Article submitted by Nexia Monae.
“Put your shoes on before you go outside.” “Where are your shoes?” “Going outside without shoes is disgusting!” These phrases are just the base of commentary I’ve heard since I was just a child. You can use your imagination on the things I hear now [insert awkward wink].
So why don’t I wear shoes? At first, it started out as simple as liking my feet on the Earth itself. It felt good; like playing in mud or dirt. As I got older, it became just as habitual as people who wear shoes. It also came with the, “Oh my gee, she must be dirty.” “What’s wrong with you?” “You can get sick!” statements and I grew self-conscious about it, but here is what I learned.
In 2015 Utpal Dholakia (Ph.D.) wrote an article on how much the average American adult spends on shoes (any type of shoe for themselves). On average, Americans own fourteen (14) pairs of shoes for an estimated $75 a pair (these averages are based on a consolidation of American men and women not including taxes). If you have kids, those averages go up as kids put a wear and tear on their shoes very often.
In the last five years, I have spent $0 on sneakers (I don’t wear boots or sandals or heels, just sneakers). I own three pairs of shoes given to me three years ago for Christmas and they have been worn only to go into public buildings that require them (we’ll discuss that later on) and if I don’t feel like dealing with confrontation that day.
Giving the Ground a Bad Name
If you look up how healthy it is to go barefooting you will first be met with half-truths that will scare you into not caring how much money can be saved. People will claim that wearing steel toe boots or sneakers could be safer than being barefoot and only be able to name minor potential injuries that can be prevented. What those types of articles don’t inform you of is that barefoot or not, if you drop a heavy object on your foot that’s it. You might actually lose some toes or break some bones.
Another claim shoe defenders will state is that you will get diseases and infections from walking barefoot on the Earth from bug bites or stings and contaminated soil. Again, half-truth.
The most common infections these types of articles bring up are hookworm and strongyloidiasis. The information claimed is that as long as you walk on contaminated soil are at risk for hookworm and strongyloidiasis. What they almost never mention is that hookworm is an intestinal worm that is passed through the feces of another human that was already infected not only through stepping on it, but orally as well.
Strongyloidiasis is a little more dangerous as it can mature from larvae and spread to one’s lungs and guts but is more likely to affect those with weakened immune systems. Both of these infections are treatable by going to see your healthcare provider.
Other issues that often come up; bacterial infections, injury, tungiasis, and tetanus. Majority of these issues can happen to any part of the body at any point.
These issues don’t happen to a majority of barefooters, but they do happen in certain places, but not everywhere. So what’s the benefit of barefooting? How can it be healthy with so much going on with the ground?
Earthing on natural land (sand, dirt, grass, etc) literally connects you to the Earth. The ground we walk on has the power to heal us through our feet and any other part of our bodies that come in contact with the natural ground. As grounded.com mentions, it is constantly absorbing the energy of lightning, solar radiation, and heat from its own core. This, in a way, is like a gargantuan battery created for all of the inhabitants of this planet.
The immune system works best when the body is granted its optimal amount of electrons. Inflammation is the leading trigger to chronic pain as well as other health complications (Arthritis, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and more). When we barefoot natural land we are allowing the Earth to transfer negatively charged electrons to handle that inflammation. Imagine that, natural healing.
This healing doesn’t stop at keeping inflammation down, but also stress and heart rate as mentioned in the research of Dr. Gaetan Chevalier and Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, “Emotional Stress, Heart Rate, Grounding and Autonomic Tone: Clinical Applications.
Short answer: Barefooting/grounding/Earthing in public is 100% legal.
Long answer: Back in the early 70’s “no shoes, no shirt, no service because of the health department’s say so” began popping up. These signs stopped a few (but not nearly enough) barefooters from entering establishments if they didn’t put shoes on. However, it was just a lie. There are no laws or codes that defend this statement and the establishments that claim it.
Remember earlier when I mentioned I only really wear shoes in buildings that require them? Well that only pertains to certain government buildings that are protected by laws in that situation. There aren’t any laws that actually prohibit barefooters from obtaining services in a public establishment. People are just finicky about what others wear.
It Simply Feels Good
Despite the dislike others may have for barefootedness, go out there and be barefoot. The only real concern new Earthers should take into consideration is that too much too soon can be harmful. Start slow and gradually get rid of your shoes so that your feet can adjust to the everyday massages the ground gives out!
Utpal Dholakia Ph.D. (2017). How Much Are Your Shoes Really Costing You? Retrieved from
CDC (2014). Hookworm FAQs . Retrieved from
CDC (2014). Strongyloides Infection FAQs . Retrieved from
Grounded (2014). What is Grounding and Earthing? Retrieved from