Walking barefoot is gathering more and more followers. “I don't think it's necessary to wear shoes all the time”

Walking barefoot is gathering more and more followers and becoming more and more popular on social networks. If some choose footwear “barefoot”, others take off the soles of their shoes to walk barefoot. Doctors explain the dangers of this trend.

A video in which Tik Tok user Christi Fritz and her husband give up the soles of their shoes for “to blend through the crowd” has garnered tens of millions of views on Tik Tok and X (Formerly Twitter). They chose to go barefoot to enjoy the mental health benefits this style offers. Other social media users say they've noticed health benefits after going barefoot.

Being barefoot is just more natural. It helps improve balance and coordination and strengthens the muscles in the legs. Our feet were not made to be shoved into shoes that change their shape. This should definitely be more socially acceptable.”says another user who also teaches her children to walk barefoot, according to Yahoo Life.

What benefits do you get from going barefoot?

Walking barefoot can strengthen the small muscles in your feet and help with overall stability, so going barefoot isn't such a bad idea, says Dr. Meghan Kelly, assistant professor of foot and ankle surgery at Mount Sinai, according to the source cited earlier.

Benefits and Risks of Going Barefoot – Photo Pexels

Strengthening your toes and working on their range of motion can have beneficial effects on strength and balanceshe says.

However, the doctor does not recommend a barefoot lifestyle, but rather some activities that are “best done without shoes“, such as yoga, Pilates and various forms of martial arts.

I don't think it's necessary to wear shoes all the time. Low-impact activities can be tolerated well barefoot. … Many of these activities are excellent for strengthening the legs.“, adds the expert.

The biggest danger of social media activities is the barefoot environment.

Most of these activities are done indoors in a controlled environment to mitigate the risk of infectionsays Kelly.

While walking through shops, on the streets or even in forests and beaches can promote the appearance of infections or fungi. That's why we shouldn't give up shoes.

Risks of trending on Tik Tok

Infections and injuries are the biggest dangers of going barefoot outside, the doctor says.

It is rare in (a city) that you do not see a brown spot on the pavement, and the large amount of bacteria from human and animal faeces, garbage, etc. it is not something to expose your skin to. In general, our skin has the important role of protecting us from infection, but if this protective layer is compromised, for example by stepping on glass or a stone, and is surrounded by a significant amount of bacteria, it can lead to a serious infection at the foot level.“, explains the doctor.

Weather should also be taken into account if we want to follow this trend.

I have seen significant burns and frostbite in patients who did not wear proper footwear in very hot or very cold weather. In some cases, this can lead to the amputation of toes and even the entire leg.“, states the specialist.

Barefoot footwear – a possible solution?

There are shoes “barefoot” that mimic the feeling of being barefoot and reduce the risk of infection. But Dr. Meghan Kelly doesn't recommend it.

They don't provide enough support for running on hard surfaces like sidewalks or concrete roads. We have found that they can lead to stress injuries in the foot, such as metatarsalgia and stress fractures“, mentions the doctor.

Moreover, we must keep in mind that not all feet are the same. And we should consult a doctor before going barefoot to solve our walking problems.

“If you have fallen arches or platfus (flat feet), doing activities with bare feet can increase stress in the arch and along the tendons in your ankle“, regardless of what activity it is, says the doctor.

Another specialist, Austin Hall, podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon points out that we shouldn't give up shoes because they have an impact on a person's gait.

Supportive shoes should be worn whenever possible to help prevent pain and abnormalities throughout the body. The walking cycle involves the whole body and especially the lower half. Wearing appropriate and supportive shoes can indirectly help prevent pain by maintaining a normal gait cycle.Austin Hall relayed.

It is important to remember that often social media is highly unregulated, and posted content may not have been reviewed by professionals. In addition, information can easily be taken out of context. When in doubt, seek a trusted professional.“, concludes Dr. Meghan Kelly.