Running barefoot outside the home is a big no-no for many parents.
Germs and bacteria may cling to the soles of the feet that many parents advise their kids to always wear their shoes or flip-flops outside the home. There are even instances when we were kids that our parents would reprimand us for not wearing any shoes as we step outside the front door.
However, researchers are suggesting that running barefoot boosts kids’ development.
In fact, running shoes interfere with the body’s natural wisdom. The bestseller Born to Run even suggests trying barefoot running and minimalist running shoes. So, if you saw some people running with their bare feet, they followed the research on the benefits of running without shoes.
Studies have shown that running barefoot results in optimum foot development.
The use of shoes causes deformities because it hinders the feet from growing and achieving their most natural form. It also causes weakness and restricts mobility.
“A shoe is harmful to the child, expensive for the family, and a discredit to the medical profession.”the study stated.
There are other researches that have the same findings.
Based on the 1992 Bone and Joint Journal study, they found out that wearing shoes in early childhood hinders the proper development of a normal arch. Wearing shoes resulted in the development of flat-footedness. As for the 2008 Gait and Posture study, slimmer and more flexible shoes interfered with children’s natural foot motion.
“From the moment kids are putting on shoes, they’re walking wrong.”Jessi Stensland, founder of FeetFreex said.
The foot is meant to move in complex ways.
When parents put shoes on their children’s feet, it hinders their feet from working properly. When parents allow children not to wear shoes, the feet learn to adapt to the environment by developing musculature and fatty padding.
There are even other studies that showed shoes with a slight heel lift shortens the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia, limiting ankle range of motion. The angle of pelvic tilt is affected which can lead to low back pain and posture issues.
What can parents do?
There are a couple of ways to foster kids’ healthy foot development. For one, let kids walk on natural surfaces like sand, gravel, rocks, or wood for at least 20 minutes a day. Even if you can’t do this every single day, you can at least have them play barefoot inside.
Follow your lead
For better or for worse, kids often follow their parents. It may be not through words, but it can be through actions. to encourage kids to walk barefoot, try to remove your shoes once you get home. You can do it outside too in your backyard, in the neighborhood, or at the park when you walk the pets.
The act will encourage them that it’s okay to wear barefoot.
Another way to promote bare footedness is to check for kid’s shoes. Try to look for shoes that have these qualities:
- Low heel height
- Minimal cushioning
- Flexible throughout
- Very lightweight
Don’t be afraid
It is understandable for any parent to feel afraid when their kids are barefoot. They may step on a sharp object and get hurt. But the possibility of hindering a child from moving healthily is far scarier than a single barefoot adventure.
Give your kids the chance to live their life to the fullest.
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