You know that scene in Pretty Woman where Vivian (Julia Roberts) persuades Edward (Richard Gere) to take off his shoes and socks to walk barefoot in the grass? Well, Vivian was onto something. Apart from it feeling good to scrunch hot toes in cool grass, there are other benefits of walking barefoot.
1. Near Perfect Posture
One of the greatest benefits of walking barefoot has got to be an almost perfect posture. Walk barefoot for a week and before you know it, you'll sit and stand as straight as a Royal Guardsman on parade outside Buckingham Palace.
2. Feeling Connected and Grounded
Feel the energy from wiggling your toes freely, from being able to rock back and forth on the balls of your feet or your heels. A feeling of connectedness and being grounded should suffuse you after a short period of walking barefoot.
3. Gaining Better Balance
Other benefits of walking barefoot include gaining a better balance because you have a full grip with all your toes the moment you step out of your stilettos. Wearing high heels gives you the feeling of permanently walking into strong gusts of wind, leaning forward to balance your body and keeping it from falling over. In exercise and yoga classes, you'll find that being barefoot allows you to tackle more poses and remain stable.
4. Reducing Stress
Being stressed makes us feel as if we have lost control of our lives. It impacts on other people, makes them uncomfortable in our presence. Take off your shoes, and just like Hollywood A-lister Bruce Willis' famous incarnation, the New York cop who fights a whole skyscraper full of terrorists single-handedly, you'll discover that wiggling your toes freely and embedding them in the carpet is an instant antidote to stress.
5. Improving Foot Strength
Another benefit of walking barefoot is that it improves the strength of feet and toes over time. You should see and feel results after the first 6 months of your "barefoot in the park" experience. Consistently wearing high heels, where toes have to remain curled up in cramped conditions for 8 hours or more, eventually deforms toes and makes walking painful and tiring. Walking barefoot every so often turns toes long and flexible, with appropriate space between each toe, rather than all of them being squashed together.
6. Free Body and Mind
Casting off your shoes and stockings will imbue you with a feeling of freedom in mind and body. Be your own woman, the person you've always dreamed of being. Feel connected to the Earth, to nature, to your inner child intent on jumping into the next muddy puddle.
7. Healthy Feet Are Happy Feet
With healthy feet comes a feeling of happiness. Full-time barefooting may not be for everybody but when you take the shoeless plunge you'll soon notice the absence of unsightly corns on your toes. After just one week without shoes, your painful corns should start to vanish
8. Feel More Energetic
While you may not become a morning person by shedding your shoes permanently, you will certainly feel more energetic and embrace each new day with a more positive attitude.
9. Improve Blood Circulation
Walking barefoot more often helps to improve blood circulation. Soon your hands and feet won't feel cold anymore. You probably won't even have to wear socks around the house.
10. Rediscover Your 5 Senses
Going barefoot takes us back to when we were small, when our expanding brains soaked up every tiny detail around us. Suddenly you'll notice your environment in every detail, from the pebbles on your path to the wet grass in the children's playground.
11. Pain Free Backs and Necks
After 6 months of going barefoot, your lower back pain may well be gone and your neck, thanks to an improved posture all round, should also feel less stiff and painful. No more visits to the chiropractor, no more special insoles in your shoes and no more clicking of elbows or knees when you're running or moving fast - certainly benefits of walking barefoot for those heading toward 40. You will have strengthened your ankles, too, and won't have to worry while out running that you'll return home with a limp.