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The Rise of Barefoot Shoes: Why Ditching Heels and Soles Can Benefit Your Health and Happiness

The Rise of Barefoot Shoes: Why Ditching Heels and Soles Can Benefit Your Health and Happiness

By Prince Dankwa ​

For many centuries, Ghanaians had grown used to being barefoot. It permitted unrestricted foot movement across Ghana’s diverse landscape, which ranges from soft sandy beaches to rugged highlands and all points in between. But we’ve become disconnected from this history in recent decades with modernization and as shoes in Western design have become increasingly popular.

Proponents claim that because barefoot shoes allow for natural foot function, they could provide Ghanaians with major health benefits. According to a podiatrist, wearing barefoot encourages healthy biomechanics. “They help people land more mid-foot rather than on their heels, reducing impact on joints and discs over time”.

Studies support this. Studies reveal that those who live barefoot or walk 20 minutes barefoot have reduced incidences of foot problems and back discomfort in comparison to those who wear shoes. Protective effects are produced by the natural motion and active foot muscles. Given how common back issues are in Ghana, this is really important. Wearing barefoot shoes could help stop these problems from happening.

Supporters claim to have also observed psychological advantages. “Being barefoot feels very grounded for me,” says Kwame, a resident of Accra. “I feel connected to the earth and it makes me happy.” Given the stressors in Ghana, their sensory feedback helps to soothe the nervous system.

Although traditional shoes are here to stay, experts advise breaking them in gradually by walking around the house in them to build up underused muscles. Daily time spent barefoot in shoes can pay off, even in tiny doses. They might provide Ghanaians looking to better their overall well-being, heritage, or health a worthwhile route forward.

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