The benefits of allowing of bare feet in childhood (starting in infancy) are innumerable! However, Lauren Knight of the Washington Post shares her top 5 in Why kids should go barefoot more (and probably adults, too):
- Foot Development: Healthy toe movement, strengthening of feet and lower legs resulting in agility and less injury in childhood.
- Proprioceptive Development: Sense of position in space and of all parts of the body is heightened.
- Sensory Integration: 200k+ nerves in feet process information that helps build a brain! Dewy grass, slippery mud, rough bark, cool puddle, etc.
- Health and Well-Being: Feet “toughen” resulting in natural protection. Furthermore, children develop a heightened sense of surrounding and avoidance of dangerous objects. Avoidance of sweaty sneakers with bacteria and fungus. Going barefoot typically leads to a healthy gait.
- The Joy of Direct Experience of Newness of World: Information sent to the brain through bare feet results in greater focus, awareness and thus confidence in the world around them.