Thoughts on economics and liberty

Walking barefoot – something to try out

The natural cure of my dry eyes and eye strain problem is holding up very well (not yet 100% cured but pretty much manageable. I was even able to watch a complete movie yesterday [Fiddler on the Roof – outstanding movie], something that has been virtually impossible for me to do for the past eight months due to the intense pain experienced in front of any screen, including the TV). If eye specialists were to use my cure, they'd genuinely benefit their patients. And the world could save BILLIONS of dollars.

But now for another interesting piece of information.

My gym instructor mentioned yesterday that there are many health benefits of barefoot contact with the ground. This is a preliminary post on this subject – to record a few key benefits, based on my instructor's comments, as well as a short internet search. I've not yet started using this general therapy but will provide further comment after trying it out.

The feet of coolies in India (who walk barefoot) were found by experts to be more perfect than that of others."There is no occupation more strenuous for the feet than trotting a rickshaw on hard pavement for many hours each day yet these men do it without pain or pathology"

Electrons transfer from the ground to our body


The detailed website on this is

Body posture is improved

A study entitled, "Shod Versus Unshod: The Emergence of Forefoot Pathology in Modern Humans?" in the podiatry journal The Foot, noted that "prior to the invention of shoes, people had healthier feet."

Among the modern subjects, the Zulu population, which often goes barefoot, had the healthiest feet while the Europeans–i.e., the habitual shoe-wearers–had the unhealthiest. One of the lead researchers, Dr. Bernhard Zipfel, when commenting on his findings, lamented that the American Podiatric Medical Association does not "actively encourage outdoor barefoot walking for healthy individuals. This flies in the face of the increasing scientific evidence, including our study, that most of the commercially available footwear is not good for the feet."


The poor bio-feedback through shoes can cause poor posture and other problems:

 It takes only milliseconds for sensory information from your foot to reach your brain and for your brain to respond by making adjustments to muscles in your legs, back and arms. By contrast, walking in shoes is far more clumsy and inefficient due (in part) to impaired biofeedback. Muscle contractions, impact forces and joint range-of-motion are measurably different when barefoot [Source]

Impact on body of walking barefoot even on steel is virtually zero

My friend Daniel Lieberman at Harvard (the other barefoot professor) has demonstrated in his research that impact forces on the body are virtually zero when running barefoot, even on the hardest man-made surfaces like steel. Thus, the body’s shock-absorption mechanisms are perfectly capable of handling the hardest of terrains. By the way, impact forces are not zero when running on hard surfaces in shoes. [Source]

Ninety per cent of our foot (and many of our spinal) problems are caused by shoes

There is an excellent video interview with Associate Prof. Howell on the top right hand side, here. This professor does not use shoes for most of his daily activities. In addition, here's a youtube clip of his book. 


Medical journal reports on advantages of bare feet

Low incidence of dermatomycotic infection [Samuel B. Shulman. "Survey in China and India of Feet That Have Never Worn Shoes," The Journal of the National Association of Chiropodists, 49, 1949, pp. 26-30] [Source]

More evidence, here.

Testimonials from people who have benefited

Here. This list sounds genuine. No advertisements, for one.

I'm sure this info is good enough to persuade me to abandon my shoes (and thongs/chappals) as much as possible. I'll give it a go.

Happy to hear about your experiments/thoughts on this subject.

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4 thoughts on “Walking barefoot – something to try out
  1. RAJ

    Thanks for sharing this great info. I have an aunt who is in her mid 50s and suffers from severe backpain. She wears slippers all the time because she lives in a place that is cold. I will let her know and share if she has benefited without slippers..

  2. Jesvin

    The earthing stuff is BS. The doctor (in WHAT discipline?) got a grasp on certain concepts from electrical theory and chemistry and decided to…
    Free radicals exist in the body fluid. They are neccesary for cellular functioning. And they are automatically regulated by chemical/biological means. Static electricity exists only on the surface of a body. A 10g tin foil stores much more static than a 10g tin ball thanks to increased surface area.
    The idea that earthing your skin can turn free radicals to uncharged molecules deep within you body is unsubstantiated. If a 5 min walk should feel good, then touching the unpainted inside of a computer should feel good in just one minute! Computer magazines reccomend doing that before repairing your PC. After all, things like RAM modules have sensitive surface mounted devices that can fry under electrostatic disharge.

  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Jesvin

    I agree. I’m not sure how scientific this idea of “earthing” is. However, it rang a bell because this idea (of walking in early morning grass that has dew) was strongly recommended to us children – I’m talking here of the 1960s. It was supposed to be good for the eyes. This “knowledge” that something good happens when you walk regularly on wet grass, forms part of traditional folklore in India. I haven’t done it much, but I suppose any exercise would feel good.

    There is this other aspect of evidence. My gym instructor has mentioned about her personal experience with this earthing idea – that it not only worked for her but for her sceptical father. This info was not given to sell me anything, so it is more valuable than something you’ll find on some website.

    Re: benefits of barefoot walking for the feet, that seems quite plausible – given that our feet were designed for walking barefoot.

    Finally, we were actually designed for walking barefoot on the ground. That rings a bell in my mind. It might mean something.

    It might not be “free radicals”. Might be some other electric charge/discharge. Even quite small. Don’t know.

    This system is used by super-athletes (e.g see: – which talks about Tour de France athletes).

    I’ve only tried this for a very short time, and once. Will report back in a few weeks. It costs me nothing to try this idea! I’m game for experimenting with zero cost remedies.



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