As the weather begins to warm up, the temptation to run barefoot in the grass increases. There is just something so liberating about abandoning your shoes and embracing your childhood once again. As you’re preparing to kick off those shoes you might want to consider these four reasons for leaving them on.
The ground is a dangerous place for your feet. If you’re the average person, you’ve stubbed your toe at least a few times and know how painful that can be. Sometimes a stubbed toe won’t just scrape off skin but it will also crack your toenail and bruise your foot. The toe of your shoe could save you from a nasty stubbing.
As inviting and carefree as the grass at your local park may look it is actually filled with tons of hidden things that could hurt you like sharp twigs, trash, or even broken bottles. Shoes provide you with a level of protection so your poor foot isn’t the first thing to come into contact with what may be lurking unseen on the ground.
Along with defending your foot from the scrapes and bruises of life, your shoe will also help to ward off pests and infections. Back in the early 1900s, there was an awful problem with people getting hookworms in rural places like Mississippi. The worms would bore into peoples bare feet causing them to get terribly sick. Once people were educated about the importance of wearing shoes the problem took care of itself, but that doesn’t mean the worms are gone.
Not only do you want to keep your feet safe from things like hookworms, but you also want to defend them from infection. If you do get a scrape or cut on your foot and you don’t keep it clean you run the risk of the wound getting infected. Infections that aren’t treated can cause more severe problems and, in extreme cases, can lead to the need for amputation.
Most shoes have been designed to help you have a better grip on the ground during certain activities. If you’re out hiking your shoes will grip the rock. Running track with spikes will help your feet to grab the track giving you the push you need. Your shoes can even help with an everyday thing like driving as they give you a better grip on the petals and greater control of your car.
This is not true for all shoes, but shoes that fit you correctly and have a sturdy arch inside will give your entire body better support. Many people don’t realize this, but your feet affect almost all of your movements. If you don’t have the foot support you need you could be causing yourself unnecessary back, hip, knee and even neck pain. If you are experiencing pain that could be related to conditions of the foot, you should contact an orthopedic foot specialist about your options.
Going barefoot will likely not kill you, but it is important to understand the risks you are taking with something as simple as not wearing shoes. Enjoy the warmer weather and keep your feet safe!