In my quest for functional mobility I experimented with barefooted strength-training. It worked! My squat got deeper, my deadlifts became intuitive, my muscle mind connection improved, and I acquired delicious gainz...or so I’d like to think.
Little did I know there is a multitude of health benefits, other than enabling my gym-rat routine, by cutting out footwear completely.
I am no runner, but according to WebMD running barefooted prevents knee injuries, stress fractures, and achilles tendonitis; and corrects form. Of course, it is not recommended that people take off their shoes and instantly run a marathon, because one should ease into barefoot running before doing it extensively. Nevertheless, I only bring this up to get the boring running stuff out of the way and get to the meat of the most captivating part of my barefoot lifestyle discovery.
The fascinating part about the barefoot lifestyle is the concept of grounding, also know as earthing. The concept of grounding is that the human body is basically a system of electrical components -- the heart, lungs, brain, and nervous system all work on electrical impulses -- thus, by a putting one’s feet on the earth, they ground the electric currents in their body.
The benefits of grounding is backed by science. There is quantitative evidence that grounding will encourage better sleep, less pain, lowering of cortisol, lowering of stress, reduction of electric fields on the body, lower inflammation, and an improvement in heart rate variability, according to the National Center for Biotechnology.
The health benefits of a barefoot lifestyle is so extensive that some podiatrists go as far as to refer to shoes as “foot-coffins” and consider them the bane of the western world.
So there it is, I’m officially a hippy. I decided to drop bacon and ribeyes, and pick up granola and beans. Haha, just kidding -- carbs are the devil. But seriously, I will continue to dress my little piggies in their birthday suit, and use my feet as the conduit to unleash my spiritual energy into the earth. Viva la shoe-volution!!!
As for slippers, well, I’ll wear them like every true Hawaiian sprinter…
...on my hands.