Free the Feet

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As a child and teen I never wore shoes, I was known for some tough feet and even had some pretty nasty gashes and wounds due to the habit of wandering in the woods barefoot, riding bikes, playing football or baseball barefoot.  I found every excuse to never stuff my feet into those cumbersome devices called shoes.  Of course as I started working it required shoes. I started to wear dress shoes often as well, depending on the job. My feet slowly lost the ability to be free and do their natural thing.  I never realized how much this contributed to foot, leg, and back problems until I started having major issues with plantar facetious  and my lower back in my late 20’s.  I did PT, I iced them, I changed my diet (which did help) but it wasn’t until a long walk on the beach in beach sand barefoot that I had a break through.  I remember exactly the day.  I was walking lake Michigan with my husband and my feet hurt terrible but I was gritting my teeth and baring the pain because I was determined to enjoy the sun, the beach and the time with him.  10 minutes in I was about in tears, I kept going, 20 minutes in I felt my feet cramp up and not soon after a bit of a release and the pain lessoned.  After that day I had less pain.  I’m not suggesting you go do this, but I’m telling you for me this worked.  I had gone two years having doctors telling me to wear supportive shoes, never be barefoot, etc.. and now I find the very thing I was told not to do helped me. I started returning to bare feet, slowly.  It took time for my feet to gain back the strength, the stamina, the flexibility they once had. It is now rare to find me in shoes unless I am working with objects that require safety or am in a store.  I own a pair of moccasins, tennis shoes, cowboy boots and work boots all of which serve a purpose, but I rarely wear any of them.

My discovery came long before the new fascination with earthing and barefoot walking, it was just by happenstance.  My next pair of shoes may well be a pair of socks with some rubber on them or some minimalist shoes (no suggestions yet, I will keep you posted).  I’d be really happy if I could find a pair of moccasins that didn’t leave me flat on all fours in the winter. The one with leather soles are slippery!

So before I was focused on rewilding myself I was also learning how my body  reacts to  certain changes and stimulus.  But now we know and have studies showing the benefit to earthing and being barefoot. Let us take off our shoes, free our feet and step into some of the why.

But first, what is earthing/grounding and what is the difference between it and being barefoot?

Earthing/grounding is in the simplest terms it is walking barefoot outside with nothing between you and the earth.  It is different than being barefoot because you can be barefoot in your home, on concrete or on your deck.  Each have their own advantages and each come with some risk of injury to your feet.  when you search this topic online you will find devices and gadgets to  purchase, however, I encourage you to just enjoy the great outdoors and all it entails for the overall health and well being.

Did you know you have 26 bones, 33 joints and 100 muscles in each foot?  Crazy and absolutely amazing when you think about the mechanics of it. Your feet support your whole body, when something is off it will cause your body to be out of whack.



Yes!  It’s amazing for balance. Start stretching, walking, jumping, working out barefoot.

Lower Back:

This has been really key to some of my low back issues as has how I sit for some hip pain from an injury and broken tailbone (twice!).,us%20walk%20or%20even%20stand!


Thankfully I have not had knee issues long term but this is an interesting study.

Inflammation, Sleep, Blood pressure, Wound healing etc..:

Just wow, I really enjoyed this study and reading about the ways being barefoot can help the body heal.


Of course we need to be sure we start safe and slow. Your feet can get pretty beat up and if you aren’t used to being barefoot it will take time to adjust. Feet are tender and sensitive, they can get infected with cuts, punctures and sores.  So be smart, start slow, maybe start inside your house and on your deck or by standing in or stretching on the grass in your yard. They make shoes that have wide toes and minimal soles so your feet can be in a more natural position if this is a better option for you. We are all different.

It takes time to learn to listen to your body, It means slowing down and taking mental and even physical notes in a notebook. It will take time to develop the skill especially if you have spent years not listening, like I did. But as you do this you will start to be able to tell if you can notice differences or not with the changes you are making.  Slow steady changes are the best so you know what is helpful and worth your effort.


Free the Feet!



*I am not a doctor, consult yours before you make any lifestyle changes. This blog is my journey.


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