Archive for November, 2009

Harm Caused by Shoes

November 30, 2009

Renowned Podiatrist Dr. Michael Nirenberg, in “The Top 3 Ways Wearing Shoes Harms Our Feet – And What We Can Do About It” points out the basic flaws in shoe designs. Dr. William Rossi did the same for years while consulting for shoe manufacturers with such articles as “Why Shoes Make “Normal” Gait Impossible“.

Shoe manufacturers still have not listened. They continue to make shoes that cause long term harm to children’s developing feet. Parents that rely on the shoe manufacturers’ expertise unwittingly contribute to the problem. Adults that rely on the shoe manufacturers’ expertise do themselves in. They subject themselves to long term problems by succumbing to fashion whims or over protection of feet that don’t need that level of protection.

Dr. Nirenberg offers a simple solution. Go barefoot as much as possible. Especially children. No high tech materials. No special support. No over the top fashion. Just bare feet. Simple, natural, and it has worked for a very long time.

There are those who would argue that today’s world is unsafe for bare feet. Too much concrete, glass everywhere and the climate is too cold. Those hazards are all overstated and over rated. Concrete and other man made surfaces are not harder to a bare foot than natural stone or sun baked clay. The prevalence of glass is not as great as most people think, and not as great a hazard either. And healthy feet can tolerate the same temperatures as the hands. If it is warm enough to go without gloves, active feet will be as least as warm.

Feet are tougher than most people believe, but they can easily be destroyed by shoes.


The Goal of the Society for Barefoot Living

November 29, 2009

In some sense, our main goal is to put ourselves out of business.

There is no Society for Bareheaded Living. There is no Society for Bare-armed Living. There is no Society for Wearing Shorts. There is no reason for such groups. People who choose to dress in any of those fashions simply are not discriminated against.

The last of those hypotheticals actually illustrates the issue fairly well. In the 1950s and 1960s, no grown man in the United States would wear shorts, certainly not out and about. Yet, in the 1970s and beyond, shorts-wearing men became increasingly common, and uncommented upon (despite a plethora of skinny and/or hairy specimens). Some of that may have been influenced by such shows as Magnum P.I., but still, the conversion took place without men in shorts being tossed from grocery stores. Maybe a few fancy restaurants still have problems with the shorted, but in general, anybody can go into most restaurants these days wearing shorts, without anybody batting an eye.

That can be contrasted with the situation going barefooted. Stores have signs that say “No shirt, No shoes, No service.” Libraries often have codes of conduct that require shoes (and a shirt). While, if challenged, they will say that is it for safety concerns, it is hard to imagine a location safer for bare feet than a library. What, they’re afraid we’ll get paper cuts on our toes?

So, we’d like to put ourselves out of business. We’d like to see going barefoot generate as much controversy as wearing shorts (that is, going bare-legged). If that were the case, we could fold up our tents and go home.

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