Shoes on, Shoes off

In the gym where I go in US, I always wear my barefoot shoes, and people often ask me about them. They look different and maybe a bit funny to people who aren’t used to them. On the other hand, I really like that people are curious and interested. So why barefoot shoes?

By barefoot shoes I mean shoes that have enough space for our toes. They don’t suppress them and they also have soft sole. They are lightweight, so walking in them is comfortable. They don’t have any heel or special arch support. The purpose of barefoot shoes is to strengthen our feet and help our muscles in the feet and legs to be more engaged.  When our walking is right, our toes work as sensors. We soften our steps and step with the toe first, which stretches the whole body.

Because of modern shoes, most of us don’t walk right.

We are spoiled from firm soles, which make us feel nothing on the ground. Our toes get lazy, and our arches collapse. As women, we sometimes wear heels to keep up with a certain style. But I’ll ask this. How do you feel in heels? Is it a big relief to take off your shoes after a long day?

Trust me, walking can be beautiful. I recommend with all ten toes on my feet to invest in barefoot shoes. There are plenty of brands, styles, and colors on today’s market, and I am sure you will find ones that you like. Walking and running in barefoot shoes is fantastic, and I also suggest walking without shoes as much as possible. You will certainly remember how it feels to walk outside, feel the road, grass, and stones. We often did it as children.

The stability of our whole body starts in the soles of our feet.

Take care of your feet regularly, and you will appreciate it later on. Here are a few exercises that help your circulation and keep your feet strong.

  1. Heel-toes, heel-toes. Stretch your feet out heel-first, then toes-first, and alternate back and forth.
  2. Circles. Make circles with your feet when sitting, use some free time in the office or when commuting.
  3. Clench your toes while sitting or standing. Try clenching just a little bit and then as hard as you can. Can you bend just your big toes? Make your toes exercise and listen to you.
  4. Stretch your toes apart. Stand still and stretch your toes apart as much as you can and then rest on floor. Do you feel them waking up?
  5. Separate movement. Stand still and move just your big toe up and down from the floor. For a challenge, move only your second toe. Is it harder?

I am not a physiotherapist, just a lover of movement of any kind–including toes. If you find this interesting I recommend finding a physiotherapist who will help you with waking your feet up and helping correct your posture while standing and walking.

I cross my toes for you,


Translation with the help of Ellie Farrier


I am a Montessori teacher, a woman, and an admirer of nature. My passion is keeping my household ecological and gentle. I have been making changes in my life and home for the last few years, with intention of living a more fulfilling life with the smallest burden on nature as possible. I love to share my experiences and I like to show others that these changes can be joyful and easy to apply.

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