Which Is Better? Slippers VS Barefoot At Home?
by Kitcware Store on Jul 13, 2021
Slippers Vs Barefoot: Which Is Better?
Did you know that in some parts of the world, there are people that go their entire lives barefoot?
To some, walking around without footwear might be unthinkable. This can be due to environmental factors or societal norms.
For others—even those in countries where going barefoot is not universally accepted—it’s not so uncommon. Some don’t wear shoes at home. Some people even go barefoot in public places! Case in point: People exercise with bare feet because their preferred physical practice demands it—think yoga or martial arts.
You might be wondering what the lowdown is on walking barefoot in your house. Is it better or worse than wearing the best slippers or socks? Read on to find out the pros and cons of not wearing footwear indoors.
What Are The Benefits Of Going Barefoot At Home?
Most of us learned to walk barefoot as our ancestors did before shoes were invented. Using footwear is relatively new to the human race. Walking with bare feet is more natural and more conducive to encouraging a healthy gait.
What comes with a healthy gait? One of the most lauded rewards of a healthy walking pattern is well-developed proprioceptive abilities. Sometimes called kinesthesia or the sixth sense, proprioception refers to your awareness of your body’s placement and orientation within a physical environment.
With good kinesthetics and the better body mechanics that come with it, you may experience a wider range of foot and ankle motion, as well as fewer aches and pains and more muscle strength and stability in the same area.
Swelling and other problems from ill-fitting footwear—such as bunions and hammertoes—may be less likely to develop or get worse. Your posture and sense of balance can improve, too.
Of course, the non-health advantages of not wearing slippers and shoes indoors also need to be addressed. Keeping your home a no-shoe zone lessens the chance of you and other household members tracking in dirt and other contaminants from the outside world. The habit keeps your house more sanitary and easier to clean.
What Are The Dangers Of Going Barefoot At Home?
If you didn’t grow up walking barefoot around the house, you might need to ease into the routine, particularly if your home features varied surfaces and stairs or does not have a lot of carpeting.
While going unshod may be a theoretically more typical state for humans, in reality, many of us are much more used to wearing slippers and shoes indoors. It takes time for your body to adjust to not having the extra protection and cushioning from footwear.
If you don’t have calluses built up over years of not wearing shoes, your soles will be too soft and unused to sensing the ground beneath them. Discomfort due to rough textures and problems with balance—especially with older people—can pop up. This can lead to accidental slips and falls.
Switching to bare feet abruptly can also be dangerous because you may not consider what actions and situations would be incompatible with it. For example: If you drop a plate in your kitchen, with slippers on, the first instinct would be to grab a broom and dustpan. With bare feet? You need to navigate the floor to avoid injuring yourself.
Bacterial and fungal infections may be transmitted faster, as well, especially if parts of the home are more humid and not exposed to bright light. Should someone in your household be prone to foot problems, enforcing a no-shoes rule indoors may not be such a good idea.
Should You Wear Slippers Indoors Or Walk With Bare Feet?
In general, going barefoot at home is encouraged. This is easier to maintain in homes with fewer people, infrequent visitors, and no pets, of course.
Want to try increasing your time on your bare feet with minimal impact on your household? Consider requiring it for certain parts of the home, such as carpeted areas or bedrooms. Slippers can be reserved for kitchen tile or hardwood flooring.
You may also go with a blanket “shoes stay on the ground floor” policy if you have a multilevel home. Install shoe or slipper racks at key points to make it easier for everyone to follow the rule.
Consider adjusting other household rules to complement walking barefoot. For instance, you may want to limit houseplants and pet access to certain parts of the house if you don’t want bare feet to be exposed to animal hair, dirt, and other debris.
A final note: Consult a health professional before making any huge lifestyle changes—including going barefoot. This is doubly important if you have foot problems or pre-existing medical conditions, like diabetes, that leave you more prone to infection.