For those who have known me a long time, I have worked with the barefoot running society and even did my own experiments with barefoot walking which can be found in three parts on our blogs “Going barefoot almost”
The barefoot running craze took off with the best-selling book entitled Born to Run which made the case that walking and running barefoot is better for us. Is it?
The Barefoot Runners Society really means barefoot as their videos of people running on freshly paved roads suggest. In truth, many Africans who ran to school used sandals made from old tires as a barrier to injury.
Shoes shield us from this and Vibram, years ago introduced a 5 finger shoe some of you may remember that introduced pseudo barefoot running and walking to the mainstream. Unfortunately, some lawyers put an end to these popular shoes saying they made false claims about the shoe’s benefits. In truth, if the public did not like them, they would have done poorly in the marketplace all on their own.
I just came upon another post from someone suggesting why barefoot is always better. While my own studies suggest it may work for some, the truth is we are all built differently and there are regional genetic variations that may explain why those runners from Kenya already have mechanical advantages for running barefoot. With shoes and the right coach, they have been incredible and consistent in their ability to run long distances.
Others may require foot orthotics to walk better and have improved core function. Many orthopedically designed sandals are simply shoeless orthotics. This has been my personal experience after many years of specializing in gait. There is no one size fits all solution for who should wear shoes, who does better minimalist or barefoot and we have all adapted to what we are used to over many years.
Check out the article on barefoot running below.
Why You Should Normalise Walking Barefoot
In Kenya, there’s one particular social media user who has been on the forefront of encouraging individuals to walk barefoot for at least once a week. His name is Eric Amunga, popularly known as Amerix. Dr. Amunga is a reproductive medical specialist, fat loss coach, and social media influencer based in Bungoma County, Western Kenya. He emerged in 2019 as a significant influencer and is famous for the #MasculinitySartuday hashtag on Twitter where he vocalizes issues affecting men and inspires them to share their challenges.m and be better.
On Sundays, it’s become a norm for him to encourage users to walk barefoot so as to “connect with the earth” and “ground the feet.” Like Amerix, most health experts and physical therapists encourage patients to discard the shoes and footwear once in a while.
This is because with the modern lifestyle, walking barefoot is something that we may not often do, but it has a lot of benefits that we might have overlooked. Walking is a simple activity that can be done anywhere, anytime, and is one of the best exercises that can be done for our bodies. However, walking barefoot has an edge over walking with shoes on.