But, like so many other "civilized" things, just because we do it doesn‘t mean it‘s "better."
This article, featured on the Anthropik Network, reviews the many problems caused by walking incorrectly, which is directly related to wearing shoes.
The civilized walk -- here referred to as cow-walk -- puts tremendous pressure on the joints. Starting with the squeezing of the foot inside the shoe; jarring the knees as they‘re locked straight upon the pole-driving impact of the heel, which then travels straight up the spine, all the way up the neck.
In contrast, "fox-walking" is the walk of the natural hunter-gatherer -- the graceful flow of the body in total synchronization. The knees are bent, rather than locked; the ball of the foot touches the ground first, followed by the heel, in a virtually soundless step motion. Watching a baby walking barefoot can be an educational experience in correct walking technique.
The Anthropik Network June 28, 2007
This article is a fascinating look at how some of our “modern and civilized” practices can actually affect us for the worse, not for the better. A quick look at the dangers of “progress” in the form of toxic pollutants in the environment and dangerous chemicals in our food is enough to make you wonder exactly what it is we’re supposed to be “progressing” towards.
What this article does not examine is some of the physiological reasons why walking barefoot maybe helpful. There has been some very compelling studies suggesting that when you are "grounded" free electrons can easily come up from the earth and essentially nullify free radicals in your body and go a long way to eliminate pain and inflammation and improve overall health.
Unfortunately very few of us have the opportunity to walk barefoot on the earth anymore and as a result are deprived of this grounding experience. Fortunately there are some relatively simple innovations that can reconnect us to the earth.
There are many professional and Olympic athletes who are using technology that do this with amazing results. I am currently evaluating some of these simple tools that allow you to receive all the benefits of walking barefoot while you are sleeping. Really amazing and foundational technology that I believe is just as profound as omega-3 fats, sleep, insulin normalization, and optimal sun exposure.
I hope to write more about these tools as my experience with them broadens. But in the meantime I am convinced the more you can walk barefoot on the ground, not asphalt or concrete, the more health benefits you will achieve. So, whenever you have the opportunity slide your shoes off and get connected again with the earth!