When you go outside in the summer what is your foot attire of choice? Flip flops or bare feet?
My husband and I have this conversation every year. He is constantly saying, “you should wear shoes outside,” or “be sure to tell the girls they can’t go outside without their shoes.” I’m a rebel…or a born sunshine girl. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t wear shoes in the summer. I love the green grass in my toes, and the varying textures of summer under my feet. If I know the terrain and that it is sticker free, then I will choose to go barefoot every time.
Now that the girls are following in their Momma’s footsteps, I decided that before I continued to be a little rebel I better take a look as to whether walking barefoot is actually a good option. I mean people have done so for centuries before modern science so surely there must be some good to it right? Well, actually, the supporting evidence to choose bare feet over flip flops is actually quite overwhelming. Take a look, and you will see what I mean.
Benefits of Going Barefoot
- Research shows [that going barefoot] may play a profoundly beneficial role in sleep disturbances, stress relief, pain relief, heart rhythm, immune response and much more (says Mercola)
- Going barefoot actually results in less injuries and better body posture (says the Wellness Mama).
- Walking barefoot has been known to reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, lower stress, improve energy, lessen hormonal and menstrual symptoms, and accelerate recovery from extreme athletic activity (says SheKnows).
- RunBare boasts that going barefoot can increase your balance, increase circulation, decrease blood pressure, reduce inflammation and result in both healthier kids and feet.
- Bare feet builds foot muscles that make you less likely to fall down and helps you to be less tired when running (says Health Guidance).
- Going barefoot has shown positive improvements in chronic muscle and joint pain, asthmatic and respiratory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, heart rate variability, fasting glucose levels, and more (says Food Matters).
- The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that [going barefoot] increases the surface charge of red blood cells (that’s a good thing as it can significantly reduce the chance of heart disease).
Hazards of Wearing Flip Flops
- Wearers can suffer foot pain due to lack of arch support, tendinitis, and even sprained ankles if they trip (says WebMD).
- Many experts say flip-flops are among the most dangerous shoes out there (says Everyday Health).
- The No. 1 problem [Howard Osterman, a podiatrist,] sees from [flip flops] are overuse injuries such as stress fractures of the metatarsals, the five long bones that reach out to the toes (as quoted on the Washington Post).
- Poor arch support could put the ankles out of place, causing misalignment of the hips and spine. Over time, the simple act of wearing flip-flops could turn into painful spinal injuries (says Medical Daily)
- Flip-flops can actually lead to car accidents because they impair a driver’s control if they come off the foot and lodge under the brake or gas pedal, according to the American Automobile Association.
- Research from Auburn University suggests that wearing flip-flops for excessive amounts of time could cause temporary or even long-term damage to the musculoskeletal system.
- In just four days, the flip-flops [in this study] had accumulated more than 18,000 bacteria. Bacteria are common in the world, but some of these bacteria tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus, a germ that can easily lead to infection and death (as shared by the Diagnostic Foot Specialists).
- Still need more convincing? Check out this infograph on flip flops. But beware! It’s really kind of gross.
While I probably won’t get rid of my flip flops entirely, any time I am able I will definitely choose to go without. And, now, any time Goose wants to tell us to put our shoes back on I’ll just share with him one of these amazing benefits of going barefoot. Ha! What do you think? Think it will work? It’s always worth a try I suppose.