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Why Barefoot is Best (page 2)

Why Barefoot is Best

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Updated on Aug 22, 2014

Barefeet games.   For barefoot fun, try some foot games, such as picking up marbles with toes, folding the laundry with feet instead of hands, playing string games with feet and toes as well as fingers, or scrunching toe races. Children’s yoga, folk dance, gymnastics, and circus arts take barefoot work to higher levels with practice and training. “Yes, you can work to re-create the arch of the foot through barefoot exercise such as yoga,” says Greene.

Change it up. “It’s good to have a variety of shoes,” Dr. Greene suggests. If a person wears the same shoe all day, day after day, they will develop a problem as the foot adapts to that one form only. It’s a good idea to have a variety of different shoe shapes, such as sneakers, sandals, boots, and slip-ons, and to make sure one pair isn’t getting all the use. 

Don’t wear athletic shoes all day. “Of course, for after-school sports, a good supportive sneaker is important to protect the foot”, says Dr. Greene. However, a recent study has shown that the wearing of athletic shoes actually contributes to arthritis of the knee, probably because each step is so cushioned that the wearer is not feeling the ground under the sole of the foot, and the body doesn’t make the muscle adjustments to align the bones for stability (Arthiritis Rheum., 2006). So, wear school shoes during the day and change into sneakers or athletic shoes for sports practice.

Don’t wear flip-flops all day. As far as the adolescent fashion to wear flip-flops all day, even to school, Dr. Greene says, “this is not beneficial” to the feet. “They are just not supportive enough.” Compromise with your teen and find some stylish, yet supportive, sandals.

Podiatrist Dr. William Rossi writes that, denied its natural need and ability for constant exercise, the shoe-wearing foot may be losing its capacity for normal function. So, for health and for fun, kick off those shoes and go out and play!

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