Is Walking Around Barefoot Good for You?

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Many people believe walking barefoot all the time provides them a great deal of freedom and comfort. However, is participating in such an activity beneficial to their well-being? The following short piece will answer that question by offering some insight into the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.

Is Walking Barefoot Good For You?

There are numerous benefits to walking barefoot. It can positively impact an individual’s strength, posture, and overall health. Some specific benefits may include:


  1. The Strengthening Of the Legs And Feet
  2. Walking barefoot forces a greater number of muscles in an individual’s feet and legs to contract in order to provide support and balance to the rest of his or her body. The more someone goes barefoot, the greater the chances he or she will build those muscles and make them less susceptible to injury.

  3. Improved Balance
  4. When someone stands and/or walks in bare feet, that individual feels the ground much more efficiently than he or she would while wearing shoes. This feeling stimulates the body’s vestibular system (a portion of the brain responsible for maintaining balance), which triggers the human mind to place a greater focus on achieving and holding balance. Therefore, balance-related falls and subsequent injuries can be averted.

  5. Fewer Foot-Related Conditions
  6. As walking barefoot forces the feet to work harder, not doing so might accelerate a weakening in these vital body parts. This could result in the development of foot maladies such as hammertoes and bunions, in addition to various injuries like sprains, strains and generalized pain.

  7. Improved Posture
  8. Standing erect and feeling the ground, as people do when barefoot, forces them out of the nasty habit of bending forward from the waist. Repeatedly entering this unenviable position cannot only precipitate posture problems that may give someone the appearance of being hunched over, but also potentially bring forth injuries to the neck, shoulders, back, and hamstrings. Standing straight places less stress on these bodily regions and makes them far less susceptible to pain and/or injury.

  9. Stimulating Reflexes
  10. Another benefit of walking barefoot is that it can stimulate the nerves on the bottom of the feet, which can improve individual reflexes. In turn, someone may experience increased agility and mobility.

  11. Improving Blood Circulation
  12. The mobilization of additional foot muscles elicited by walking barefoot can also result in greater blood circulation inside the feet and legs. Increased blood flow may alleviate and/or eliminate inflammation that causes pain, as well as improve leg-related health conditions like varicose veins.

    While there are many potential benefits of walking barefoot, the activity may possess a few downsides, such as:

  13. The Increased Risk Of Infection
  14. Walking barefoot leaves an individual’s feet at greater risk of contracting infections from the many pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and funguses that accumulate on various ground surfaces.

  15. Blisters, Cuts, Scrapes And Cracked Heels
  16. Walking barefoot on rough, uneven, hot and/or cold or abrasive surfaces can damage foot skin and precipitate wounds that could potentially become infected.

  17. The Exposure To Hazards
  18. When the feet are left unprotected, they could be susceptible to damage and/or injury from objects topping various surfaces, such as rocks, glass and discarded trash containing sharp items. This potential issue can be of particular concern while walking when, at most times, a person’s eyes are focused straight ahead and not on the ground and/or his or her feet.

Is walking barefoot good for you?

The short answer seems to be yes. However, walking barefoot all the time is likely not advisable. It is probably safer to participate in this activity while at home or in an environment an individual knows is clean and/or hazard free. If someone desires walking barefoot on greater occasion, it might be advisable for he or she to wash their feet as soon as they return home or reach a facility that enables them to do so and/or pay very close attention to their surroundings in order to avoid any injuries and/or illnesses.

We at Manhattan Footcare pride ourselves as being among the area leaders in podiatry and foot care. For more information about walking barefoot, to make an appointment for a checkup or to examine any potential foot problem, please contact us.