For me, one thing that keeps coming back to the fore when addressing the issue of going barefoot is the whole idea of foot protection. Someone usually says or asks one of three things.
"I don't go barefoot very much since I (somehow injured my foot) as a kid."
"But what if you step on a nail or some broken glass?"
Yes, that's only two things. Just a moment. To those, my reply is always this: "I stepped on a nail and got stung on the sole of my foot as a child. That isn't going to make me wear protective gloves for the rest of my life, though. The same goes for feet and shoes."
The other protection issue is diseases. "You never know what kind of diseases you could pick up off the floor into the bottom of your foot."
So then THAT got me thinking even more:
Each time some sort of flu outbreak makes the news, medical folks always say the same thing. I work in a hospital and they drive it into our minds almost every day. "Washing your hands," they say, "is the best way to prevent the spread of disease.
They DON'T say, "Wear gloves all the time."
But what if someone DID wear gloves all the time? Wouldn't that help prevent the spread of disease? After all, medical people do it all the time when they draw blood, perform surgeries or take part in any number of other medical procedures.
But that doesn't make sense, right? I mean, come on. What would happen if we saw someone walking around the mall or Walmart, touching everything with gloves on?
We'd say they have OCD.
Maybe they're just being extra careful and don't care what everybody else thinks.
What if they came up to us and asked, "Why aren't you wearing gloves?" "Aren't you afraid of getting diseases?" "What if something cuts your hand?"
Seems pretty silly doesn't it?
So like I said earlier, I like to go barefoot in public. I wonder what would happen if you saw me or another barefooter walking unshod around the mall or Walmart, touching everything with bare hands.
You might say we're hippies.
Maybe I'm trying to give the 52 bones and dozens of ligaments, tendons and muscles in my feet a chance to move the way they were intended. Maybe I don't want my feet to get sweaty confined in shoes. Maybe I like feeling the slight variations of temperature and texture on the ground below me.
Never mind the fact that I'm touching merchandise with my unwashed-since-this-morning hands. Now bare feet (that only touch the floor): that's gross!
So when we probably should wear gloves more often because of how many people don't wash their hands and more people should go barefoot because it's better for our feet, our society has somehow evolved our thinking to be completely opposite.
Do you know why we don't wear gloves all the time? Because we're not that worried.
Do you know why I don't wear shoes most of the time? Because I'm not that worried.
And you needn't be either. I wash my feet.
NOTE: All this week I am "rewinding" this blog to repost some of my earlier entries that many readers may have missed. Much of this information holds true even today and I hope you enjoyed it. This post was originally published on May 28, 2009. The content above was NOT edited from its original entry, so please ignore any typos or less than perfect grammar as I got my writing feet underneath me. What do you think of this post? Please leave your comments below.