Quick Tip: Take Off Your Shoes

Hi all! I know it’s been a while, but I am still here and still dedicated to this blog. I’m just trying to figure out a schedule that will work around my life. I’m back in class (microbiology) and fall is a busy time of year, but I do miss interacting with all of you and sharing ideas on how to live a healthy life.

That being said, today’s tip is something I’ve adopted over the past few months. I told you how much I enjoyed the Not Just Paleo podcast with Dr. Ray McClanahan and how it really got me thinking about foot health and shoes. It influenced me to adopt more of a shoe-free lifestyle (when appropriate). We’ve always had a no shoe policy in our house to keep down on tracking in dirt, allergens, and any nasty chemicals. Our shoe collection by the door can attest to that:

Shoe tray

In the warmer months, we just take our shoes off and walk around the house barefoot. Yes, this flies in the face of advice I was given and have given for anyone with plantar fasciitis. In fact, I’m kind of convinced that my podiatrist’s advice to wear shoes in the house may have made it worse/prolonged it because I found that my ankle mobility decreased. Since kicking the shoes off and keeping up with my exercises, my ankle mobility has increased.

Bare feet on wood floor

Bare is best!

In the cooler months, we have our slippers waiting for us by the door. Our slippers are fit loosely, have minimal support, and wide toe boxes. We’ll be breaking those out soon given the recent decrease in temperatures we’ve had here in Massachusetts!

I even make a point to walk around our yard barefoot and do some sprints, or “strides” as runners call them, across the grass. I walk across dirt, stones, you name it. It’s healthy for our feet to have a variety of surfaces so we can develop muscles that have been weakened through our shoe choices and the fact that we do need to wear shoes in our modern day.

Running barefoot on grass

Source

Next, I’m going to experiment with more minimal/barefoot shoes. That will be a post all on its own once I have enough data for you. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

Questions: Do you make a point to go barefoot? Do you have a no shoe policy in your house? Do you run around outside without shoes? Is foot health important to you?

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20 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Take Off Your Shoes

  1. I can’t agree more about wearing shoes in the house. They come off at the door at ours, same for guests. We keep our slippers by the door as well. Usually we don’t wear socks in the house, just slippers.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Mark! If I may ask, how do you get your guests to take off their shoes? And do you provide them with slippers or socks?

      • We are the UK and its pretty much the norm where we live to remove shoes at the door. Most homes still have carpets here due to our somewhat cold weather. Combine that with a lot of rain so it’s a no brainer for most to remove shoes. Guest slippers here wouldn’t work. Many bring slippers with them when visiting. Even workmen here remove shoes. But if people don’t offer to take them off then I simply ask them if they wouldn’t mind removing their shoes. If guests are staying overnight then we ask them to bring slippers as our stone floor in the kitchen is cold. But really here it’s not much of a problem

      • Haha, well, that’s definitely not the norm here, rain, snow, or whatever. I wish it were more of a custom here! The sound of guests’ squeaky wet shoes on my floors drives me batty! Maybe I should get one of these doormats to be more obvious about it? Or perhaps I should just put my big girl pants on politely ask people to take them off.

      • Oh boy Stephanie I really feel for you. I simply can’t imagine people walking into a house with wet shoes on.
        At present I am house hunting in a county called Northumberland. It’s an affluent rural area . Yesterday I looked round a house and immediately took my shoes on at the door. The agent did the same.
        I am staying in a small family hotel with pure wool beige carpets throughout. Shoes come off even in a hotel.
        Today I looked around a house. It’s been warm but wet here so I’ve been wearing sandals . Many here don’t like guests to go bare foot on their carpets so out of respect I packed my slippers in my rucksack and put them on when I removed my sandals.
        In many ways it’s about how you were brought up here in the UK. There are people here who don’t remove their shoes, and don’t see it as rude not to take shoes off when visiting. Generally though. That is thought to be very ill mannered. I have never lived in house where shoes were worn indoors. It’s not a new thing here as many have been doing it for decades.
        I don’t think you have any choice apart from simply asking your guests to remove their shoes. This may get you sent to the local insane asylum, but you may just get people to wonder why.

      • Too bad it’s not more of a norm here. I definitely see it as ill mannered if you can hear your shoes squeaking on the floor! Haha, yes, I have a feeling I would get quite a look if I asked people to take off their shoes. I mean, if it’s snowy and muddy, people sometimes will. Maybe I should just invest in a better, more absorbant doormat, make a bigger area for guests to put their shoes, offer up a little basket of socks, and hope for the best! Thanks for chiming in and the interesting culture lesson from the UK!

  2. I also have a no-shoes policy in my house. I started the rule because I moved into an apartment with beige carpet, and I think it has served me well. It really does keep the carpet cleaner, and also, taking off your shoes helps to keep allergens out of the house. That’s big for me, because I suffer from seasonal allergies. I’m a sock-feet person. I don’t even own a pair of slippers. I find barefeet to be a little too cold most of the year, and I find slippers to be a little too confining. Socks combine the freedom of barefeet with the warmth of slippers. But, I totally agree with the shoes-off philosophy. I even bought outdoor carpeting for my deck, so I could walk out there with no shoes on.

    • Thanks for stopping by, JB! Another person with a beige carpet! I can see how that would be a near necessity! Yes, I’m big on doing it for allergen reduction. I will also sometimes opt for thick, cozy socks over slippers (as they are a bit cumbersome), but my feet are cold even in the summer, so I sometimes need to double up on cozy socks + slippers. But just socks would be best!

  3. i have issues with plantar fasciitis and can no longer go barefoot. I’m either in sneakers or supportive slippers. If I do go barefoot I can barely walk by the end of the day. Miss bare feet but boy do I enjoy pain free walking more. 😄

    • Hi Danielle! Thanks for stopping by!
      How long have you had PF? When it was at its worst, I followed my doctor’s directions and wore sneakers in the house. Perhaps you might be able to transition to going more barefoot very, very gradually? Have you been given exercises and stretches to do?

  4. We too have a no shoes policy at home, it’s cleaner and healthier. We usually wear socks in the house apart from our teenage son who prefers having bare feet. He wears flip-flops if the floors get too cold in winter but I’m interested to see how you get on with minimal shoes, you’ve got me thinking they might be another cold weather option for him. Thanks for the idea!

    • Hi Chris! Thanks for commenting and for stopping by! My feet would be freezing if I went without anything on them in the winter! Right now (as it just started snowing for the first time this year) I have on socks AND slippers! Then again, my feet are always freezing! Your son must have very warm feet like my husband!

      • Yes, he always says his feet get really hot in shoes and it’s why he never wears socks at home, fortunately it doesn’t snow too heavy here. We’ve been looking at barefoot shoes on the net today and he’s likes the idea of having a pair of the really minimal ones. He should keep cool in those but be protected from the cold floor. Thanks again for the inspiration.

      • Are you looking at the Vibrams? I’d be curious what he thinks of them! There’s a great list of minimal, natural shoes here: https://nwfootankle.com/correct-toes/145-shoe-list

      • Yes, the Vibrams FiveFingers is one that we are thinking about, he really wants as little of his feet covering as possible. He found some on the Unshoes website that he liked because your toes are still exposed, they are like flip-flops but a with a bit more support. Thank you for that link, we’re going to have a good talk about it but I will certainly let you know what he thinks when we eventually get some.

      • Hi Stephanie,
        Just thought I’d let you know how we got on. He’s got Xero Shoes and he loves them. He’s worn them in the house quite a bit and likes them better than flip-flops. They fit really well and he seems able to run about perfectly well. I’m getting him another pair to wear outside when it’s warmer. They are just right for him!

      • Hi Chris! Thanks for checking back in! I’ll have to check those out. So glad he found something that works so well for him!

  5. We have carpets and wear soft slippers. In England its almost impossible to survive without a good pair of slippers..

    • It seems like all of you Brits have the right idea! I wish Americans were as savvy. I just had someone walking around my house today with their shoes on the squeak of their wet shoes as they walked on my hardwood floors drove me insane! I wanted to yell, “How do you not realize your shoes are wet and the polite thing to do is take them off like everyone else did?!”

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