1. Riaz Shah

    Hey Thabo,

    Wow what an article! I’ve always loved barefoot running but my parents always warn me that it’s not safe and bacteria from the soil can get stuck in between toenails.

    But as they say, “God gives you feet so you can walk on god-made land. Humans make shoes so you can walk on human-made roads” Or something like that, you know how it goes 😀

    • Thabo Nkomo

      Hi Riaz,

      You and your mom represent the current debate on barefoot running. The more I found out how each side truly has convincing evidence to support its position, the more I realized that this is a topic that I had to examine in a post. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Daniel

    You have me sold, I’m fully convinced that it would be better on your entire body running barefoot. That being said in modern day this could actually be dangerous with the amount of trash, etc. on the ground. In my area it isn’t safe to walk around barefoot in the park because it’s possible that you could step on a heroin needle. (Maybe I should move) but unfortunately that is the sad reality in many areas. Or if not that stepping on glass or something is always a risk. This is a good idea in certain places though, maybe the beach would be ideal.

    • Thabo Nkomo

      Hi Daniel,

      Your comments are spot on. I think while barefoot running may have its benefits, it may not be the right choice for everyone. In fact, in some cases it may be dangerous. I think that most athletes, amateur or otherwise, should stick to shoe ware as it offers real protection and some performance advantages.

  3. Nemira

    Interesting read because I knew that walking barefoot is beneficial for the whole body. We have many little pints, especially on the bottom of foot which are connected with organs.
    When they are stimulated , organs get more nutrients with flow of blood, overall wellbeing improves. It something with Chinese Traditional Medicine which is completely different from Western medicine.
    The running for me seems risky if runners are without protection. How about small stones, pieces of glass and other obstacles?
    Your article lets to see our body from the different perspective. There are so many possibilities to achieve results and feel well.
    All the best, be healthy and wealthy, Nemira.

    • Thabo Nkomo

      Hi Nemira,

      Once again I am enjoying having a dialogue with you. Yes, there is a school of thought , along with evidence, that your feet , through evolution, have developed sensors that test the various surfaces that you are exposed to. The sensors develop muscles to adapt to these surfaces. However, shoes, the theory goes, interfere with the proper working of these sensors–blocking them. Thus in reality weakening your feet. I wanted to give this theory a fair hearing.

      That said, I also wanted to explore the other side of the argument. First, if you already suffer from Plantar Fasciitis or other related foot pain you need all the support you can get. So, this is a positive case for wearing shoes. Second, there are, as you mentioned, many different ways an unprotected foot can be damaged. As one of my readers pointed out: he believes that walking barefoot is beneficial but it would be unwise in his neighborhood as he lives on a city block were broken glass or a needle could easily cut or stick you.

      Finally, I too am fascinated by how Chinese Traditional Medicine provides solutions that are different from Western medicine. Always a pleasure talking to you, Nemira. All the best. Be healthy, wealthy, and happy.

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