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Is it Better to Wear Shoes Inside or Go Barefoot?

By Edited Sep 13, 2015 1 0

Is it healthier for your feet to wear shoes indoors or go barefoot? Do shoes help you be more productive? How about your carpets – how do they feel about the issue? Lots of issues here, so let's go a little deeper and explore some contrasting viewpoints.

Wearing Shoes Helps You Be Productive – Perhaps

According to Marla, affectionately known as FlyLady, wearing shoes in the home is the way to go. Her reasoning is that when you're fully dressed from head to toe, you feel more productive and are more likely to get stuff done. You're also prepared to leave the house at any moment.

I agree with the Flylady's "fully dressed" point. Anyone who's ever tried to work from home or to earn money online knows that lounging around in your pajamas just isn't conducive to a productive workday. But the shoes? Hmmm...not so sure if they're necessary.

Barefoot is Healthier

Esther Gokhale is a posture expert. She teaches that the natural, healthy structure of the foot is kidney bean shaped, with a strong, visible arch. Now, modern footwear often doesn't support this natural shape, and people end up distributing their weight incorrectly while standing and walking. I'm not just talking about high heels and other forms of torture. Regular flat shoes may not offer a good amount of arch support. Or they may encourage you to stand in a way that promotes poor posture, even if you don't notice at the time.

There's a ton of research from barefoot runners, too, who agree that running barefoot helps them stand taller and move more efficiently.

It's a Cultural Thing

I live part-time in India and Nepal, where it's considered inappropriate to wear shoes inside. The dirt roads are dusty during summer and muddy during winter, so if you walk indoors wearing shoes, your home would quickly start to resemble the outdoors!

It's common practice to remove shoes as soon as you enter your own home or another person's home. One often slips into soft slippers or cheap rubber sandals if the floors aren't carpeted. Businesses follow this practice too – the other day, I even had to remove my shoes to enter the dentist's office in a small hill town in India. Can you imagine taking off your shoes to get your teeth cleaned in the US? :)

Shoes On, Shoes Off: The Choice is Yours

Obviously, you can do whatever you like in your own home. When it comes to the shoes vs. barefoot issue, there's no right or wrong way for everyone. I'm convinced that it's healthier to go barefoot – and easier on the floors – but if you live in a culture where everyone wears shoes indoors, that might not feel comfortable for you.

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