Why Walk or Run Barefoot?
Though not commonly discussed, it should be common knowledge that Humans have existed for millions of years without running shoes.. the fact is that the modern running shoe was not invented until the 1900’s. There’s a wonderful audio/book (Born To Run) discussing a tribe in Africa that had mastered the art of running barefoot; a prime example of Humans before the age of the modern shoe. Your feet were “designed” to work without shoes, and in fact are quite effective at doing so, your body’s natural inclination is to be barefoot and reap the benefits that come with it!
The Benefit of Going Barefoot: Grounding
The overlooked technique of grounding, also known as earthing, is quite simple: you walk barefoot to “ground” with the Earth, Gaia. The scientific theory behind barefoot walking health benefits is that your body absorbs negative electrons from the Earth through the soles of your feet.
The Earth is naturally negatively charged; when you ground, you’re connecting your body to a negatively charged supply of energy. Since Earth has a greater negative charge than your body, you absorb electrons from it by being barefoot. This grounding effect is one of the most potent antioxidants we know of and may have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body. That’s BIG news for me, and you I’m sure, since training and recovery is a top priority following overall physical health.
Before You Start Walking Barefoot
Now before you go out jumping around, walking, or running barefoot it’s important to note that since you’ve likely become accustomed to shoes, take it slow! Start with walking around on some grass barefoot, then move to a light pace walk.. slowly work your way to jogging on grass, then jumping a bit. You’ll eventually get to the point where you can comfortably run on concrete, sand, grass, dirt, and just about anything that isn’t sharp ;). You can even start with using some Vibram Fivefinger shoes, which I’ve posted many times on my Instagram @itsadamevans. Good luck on your barefoot adventures!