Going Barefoot in Public

Now that you’ve demonstrated to all your family, friends, colleagues, bosses and associates that bare feet are as integral a part of your daily attire as shoes and socks are to them, there is no longer any reason for you to be seen by even strangers in anything but bare feet. The only place where your shoes belong is in your closet, and your socks, if you still own any pairs, in your drawer, storage bin or your local thrift shop!

Remember that going barefoot is far healthier than having on footwear and unless you will be spending most of your day in a construction zone, have diabetes, or open cuts, you generally will not need to worry about having bare soles.

Get Your Feet Dirty

Many people, among them spectators and people who wish they can go barefoot will claim that going barefoot on streets is highly unsanitary. If you think about it, when your feet are encased all day, they are perspiring – that is, the soles are emitting all the poison and toxins that the body needs to get rid of. Having nowhere to go, they linger all day in socks or shoes causing your foot to literally “swim” in them. This is what causes what is known as “athlete’s foot”. Not to mention, in places like gym lockers where the person gets a chance to remove his or her footwear, he or she is causing this fungus to spread. As a result, it creates a vicious cycle of others being afraid to go barefoot out of fear of catching this fungus.

Of course the average shoddie’s number 1 solution to the problem of athlete’s foot is to avoid it by wearing shoes and indoors, socks or slippers. Based on this reasoning, it is like putting a bandaid on the cut rather than fixing it. Or to use another analogy, remedying a nicotine or alcohol craving by taking in more nicotine or alcohol. It’s the same for people who depend on pharmaceuticals who have driven further downward on their spiral that it becomes harder for them to come off of them altogether.

If you think about it, in cultures around the world where people go barefoot 24-7, which comprises of most of the human population, you never hear about athlete’s foot or other foot disorders. For the past 10 years, I’ve been going barefoot in restaurants, buses, subways, museums, offices and gyms, as well as snow, grass, pavement, in both sunny and rainy weather, as well as snow and ice, and my feet are free of any warts or fungus. Remember that our bodies were created to adapt to their environment. It is up to us to properly maintain it.

So what’s the remedy for avoiding athlete’s foot and other skin diseases? Well if you are following the step by step approach, by going barefoot at all times in your own home (hopefully your sense of hygiene as high enough to keep your feet and your floors clean), as well as other indoor venues, the soles of your feet will strengthen and develop more of a resilience. A sole that is given the chance to go bare on any surfaces will be strong enough to prevent any kind of germs or fungus from entering the body.

This brings us also to another myth that it is somehow unsanitary to go barefoot indoors and establishments. Though it is natural that your foot may be bringing in dirt from outside, a shoe generally has more grooves, nooks and crannies where dirt easily becomes trapped, while the surface of a bare sole is generally smooth and is less capable of carrying excess dirt. The movement and spreading of your toes as you take each step prevents most dirt from getting stuck, thus, the bottom of a shoe has more dirt and debris from outside than a bare sole. It actually baffles me that for some reason, the general population thinks that it is more sanitary to have on shoes in an establishment than to be barefoot.

Even though it is actually more sanitary to walk into a public establishment barefoot than in footwear (where in public establishments people generally do not remove their footwear), it is a recommended practice to clean any dirt off of your soles and even better to wash them. This is relatively easy to do as the dirt pretty much comes right off as opposed to shoes in which the idea of washing is unheard of. This will also show your host or person running the establishment that you are conscious of your own cleanliness as well as the overall cleanliness of the place.

In conclusion, all it takes to start going barefoot is to overcome a couple of psychological barriers – the first one – coming to the realization that there is absolutely nothing weird or abnormal about it.

In the next section, I’ll talk more about overcoming the physical aspect – strengthening your feet. Generally this is a psychological barrier in itself as most surfaces and weather are relatively permissive towards bare feet. With the right conditioning, persistence, and perseverance, you will soon be barefooting in cold weather and even in snow! If you are excited about this, start going barefoot and learn how to strengthen your feet!


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