoms of my feet as I walk. Also, the irregular surfaces are massaging my feet and causing them to flex in small ways that can only be good for them. I mean, why do we have so many bones in our feet if not to give them a wide range of flexibility?

This has become a real joy for me. I am also walking differently. My feet are coming down more evenly than when wearing shoes. You can see this especially when you watch barefoot runners as opposed to people running in shoes. I read that there was a study that showed that barefoot running allows your feet to transmit the quality of the surface better to the rest of your body and that your joints are better able to prepare for the jolts. They actually found that there was less wear on joints of bare foot runners than shod runners.

I will still use my clunky sandals and my shoes but I continue to go barefoot much of the time.


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