I would like to open up this discussion with a straight up fact: I never wear shoes. At this point, it is not even on purpose either — I genuinely forget to include shoes in the things I need before I leave the house. I would also like to state that one time my friend said that if she had to lick one of our friends' feet it would be mine. And I never wear shoes. JUST SAYING. Anyways.
If you cannot already tell, I firmly believe that being barefoot is the way to live and I do not think my mind will be changed by any argument simply because I never wear shoes and my feet are doing great. I tried to research why one should wear shoes. Not many people have too much to say about why we should wear shoes.
It seems that the most common argument for wearing shoes is that you could get bacteria or fungus under your toenails and then get an infection. If we are following that logic, you should also always be wearing gloves, right?! I know my fingers are touching some germy things! And furthering that, 30% of American people bite their nails. So they are actually eating the bacteria under their nails, too! Therefore, I am not worried about my toes.
I will agree that in some circumstances shoes are necessary--BUT NOT MANY. I stayed in downtown Chicago a couple of nights ago and apparently it is really common to find dead animals on the sidewalk along with lots of broken glass. Walking through the neighborhoods of Chicago would be an appropriate time to wear shoes I would agree.
I made a deal with myself when I was like seven that I would never get a job where I had to wear shoes. So far I am doing fantastic. I am a lifeguard and a yoga instructor. I wonder what my future professional career will entail.
I would like to honestly ask, what is so disturbing about a bare foot? I really wonder! I feel like the only reason feet are gross is because they are stuck inside a smelly shoe all day! I am pretty sure, I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure feet only smell because they live inside of shoes. Do your feet spontaneously begin to smell? I am seriously wondering. Mine don't.
I do need to start wearing shoes more often and that is why I wanted to write this article. I wanted to convince myself that shoes are important. But I have not come across a single convincing argument! Some say walking barefoot can be intense on the knee and hip joints. One time someone told me the reason people in third world countries never have broken ankles is because they never wear shoes so their ankles are able to get super strong by having to adjust to uneven surfaces under their feet. I think that argument trumps the one about knee and hip joints. And with that, I thoroughly don't want to be relying on a shoe for joint health. My body should be able to support me.
I do think that shoes are good for people who are overweight because it probably is very intense on their feet. I support shoes for overweight people for sure. Is that controversial? Hopefully not.
Also my yoga friend told me that it is important to ground yourself with the raw earth every day through your bare feet. I think feet are my favorite part of the body. Even when I am walking on cement or asphalt, I like to truly feel the support of the earth underneath me. Shoes just remove me one step further. There are so many things in this life that remove us from nature, shoes do not need to be included in those things.
In conclusion, I did not convince myself to start wearing shoes more often.
If you wanna start going barefoot, you should! I will say it hurts in the beginning but then you get tougher. But then you get a pedicure and they scrub all the toughness off and you have to start all over again. But it is still worth it.