Barefoot walking

You have vast experience in walking barefoot, or maybe your experience limits to walking between your bedroom and the bathroom. Anyway, after practicing for a while, I have also done some reading on barefoot walking. Both on the physical aspects, but also on the more “spiritual side” of it. There are are many good sources on this, and I will represent some of my findings.

We are born barefoot, but shortly after birth our parents put tiny shoes on our feet. Practical and protective, in our urban society it`s not safe to walk barefoot everywhere. You could cut yourself on sharp objects, or get infections. The climate could also be a challenge, at least parts of the year.  

There are a number of physical benefits to walking barefoot. We walk more correctly barefoot, and we strengthen muscle groups.

But how can barefoot walking benefit you on a more “spiritual level”? The word “grounding” is frequently used., but what does it really mean?Also it`s said that you “heighten your frequence level” by aligning with nature. What does it mean?

Explained in a very simple manner, humans and the earth carry a different electrical charging. Humans have a positive charge, and the earth carries a negative charge. When we walk barefoot, or lie down in the grass, our goes into the ground. This is pure physics; two different loadings will always try to even out. We get the same charge, the same loading as the earth, we become “grounded”. 

Our excessive energy is transmitted to the earth, the number of white blood cell will be reduced, and there will be an increase in the red blood cells. The level of antioxidants wil rise, and the risk of inflammation will be reduced. It can reduce or cure insomnia, and lead to a better overall sleep pattern. It could lead to a healing on cell level. 

I have practiced barefoot walking myself as much as possible the last years. I started out indoor. Then I walked in the terrain, on moss, on tracks, on gravel roads, in swamps, in creeks. I have also walked in snow, maybe I’ll make some comments about that later. 

And yes, you`ll get dirty feet. But, as my grandfather used to say, “that`s clean dirt”. If you walk in a natural environment, your feet will be dirty from soil, moss, rainwater. Along the way you develop a new kind of awareness. You enjoy the nature, but you also but you also develop the awareness linked to what`s under your feet. What do I put my foot on the next time I step down? It`s new way of enjoying nature. Probably you`ll walk a little slower, and you`ll probably get some scratches, or bump your toes into stones. And you`ll get cold feet on a September day in the mountains. But the sheer experience of walking barefoot will outweigh this. And I always bring footwear with me in case I want to put it on. 

On my journey experiencing this, I also developed an interest in footwear. I have never favored the typical running shoes, high cushioning, and metal support for this and that. According to foot surgeon Dr. Bruce Pinker this could prevent you from using muscles that otherwise would strengthen your body. As I over time have renewed my footwear, all of it is either “barefoot shoes” or shoes that are almost flat.

Gradually, all my footwear has been replaced with "barefootshoes" or shoes with little "fall". This means that the difference in height between toe and heel is small. I've been running a lot over the past few years, and a typical running shoe for me might have a 4mm drop. That is to say, I have virtually no damping. Here I also have to add that I run on the forefoot, not on the heel, and not on tarmac. Casual shoes, winter boots, all have the same flat sole. I have to admit that I bought a pair of semi-cushioned combination shoes, but still with a 5 mm drop when I was going to run a half marathon in the Oslo Eco-trail in May this year. That was because the last 5 km of the race was on tarmac. 

And what has walking barefoot got me? Completely objectively, I can say that I feel I walk much more correctly. There is something in the lower back that is more correct. There will be more lift in the chest, and the head will fit better. (A very common condition among people today is "humpback" in the upper back.) My shoulders can hang straight down. I can stand still with my foot flat, without me diving forward towards my toes. 

Otherwise, it is fairly uncomplicated, and you save money on reduced wear and tear on socks and footwear. Should you become interested in the footwear I have mentioned, there are a few brands and models in particular that stand out. I do not advertise on this site, but can provide tips on request. It is also possible to go degrees with the footwear, as there are intermediate solutions. 

Finally, I will include some of the benefits of going barefoot. Also some of the physical ones, as everything in us is connected:

  • Better sleep rhythm and relaxation
  • Better control of blood pressure
  • Increased energy levels
  • Relieved chronic pain
  • Improved posture
  • Leveling of the blood cells, white/red
  • Increase in the antioxidant level

If you would like to try going barefoot, I would advise you to start indoors, the approaching winter is a good opportunity. If you are being treated by a doctor, you should consult the doctor first. Certain disease patterns can cause a risk of infection in the legs. Previous skeletal and muscle injuries must also be assessed.

Sources:, 8.3.19, 17.8.22, 2021

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