The Drawbacks of Bare Feet

Taking one’s shoes off is not entirely usual in American culture. It’s more common now than 50 years ago when it would have been pretty unthinkable to kick your shoes off in someone’s home and roam around in your stocking feet. It’s still something that usually signifies a casualness and a comfortable relationship with the person whose house you are at. It’s not unusual for people to wear shoes in their own homes. I think for those Americans who prefer guests take their shoes off, it’s usually because they’re trying to preserve the cleanliness of their carpet!

But ever since I started participating regularly in Hindu culture, it’s become second nature to me to take my shoes off every where. I don’t even notice I’m doing it, it’s so ingrained.

After a few years of spending much of my time bare foot, I’ve begun to develop a pain in my left foot.

Eventually I discovered that I’ve developed something called Plantars Fasciitis. For me it was caused because my feet have very high arches and walking around barefoot flattens them too much. My feet need more support.

Very supportive shoes are helping, but I don’t want to wear shoes in my house for religious reasons. So I’m looking into getting a brace.

Something like this…


I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity. I never would have thought that my bare foot lifestyle would lead to foot pain.


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  • Amar

    It’s complex, because our foot are designed to walk bare foot, after the foot (muscle bone and tendon-ligaments) now have become so week that they are unable to do for which they were designed, one more thing is carpet is less flexible and flatter than soil or other terrain.

    • Ambaa

      Good point about the carpet. I was thinking it was weird for my feet to do this when it seems like it should be so natural to them.

      • Amar

        Hemp in the foot is there for some reasons i.e. to gain traction while we are running or trying to run faster either to catch or save ourselves. Shoes and floor has changed the anatomy of foot, I suffered 9.5 pain In 10 scale only because I had put weight differently on one of my foot and had an oversized shoe accidently.

      • We adapt very well to our environments. Too well, sometimes. And in my case – gaining a lot of weight in a short amount of time made it that much worse.

  • Anu M

    Hi Ambaa, I really have enjoyed your blog thoroughly. I have a very urgent and personal question that I sent to you via your Facebook inbox. I couldn’t find another way of contacting you privately. Could you please respond when you have a minute? Thank you SO much.

    • Ambaa

      Absolutely! Thanks for letting me know. Things sometimes get lost in the shuffle over there so I will take a look!

  • Truth Seeker

    Hope yr foot gets well soon!!

    I suppose you could still wear shoes in yr house the same way u did previously, just remove them near yr place of worship. Also u may try considering using moccasins type shoes in ur house, it’s very comforting for the feet.

    • Ambaa

      A few people have suggested slippers of some kind and I can’t believe I didn’t think of that! It’s a great idea.

      • mike

        moccasins or slippers aren’t going to help, unless the have arch support. so what makes them different then shoes (religiously that is)?

        i’ve had plantars fascitus in my left foot for 20 years. i turned my ankle playing basketball and the next day i thought i had broken it. when i went to the doctor and he ex-rayed it, i was amazed that he just wrapped it after taking a mould of my feet. they made me some orthopeditc inserts for my shoes and i’ve been good ever since, other than when i where flip flops all day or spend the day on the beach barefoot. and don’t jog heel to toe.

      • briarroot

        This will only work for your house, unless you carry them with you … crocs for the house. crocs as house slippers. They have fantastic arch support, and I look forward each day to changing out of my work boots into my crocs.

        • You’re right. Crocs should never be worn in public 😉

          I actually use a pair of Dr. Scholl’s sandals (the old school wooden kind) for only in the house and they feel sooooo good 🙂

  • Derek_anny

    It might not be enough support, but nike came out with a dance… wrap-brace-shoe-thing. They call it a Studio Wrap. It comes as something like a cross between a fabric brace and sandals, with a ribbon for further strapping (a la ballet) and a slip-on shoe to go over the whole thing.

    • Ambaa

      Worth a try!