Going Barefoot This Season? Better Read This First

April 29, 2024

For some of us, the feeling of grass between our toes is one of the enduring pleasures of summer. And the idea of connecting with the Earth by going barefoot has been trending lately, although studies on this practice haven’t been conclusive. Nevertheless, our patients at Mark Costopoulos, DPM often ask our podiatrist about the pros and cons of going shoeless in the warm weather.

Some studies have found that going barefoot can build muscle strength in the feet and ankles, plus improve body awareness and balance. Of course, along with these benefits and that feeling of freedom, goes the risk of injury from walking on uneven ground and stepping on sharp objects and hot surfaces. 

So, how can one enjoy the benefits and minimize the risks of barefooting? Here are a few suggestions:

  • As is the case with any new activity, it’s always a good idea to start slowly. If your feet are not accustomed to hitting the ground without protection, increase the length of your strolls carefully and gradually.
  • Trim those toenails before heading out, to keep them from snagging on uneven surfaces or objects to prevent them from tearing, becoming ingrown or detached. Long toenails can trap dirt and debris, potentially causing infections.
  • Choose your location carefully and scout it out beforehand for potential hazards like broken glass, uneven surfaces, thorns, tree roots, or debris. Smooth surfaces like grass and sand are good. Avoid pavement, especially on hot days.
  • Give your feet time to recover between barefoot walks. Inspect the bottoms of your feet for cuts or blisters. A ten- or fifteen-minute soak in warm, soapy water can help loosen dirt or debris, then use a pumice stone or foot scrub to remove dead skin cells.

Plan a visit to our podiatrist at Mark Costopoulos, DPM before embarking on your shoeless adventure! We’ll examine the health of your feet and ankles, and check your gait to ensure you’re ready for the next step. Please contact us today for an appointment!

About Us

At our Manhattan Beach podiatry practice, your healthy feet are our priority. We believe strong, pain-free feet are the foundation for an active, fulfilling life. Our team utilizes the latest advancements to diagnose and treat a wide range of foot conditions. Whether you're experiencing heel pain, have concerns about diabetic foot care, or simply want to maintain healthy feet, schedule an appointment today and take the first step towards a life of comfort and mobility!