There are so many ways, in modern society, that we have strayed from the natural order of things. This lack of cooperation with nature brings inevitable consequences. A few months ago I came across the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? The main precept of this book was that the invention of the shoe....especially modern shoes with manmade materials, arch supports and thick stiff rubber soles.....has been one of the main factors contributing to the deterioration of our health. We're not just talking about our structural health but our overall general health can also be affected by wearing modern shoes.
There are three basic reasons for walking barefoot and or for wearing more natural footwear.
1. Humans are designed to walk barefoot. When we add layers of stiff rubber or plastic to the bottom of our feet, the muscles , ligaments, tendons, ankles...etc cannot function the way they were meant to. They weaken without proper excercise. This causes more ankle and foot injuries.
2. When we wear modern shoes with thick soles.....we're not even talking about the very damaging high heels that women wear....we are shifting our body's posture. This can affect our hips, knees, spine, neck...etc.
3. When we add a nonconductive barrier between our feet and the earth, we block the natural flow of the earth's energies into our bodies. The earth's surface is a bountiful source of negative electrons which we would normally absorb if we walked barefoot. Some small scale scientific experiments have shown that when we connect our bare feet to the earth's negative electrons, we are actually grounding ourselves. From what I've read, this "grounding" has many health benefits. Grounding helps to thin sludgey blood, lessen inflammation and normalize cortisol secretion. It also supposedly creates a type of shield against atmospheric electromagnetic frequencies, which are bombarding us at an ever increasing rate.
I was fascinated by the concept that merely walking barefoot, as much as possible, could have such dramatic positive health effects. It was late summer when I became aware of this information and the weather was still warm enough for me to be able to go outside and have fun experimenting. I have been trying to get in a mile of barefoot walking a day by walking around our yard. I also made time to sit outside in the sun and fresh air, with my barefeet firmly planted on the grass...while I read and relaxed. As a child I was told that I had flat feet and that I needed to be fitted with ugly stiff brown fringed orthopedic shoes. I rebelled at that but have worn shoes with substantial arch supports ever since. I didn't realize that even those who have flat feet can benefit from walking barefoot. After only two months of walking around barefoot...in the house and outside on uneven surfaces...I have noticed that I feel less "off balance", my ankles seem much more stable and my back and hips feel much better also. In addition barefootin can be a sensual pleasure and is extremely relaxing.
However, as the days have shortened and the temperatures have gotten cooler here in the northeast, I began to wonder what I was going to do in the colder weather. I loved the feeling of my feet being free and comfortable, without the restriction of shoes...so....I began a search for minimalist shoes on the internet. I was trying to find moccasins that were made completely of natural materials.....including the soles. I found kits where you could make your own moccasins but I wanted something already made. Finally I came across Soft Star Shoes. This company makes made to order shoes with formaldehyde free leathers. They have different types of soles so you can pick shoes with suede soles (supposedly has the potential to conduct the earth's negative electrons), very thin rubber or a thicker flexible sole for snow and slush. Wearing these shoes is the closest you can get to walking barefoot while still protecting your feet and being presentable out in public.
I quickly ordered the pair of moccasins that are pictured at the top. Because these shoes are made to order, I was able to design the style and I chose a mixture of colors. I wanted the suede soles and fringe around the back of the shoe. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM....which is why I became affiliated with the Soft Star Shoe Company http://www.softstarshoes.com/index.cfm?aff=53391 and am writing this article. I feel grateful to have the option to promote products I believe in. If I am going to make a commission off of any prodcuts sold through my blog, I want them to be positive products...products which will help to change our world for the better.
My shoes are still fairly new so I cannot comment on how durable they are. However, I can see that the craftmenship is excellent. Two of my favorite features are the elastic around the top which allows the shoe to comfortably hug your foot and the warm soft sheepskin innersoles that keep you warm in winter and cool in the summer. I also think that these shoes have a very "cool" look AND they are SOOOO comfortable. If you have time watch the two videos below to see what others have to say about Soft Star Shoes. There is also a company made video in the sidebar. The only negative thing I have to say about my new shoes is that I am not wearing them as much as I would like to because I don't want to wear them out. I can't wait to try some of their other styles and colors.I wouldn't want to wear my current suede soled moccs in wet weather so my next purchase will probably be a very thin rubberized sole.