Do you love the feel of soft grass beneath your feet? Or look forward to the sand between your toes at the beach? Maybe you love the freedom of warm weather and shed your shoes all summer.
It may be time to rethink going barefoot outside. Those little pleasures can lead to unpleasant consequences.
Why should you keep your shoes on when you’re outside? People have been going barefoot since the dawn of time, after all. But when you want to keep your feet healthy, it pays to be aware of the hidden dangers of walking outside barefoot.
Soft grass and sand feel terrific until you step on a sharp hidden object. Rocks, shells, litter, and more can cause wounds on the soles of your feet. If you have diabetes, peripheral neuropathy can keep you from noticing wounds immediately.
Foot wounds can become infected, be difficult to heal, and affect your mobility.
Most of us can think back to childhood and recognize the dangers of summer pavement. Hot days and blacktop are a terrible combination for bare feet. All types of pavement can become hot enough to cause burns on a hot, sunny day.
Burns can easily become infected and are notoriously difficult to heal.
Another pavement hazard is abrasion. Pavement is rough, especially on pool decks and other areas designed to reduce slipping. You may not notice it at first, but that rough pavement can lead to cracks and scrapes that become vulnerable to infection.
It isn’t only wounds and burns that can cause infections. Going barefoot in public areas presents the risk of athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, and plantar warts. If your feet are prone to cracks or other small wounds, picking up an infection is all too easy.
While these hazards are not likely to present themselves in your yard, the minute your bare feet share space with other bare feet you put yourself at risk.
Good shoes provide support and keep your feet in the proper position while you walk. They help you maintain good posture which reduces stress on your joints that can cause pain.
They also provide traction. Wet grass and other surfaces can be slippery and bare feet increase the chance of taking a fall.
No matter how tempting it is to go barefoot outside, it’s safer and better for your feet to protect them with proper footwear.