Why don't people go barefoot

Walking barefoot: Why my feet are the best shoes for me

You already know the 10 reasons for walking barefoot. Our barefoot specialist Burkhard Reinberg has been walking barefoot herself for 25 years - in nature and sometimes in the city. He reports on his impressions and experiences.

Even as a child I liked to walk barefoot, some of you will probably know that too. Through mud and sand and grass and in the apartment anyway. Until at some point the adults come and say: “But child, pull something by your feet, you’ll get one Cystitis.”

I have already explained that this is not the case. Nevertheless, parents always seem to be afraid for their offspring and even put shoes on children who cannot walk yet. What's that good for? That just restricts the feet, the toes can't move, and it doesn't help you learn to walk either. Okay, if the child is being pushed through the cold in the stroller, the feet should of course be kept warm. But you can also do that with thick socks.

Traveling without shoes, no matter what people think

At school and at work - I was a police officer for several years - I, like most other people, wore shoes. In my mid-twenties I have a lot competitive sport operated and me one double herniated disc traded.

My doctor then recommended that I try walking barefoot on natural ground, for example in the forest. At first I was a bit skeptical. The first thing you ask yourself is: what will people think?

It's like a person who suddenly needs glasses and when he wears them for the first time he thinks everyone would stare at him. But that's not the case, it's just that your own focus is too much on the new glasses.

For example, how often do you look at other people's feet? Most of the time you look them in the face or just walk past them. And even if someone thinks something strange about me, so what? I still help my health.

So then I started to try walking barefoot again, first in the house, then in the garden, then sometimes with one of them walk in the woods and I noticed: Hey, that's really good! Not just my back, but the rest of my body and my general well-being too. So I started researching and reading books about walking barefoot and ended up writing one myself.

Walking barefoot is safe and not unsanitary

But our head also creates another problem. Not only do you think about what other people are saying. Many feel at the thought of walking barefoot disgust, especially when it comes to city running.

How often do you see people spitting on the floor, cigarette butts or dog poo everywhere. Of course you don't want to step in there. But I can assure you: In all the years in which I walk a lot barefoot, I have never stepped barefoot in dog poop - but with shoes I did. It's simply because you barefoot pays much more attention to where you step.

Then there is of course the question of that hygiene. After all, the floor in the city is one thing above all else: dirty. I can only say:

Have you ever thought what you touch with your hands? Doorknobs, handrails, money, other people's hands. Now, statistically speaking, a person touches his face every six minutes. Nose, eyes, mouth, somewhere on the mucous membranes - and thus transmits bacilli and viruses that he has on his hands. On the other hand, how often do you touch your face with your feet?

Sure, my feet are getting dirty. Not only on asphalt, but also on forest floor. The dirt penetrates the pores and the feet turn black. But then I just wash them with a sponge or with pumice, when I get home.

Washing your feet more often is generally a good idea, as this also prevents foot problems like this Athlete's foot in front. But always remember to dry your feet again afterwards, including between your toes. Especially if you should put on socks afterwards.

Walking barefoot helps against cold feet and migraines

In my ten reasons I have already explained that walking barefoot helps against cold feet. Now you might be thinking: men usually don't have cold feet anyway. That's right, but I know the problem from my wife. She had many years Frost feet, but since she started running barefoot regularly, that has subsided.

And not only that, she also got her migraines under control. She used to have a really bad migraine attack at least once a month until the doctors finally prescribed medication for her. But she did not want to take it and has dealt with the subject a little herself. With mental training, relaxation techniques and barefoot running, she is now migraine-free - since 2008. And completely without medication.

You probably know it from the past: When you put your hands back in the warm after a snowball fight or building a snowman, they are initially quite numb from the cold. And then suddenly they get really hot. Walking barefoot has the same effect on your feet - it's very simple a question of blood circulation.

An alternative: barefoot shoes

Surrender can be a gain, at least if the failure refers to not wearing shoes. It helps the body and the psyche and once you start, you won't want to stop. The nice thing is that you get feedback directly from your body and notice that something is changing.

Of course, there is also the possibility of getting used to running barefoot first, namely with Minimal shoes. These are a good compromise if you don't immediately dare to go through the full program. Minimal shoes are designed so that the body does the cushioning, not the shoe, and that the toes are as large as possible Freedom of movement to have.

Especially when you walk a lot on asphalt and not through woods and fields, minimal shoes can help. For example at a marathon, otherwise blisters can quickly develop on your feet if you are not used to it. And who knows - maybe at some point you will want to try it completely “down without”.

Recorded by: Manuela Hartung