We all love to ditch our shoes for some sun and sand between our toes, but walking outside barefoot too often can lead to unpleasant foot pain.
If you are one of the many people who experiences pain when walking barefoot, you probably suffer from one of a number of common foot conditions.
We’re not talking about obvious and acute problems like darting across the hot sand at the beach or cutting yourself on sharp objects. We’re talking about conditions which if left undiagnosed and untreated can lead to discomfort and ongoing complications.
What happens if you walk barefoot all the time?
We’ve all had the painful experience of accidentally treading barefoot on a rock or small object. This often leads to deep bruising and inflammation on the fat pad of the heel or ball of the foot. Weight-bearing activities can also aggravate and intensify the pain – sometimes leaving you immobile.
This condition is defined by a clicking feeling in the forefoot followed by a sharp shooting pain or sensation of numbness or pins and needles extending to the end of the toes. It is caused by irritation, pressure, or injury to a nerve leading to the toes – often as a result of walking barefoot.
If you live with diabetes, you should never walk barefoot – especially if you have impaired circulation or neuropathy. Minor traumas that usually heal quickly can easily become infected and develop ulcers – and unnoticed problems can escalate quickly.
Did you know there are 12 diabetes-related amputations performed at Australian hospitals every day?
Although walking barefoot is tempting, try to avoid doing so when going outside – and avoid entirely if you are diabetic. Even slipping on a pair of thongs beside the pool or to head to the beach goes a long way to protecting the soles of your feet from burns, cuts and diseases.
What are the disadvantages of walking barefoot?
There are a few disadvantages of walking barefoot, the first one being that you leave yourself vulnerable to stone bruises. Stone bruises occur when you step barefoot onto a stone or other similar object and cause a bruise deep inside the fat pad or heel of your foot. By walking barefoot, you also run the risk of Morton’s neuroma, a thickening of the tissue around a nerve leading to the toes. This can cause clicking, pain and numbness in the ball of the foot or toes which can be uncomfortable while walking.
Can you get Plantar Fasciitis from walking barefoot?
Running or walking barefoot for long periods of time on hard surfaces can put strain on your arches and wear down the fatty heel pad. This extra strain on your arches can increase the chances of developing Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain.
Is it bad to wear shoes all the time?
While it is best to always wear shoes while walking outside, walking barefoot around your home can allow your feet to rest. It is not bad to wear shoes most of the time so long as your shoes provide suitable support and are designed for orthopaedic health.