Isn't it ironic that a long day at work sitting at your desk is enough to make your dogs bark once you've hit the couch at home?
While feet are resilient, any level of wear-and-tear poses health risks. Finding the right shoes only does so much if you're always barefoot at home. Though feet can withstand the toughest surfaces, there's no reason to do so in the house.
For optimal foot health, feet need their own TLC, and bare feet are not on that list. Here's what to know about walking barefoot.
Barefoot at Home
While it's true that home's a place to kick off your shoes and relax, going shoeless doesn't equate to bare feet. For folks striving to hit their 10,000 steps a day, the least you can do is make the hundreds at home most comfortable.
Our feet house 26 bones in the human body, so it's safe to say proper foot protection is a priority. Without it, you risk the following:
1. Learning Bad Habits
Going barefoot everywhere is its own kind of musculoskeletal training. Since feet are resilient, it may take even longer to know you've compromised your foot shape. If you wait until you're symptomatic, it's safe to assume some damage has been done.
It's possible to create imbalances in your knees, hips, back, or postural alignment, which can take far longer to correct than having prevented it in the first place. Plantar fasciitis especially—or flat feet—has left 2 million people worldwide with sunken and pained arches.
Hardwood or concrete surfaces has no give to the body. In turn, feet must conform to the flat surface, unlike carpets or matted areas that cushion the foot's impact.
2. Foot Fungus
There's a reason they're called bare feet—bare feet are naked and exposed. Barefoot walking can prompt athlete's foot, toenail fungus, warts and callouses, hookworm, and other bacteria. Especially if you have pets, imagine what's really on that bare floor—and now on your feet.
3. Prone to Injury
We have ten toes because we need them. If you're naturally clumsy or notorious for stubbed toes, being barefoot at home is not for you. It's not until you experience the words barefoot and floor together, that you learn floors are homes to foot-unfriendly objects.
Wearing foot protection in the home can increase spatial awareness and therefore prevent injury.
Protect Your Feet
Feet are intricate systems responsible for aligning everything above them. Life's journeys make it hard enough to maintain healthy feet on a good day. There's no need to make your bare feet war with your bare floors.
If you have a history with—or propensity for—structural misalignment, consider your feet even more precious.Shin splints, heel pain, arch complaints, and tendinitis are tell-tale signs that going barefoot at home is not for you. Even for those with perfectly healthy feet now, walking barefoot is a likely way to change that.
Next time you choose to kick off your shoes at home, make sure your feet are covered with the next revolution in foot care.Shop the Basis & A-Wave bundle.