Why Go Barefoot?

The Best Minimalist Shoes are Homemade

Marjory loves to go barefoot. And she’s not alone. In this video, she talks to master herbalist Doug Simons about some of the reasons why they both prefer to go without shoes most of the time.

They also show some of the “running shoes” used by the Tarahumara in their long-distance ball game, rarajipari. Called huaraches de tres puntos, they look more like sandals than running shoes to me. I can’t imagine running through a canyon in those… but Doug explains why the thin soles are actually better for your feet…

Learn More at the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit

Marjory and Doug both agree that they wouldn’t want to go barefoot in public places like gas stations and public bathrooms. And Doug says he puts on shoes any time he goes into town.

Marjory’s definitely not afraid to do a little work without her shoes on, as you might have noticed in this post 4 Uses of a Lawn Mower, or this one How to Use Squash Pits for Bigger Garden Yields.

If you want to learn how to make a pair of your own sandals, be sure to tune in to the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit. Doug will be giving a full demonstration during the summit, and you can watch it for free by registering here: Register for the Home Grown Food Summit.

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  • david lee says:

    I love to go barefooted particularly walking on the beach. People that are diabetic have to careful and not cut or damage their feet. It can lead to unpleasant consequences for them. Had a friend whose husband was diabetic and stepped on something and cut his foot. Got infected and later had to amputate his foot and later died from it. So if you are diabetic, be careful.

    1. Karen says:

      I used to go barefoot a lot when I was younger. Then I was diagnosed with diabetes 10yrs ago. I still walk barefoot but not like before and always check my feet afterwards. I miss doing this.

  • guest says:

    I am surprised you suggest using old tires and of no mention of the toxic materials that tires are made with. The bottoms of your feet are supposed to be very absorbent of toxins, correct? I know there are many different things people use old tires for to recycle them, including swings, planters, etc.. What are your thoughts on this?

    1. Sara says:

      I also wondered about this, but it looks like he puts a leather “insole” on top of the tire tread that would be against the foot. Maybe that is a barrier to the toxins of the tire.
      Also where I live in Australia, there are so many ants and bity critters that it is hard to go barefoot outside. (except on the beach where it is always a pleasure) I love barefoot and usually wear only sandals. (Except for working I orchard or garden, again bity critters!)

  • sclindah says:

    I wish we could go barefoot but there are so many fire ants and mounds around that the feet can easily get covered quickly in bites! I do go barefoot in the house though.

  • fred kennett says:

    I quit wearing sandals and going barefoot after almost stepping on a copperhead.

  • Joan says:

    It was sort of cool, someone’s cat wanted in on the table, like it knew this was down home country.

  • Sandy says:

    Lots of new and interesting points here. I grew up in the tropics in an Asian family. My Mom, who was a poor kid who grew up during the 30’s taught us to keep the house very clean. We would go barefoot inside, but wear shoes, sandals or rubber flip-flops out of doors. She warned us about parasites that we could pick up from going barefoot outdoors. In her day day turpentine was the remedy for signs of parasites. Pharmacy remedies for contemporary parasite treatment may be an a greater risk than the old time remedies!
    Doug is so tuned in to his body that he may quickly recognize when he has picked up a few hitchhikers. I’d like to hear comments on how he recognizes soil borne parasite infections in himself or his patients.
    I do remember reading that hookworm will affect the spine, and that a common symptom is a concave curved posture in the area between the shoulder blades. This causes a hunched appearance. That area corresponds with the heart and stomach, though I don’t know if that is where hookworm infests us.
    A number of years ago I had some serious problems with my internal organs. One of the therapies I pursued was a pretty intense series of reflexology treatments. My therapist recommended that I try wearing a larger shoe and absolutely stay out of high heels. Both the therapy and shoe changes seemed to help my body and gut remain relaxed and more comfortable. To this day I’ll take any offer of a foot massage I can get and love walking barefoot in sand. Still a bit hesitant about soil contact, but may try it when the garden warms up this summer.

  • Sue says:

    the modern shoes are plastic, and yes your feet absorb a lot. it is almost impossible to get milk in something other than plastic containers and yes it does taste different. I try and get away from plastic, i buy or make my own grocery bags and i try an compost when i can, i would like to learn more about benificial bugs that would help cut down on parasites so we could all go barefoot.

  • Pat S says:

    Being anaphylactic to Bee’s now, I had to quit going barefoot in the yard. 🙁 I have been stung in my youth be bees in the ground.

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