People’s reactions are so funny whey they see me barefoot on the streets. I find it especially amusing when I get introduced to someone and they don’t realize I am barefooted until after a few minutes into the conversation.
Today for instance, Gary and I were walking on the street after we had dinner at a downtown pub. I, of course, took my sandals off as soon as we stepped back into the street, ditched into my cargo pocket and started walking barefoot. After a few minutes, we bumped into our friend Willie, who was with 2 other friends. We got introduced and we started chatting. After a few minutes, one of Willie’s friends finally noticed I was barefoot. His face was priceles 🙂
Then, they all started telling me about all the “bad things” I could step on and how they could never do it, and all the horrible diseases I will acquire… I, of course, had no option but giggle and tell them that I would be OK and that I haven’t died in the last 15 years of doing this.
I really boggles my mind to realize how paranoid people are about walking barefoot on the streets. I guess what I find most disturbing is how affraid people are of their own environment. Come to think about it, it is a very sad thing to think that humans are affraid of something they have created themselves: streets!!
It also makes me sad to think that the average citizen, has never, ever, experienced what is like to “feel” under their feet the incredible variety of textures on the streets: sidewalks, blacktop, grass, gravel, dirt, mud… Just to name a few. I truly think it’s a loss on their part.
Furthermore, most people don’t seem to realize how much damage most shoes can cause to the average pair of feet. While they might provide needed protection in some instances, they also constrain the foot’s natural movement greatly, rendering most feet totally dependant on the extra support and protection. In some cases, shoes are also the cause of many foot ailments, ranging from skin infections and irritations blisters, to callouses, corns and deformities…
Added to this, there are a whole array of shoes and sandals that only give a false sense of safety and protection. Take for instance the average pair of flip-flops: they offer no protection whatsoever against anything falling on one’s feet. They are also notorious for catching on cracks or other uneven surfaces, making their user trip very easily. Most flip-flops are so thin and soft, that a tack or a nail could go right through the sole and still injure the overconfident wearer…
Human feet, just like our hands, are not supposed to be covered all the time. Just like gloves to our hands, shoes are only necessary under certain circumstances for protection. Unfortunately, our societies have turned these “accessories” into a necessity. I do hope more people start realizing that shoes are not all that imperative on a day to day basis.
Human feet are also very “intelligent” when it comes to walking. Just like our hands, they are full of nerve endings that are designed to alert us on any possible danger within nanoseconds; therefore, helping us avoid injury. Moreover, human feet are designed to counterbalance very effectively; so, if one steps onto something sharp or uncomfortable, the foot itself will avoid putting excessive pressure on that particular spot and shift the balance to other areas of the sole that are not being threatened. Unfortunately, most people don’t know this because they have never, ever given their feet a chance to “perform” the way they are supposed to.
Lastly, going barefoot feels awesome, there is nothing more than a nice barefoot brisk walk first thing in the morning. You should try it sometime, you will love it!