Walking Without Shoes

Posted on April 24, 2008  Comments (3)

You Walk Wrong

Last year, researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, published a study titled “Shod Versus Unshod: The Emergence of Forefoot Pathology in Modern Humans?” in the podiatry journal The Foot. The study examined 180 modern humans from three different population groups (Sotho, Zulu, and European), comparing their feet to one another’s, as well as to the feet of 2,000-year-old skeletons. The researchers concluded that, prior to the invention of shoes, people had healthier feet. Among the modern subjects, the Zulu population, which often goes barefoot, had the healthiest feet while the Europeans – i.e., the habitual shoe-wearers – had the unhealthiest

My new Vivo Barefoots aren’t perfect – they’re more or less useless in rain or snow, and they make me look like I’m off to dance in The Nutcracker. But when I don’t wear them now, I kind of miss them. Not because they’re supposedly making my feet healthier, but because they truly make walking more fun. It’s like driving a stick shift after years at the wheel of an automatic – you suddenly feel in control of an intricate machine, rather than coasting on cruise control. Now I better understand what Walt Whitman meant when he wrote (and I hate to quote another Transcendentalist, but they were serious walking enthusiasts): “The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections.”

Related: Ministry of Silly WalksTreadmill Desks

3 Responses to “Walking Without Shoes”

  1. Chodrin
    April 26th, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

    when i child, i and my villager always walk without shoes. i never feel sick. yes, my feet healthier. but now, when i live in the city, i don’t brave walk without shoes. there are many bactery arund us.

  2. Anonymous
    September 7th, 2011 @ 7:02 am

    It’s weird walking without shoes… you don’t really notice how big of a difference they make to our lives till you go a couple days without shoes and try to perform different tasks (honestly, running is just completely different barefoot… due to different pressure points being affected in our walk).

    I definitely prefer being barefoot when I can (outside in the backyard, around the house barefoot vs. wearing slippers, etc.) since it is in its own way more liberating… but still, shoes have made the lives of man very different!

  3. Edward
    April 22nd, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

    i like barefoot and walking on stone roads. it is a kind of message.especially i like the sunny day to do that. it is weird, but if you walk for few minutes, you will feel really good. i am barefoot when i am home, but i do feel cold sometime.

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