UK based publication Express recently published an article that touches on the research done into shoes and how they may affect a child’s foot development.
It’s hard to imagine life without our shoes. Since a very early age, we’ve been taught that shoes are meant to protect our feet and to be worn whenever going outside. It’s become second nature to grab for your shoes before going anywhere (even indoors!). But have you ever considered the possible negative side effects of wearing shoes? After all, it’s worth considering that, as newborns, we’re not born with any shoes on our feet.
At birth, we’re actually born with no bones in our feet at all. Over the years, all the way through our teens, the cartilage in our feet ossifies and turns to the 28 bones that make up the foot.
Tudur Jones, an orthopedic surgeon in London, was interviewed for the article and discussed the growth of the human foot and the effects that shoes have on this development.
As with any other muscle group in the body, we know that our feet respond best when stimulated and engaged in movement. Jones explains that generally, “the changes that shoes impart upon the skeleton may change the fundamentals of how the foot functions later in life.”
1) Foot Strength and Muscle Growth
More specifically, Jones mentions that, “As with all muscles, the more they are loaded, the stronger and bigger they become. It strengthens the skeleton and can protect against osteoporosis. The more they are loaded then the stronger and harder they become. This also applies to the ligaments that hold the bones together.”
When we wear shoes, we remove our feet from their natural positioning and movement. The sensations are lost and the development is severely restricted. Moreover, wearing shoes your whole life causes the bottom of your feet to lose their supportive, extra cushion (the shoes take the place of it!).
2) Connection to Earth’s Surface Electrons
While strengthening your foot muscles is a significant and highly important benefit of going barefoot, there is another that’s often forgotten. The earth’s surface contains a nearly limitless supply of free electrons. When absorbed, these electrons act as antioxidants. That is, they enter the body and pair with unstable, unhealthy free radicals that destroy healthy cells. These free radicals are built up in your body through everyday stresses, injury, inflammation, toxins, etc. Removing shoes from the equation allows you to re-establish that connection to the earth. Studies suggest that wearing earthing shoes or going barefoot (also known as Earthing) may improve sleep, inflammation, muscle recovery, etc. To learn more about the benefits of Earthing and the earth’s electrons, check out the post “The Earth – One Giant Antioxidant.”
It’s important to balance the comfort and functionality of shoes with their possible restrictive features. While shoes have undoubtedly added a comfort and stability to our everyday lives, they remove something much greater – our connection (both physically and physiologically) to the earth.
There is no question that barefoot movement and contact with the earth is preferable. However, it’s not always possible. Earthing shoes offer a solution to this disconnect from the earth’s surface. By placing copper conductors through the soles, Juil shoes and sandals offer the wearer a conductive connection to the earth’s surface. This allows for you to go about the earth’s surface and maintain that sensation that your body desperately needs.
Check out these other great posts:
- GROUNDING FOOTWEAR FOR JET LAG RELIEF
- What Makes Earthing Shoes Unique?
- Barefoot History
- Is Earthing Possible on Concrete?