Saturday, January 28, 2023
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How barefoot do you dare to go?


Barefoot is loosely translated: walking barefoot. Of course this sounds like a boring subject, but there is a lot to be said about it, about the advantages, the disadvantages and the deeper meaning behind it.

My story

I am still a young woman who has recently been able to determine her own rules. In addition, I am a highly sensitive person. Since a young age I have had an antipathy to shoes, socks and anything that traps my feet.

I then get pain in my feet, they become numb and I literally feel less free. So last summer I decided not to wear closed shoes and/or socks. I have one pair of slippers that I like the most (these are quite expensive and not exactly my mother’s prettiest, but they are heavenly).

Normally around 22 degrees you really consider whether closed shoes are not an option, some people reach this point even earlier. For me, this choice was always based on ratio, not because my feet were cold, but because I saw that 9 out of 10 people were wearing closed shoes again.

Now that I made the choice not to lock my feet up anymore, I stubbornly kept my slippers on. Eventually it started to rain, blow and snow, but I persevered, much to my mother’s chagrin.

Yes, I got responses “Aren’t you cold?” or “Don’t you have closed shoes?”, but I knew what before I did it, why torture myself if I don’t have to? That year I persevered against everyone’s expectations and also this year my shoes remain undusted in the closet.

A recaptured sense

Slippers or any other ‘open’ shoe, that is of course something different than really bare feet. But I can only imagine what an enrichment it must be in your life. Your feet are in direct contact with the earth. Grounding is also best done by walking barefoot.

In the past, in more primitive times, they always walked barefoot, sometimes they only had something over their feet against the cold, but the soles were still free. Back then it was essential for us to feel with your feet.

You had to have a good grip on the earth and you don’t destroy anything with bare feet. In short, you show more respect for Mother Earth. This was of religious importance, but also because our body likes to be directly connected with the earth, the planet we have to deal with after all.

All our senses today receive few pure stimuli. By that I mean stimuli that are not formed by us humans. We see buildings made by us, we hear cars that we have invented, we smell perfume that we have composed ourselves and we taste food that we have modified. But what do we actually still feel, what do we experience?

And this is exactly where bare feet can help us. Feeling is a pure stimulus, to feel you have to be connected with yourself and with our world. If we go barefoot again, we will recapture the lost sense, the very sense that we so desperately need.

The bears on the road

Well, walking barefoot also has disadvantages, the proverbial bears on the road. I will list them briefly, so that you can determine for yourself how heavy these disadvantages weigh.

  1. People have a (often negative) opinion
  2. It’s cold and won’t be pleasant at first
  3. There is a lot of junk on the street these days (think glass)
  4. Your feet are going to get dirty
  5. Shoes can no longer complement your look

Especially the first 3 reasons are for most people the reason not to do it, and that makes perfect sense.

People will think you are a bum, poor, dirty or scum. You can also count on many checking eyes and comments.

The stimuli you receive are strange, they come in in an unusual place; namely your feet! The cold is something you get used to pretty quickly, but how the different surfaces feel is really going to be a new experience.

Now you often do not even realize what kind of tiles you are walking on, are they dark? Light? Rough? Slippery? And what material are they made of? When you walk barefoot, you literally get a new sense.

In addition, you have to be careful where you walk, because you can hurt yourself quite a bit. You can step into something sharp like glass or a crushed cola can. You walk through the nettles or you stub your toe. So this is definitely a disadvantage!

Bears transform into butterflies

Many people have gone before us so there must be benefits, right? I will also list these for the sake of form:

  1. It says something about your philosophy of life
  2. You have a new sense
  3. you ground better
  4. Your feet are free
  5. It saves on the cost of buying shoes
  6. Shoes no longer have to complement your look

So there are definitely benefits and these benefits really bring you something. So it can be an enrichment! But it is important that we also consider the disadvantages. There are ways to get around the drawbacks.

First of all you have to be aware that you will ALWAYS get reactions, ALWAYS! You have to be strong for this (which you are not wearing by the way) and it is therefore important to know that (annoying) comments and looks say more about those people than about you. You have a vision and you carry it out; That’s not weird, that’s actually very powerful!

You get used to the pain, cold and stimuli. You have the least trouble with this when you build it up. Just start walking barefoot at home. Or start (like me) with slippers, then you are already used to the cold. Build up your barefoot moments more and more, with different surfaces, different places, different times and different seasons. There is so much to experience!

Well, the dangerous things lying on the floor, that’s a tricky point. Your feet become resistant to some things over time. You build up a very functional callus layer and it protects you against small stinging things.

So they will no longer be harmful to your foot. But a piece of glass that just lays in an unfortunate way, your foot will never be able to withstand it. That danger will always be there, although you also have that danger with shoes on, only then it will reach your foot less far.

Are you not yet reassured enough about the safety of your feet? Then there is another golden mean. Namely: five-finger-toe shoes. Shoes in which your toes are separated from each other, just like those funny socks from the past.

These shoes give you the sensation that you are walking barefoot, but there is a small protective layer around it. This will make you less likely to get seriously hurt. They aren’t pretty and they aren’t cheap either, but they do offer you a safe way to get close to nature.

My journey continues and for myself I hope for a shoe-free future.

How barefoot do you dare to go?


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