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going barefoot

Posted by Rebecca R on 7/19/03 at 00:48 (124772)

Hi, I have PF and achilles enthesopathy in both feet. My podiatrist is very much against going barefoot, or even wearing sandles. I was looking through a book my dad has called 'Pain Free' by Pete Egoscue and he thinks going barefoot is the best thing for feet. He says that shoes and orthotics train the foot to conform in an unnatural way, and that the friction from wearing shoes causes problems. I'm just wondering what a doctor's opinion of this theory is. To me it makes sense, but what do I know. :)

Re: going barefoot

Dorothy on 7/19/03 at 01:37 (124774)

If you look back through postings in, maybe, past month or so, one poster was writing about running barefoot. There then ensued some discussion about the idea that going barefoot is the natural state of our feet and there was speculation about what people in other cultures and other times experience(d) with regard to foot problems. I'm not a doctor, but it seems intuitive that going barefoot would be good for feet.

Re: going barefoot

Judy R on 7/19/03 at 10:44 (124786)

Hi..My pod told me not to go barefooted at all..not even in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom! Ihave always gone barefooted at home - live in Florida and do have tile floors with carpet over concrete. Never had a problem until 2 months ago and then, ouch! Been in therapy for the last week and it is getting better, but I hate the fact that someone has told me not to go barefooted...miss that freedom and comfort. Let me know if you find out anything else about this and if it is good for you..I will have no problem going barefooted. But, right now, I guess I need to listen to my doctor. Good luck on your foot...you're in company with a lot of us..

Re: going barefoot

rose on 7/19/03 at 12:27 (124793)

I just now turned the radio off after listening to Peter Egoscue's radio program. It airs each Saturday morning at 9:00 pacific time on 1170 KCBQ. If you are not in the southern California area, you can go to the website egoscue.com and listen that way. You can also call in. He has the callers do certain body movements on the air and they experience instant relief in most cases. I have his book, and there seems to be a whole lot to his methods. I know many who have been cured of chronic pain with his methods. In his section on foot pain he has a number of exercises. I did them for a while and they really helped. He does recommend never splinting any area of the body or wearing shoes or orthodics to cure the problem if at all possible. The reason seems to be that he wants to treat the cause of the problem in the first place. It is definately worth checking into, in my opinion. Maybe it will work for some of us.

Re: going barefoot

Diana on 7/19/03 at 17:03 (124799)

Going barefoot sounds wonderful. Once in awhile I walk a short (very short!)
distance barefooted. Doesn't seem to bother my feet. At least not as much as standing for a long time. Going to look in our library for the book 'Pain Free'. Sounds interesting.

Re: going barefoot

Dorothy on 7/19/03 at 17:50 (124808)

Rose, thank you for the reminder. I have had Pete Egoscue's book 'Pain Free' for years because, along with so many other books, I bought that one for back pain some years ago. I will now return to it for the feet information. I will be re-reading it, along with Dr. Sarno's book. Good thing I keep my books, eh? Thanks again.

Re: going barefoot

Mar on 7/19/03 at 21:04 (124810)

I remember saying the same thing to my pod -- that going barefoot seems the natural way. He said in days of old, there weren't paved roads and hardwood floors; people walked on soft surfaces which is fine. But we have so many hard surfaces and it is not good for the feet. Maybe he's right. I went barefoot my entire life except when i HAD to wear shoes and look at where I am now!! Mar

Re: going barefoot

Ellen J. on 7/20/03 at 10:01 (124829)

Hi Rebecca,
I read your note with lots of interest, as I have been pondering the barefoot idea for awhile. Although many people don't advise going barefoot, others seem to be helped by it. I think it depends on the cause of your foot problems. I'm not a doctor, I'm just another P.F. sufferer and have been experimenting for 4 yrs. to figure out how to get better. The one big factor for me was getting rid of those huge arch supports. They were ruining my feet! However, people with high arches seem to be helped by arch supports. I am now going barefoot and wearing sandals that have no arch support and my feet feel great! The sandals do have cushioning, which I like, but not much arch support.
Have to run...guests arriving.

Re: going barefoot

M. Rao on 7/21/03 at 10:50 (124882)

Hi Dorothy,

I am the original poster of the barefoot running thread from a few week's ago. I have continued with my program and have done about 6 runs so far. Yesterday I did 30 minutes (with 2 one-minute breaks and 1 two-minute break) in packed sand at the beach with three breaks. There was some predictable, mild soreness in my calves and some parts of my feet, but no heel or arch pain.

The 'stretched out' feeling that I get in the lower extremeties is a great feeling immediately after the run. I will continue conservatively and see what happens.


Re: going barefoot

Dorothy on 7/21/03 at 11:25 (124884)

Thank you for continuing to report on your barefoot experience. In addition to running, I think even walking on the sand at a beach is so wonderful and it always feels like the 'right' thing to do - you can feel your toes and calves and knees all working together - but, I must add, I haven't walked on the beach barefooted in a while. It is a good memory, though.

I do hope you continue to have a good experience with this.
Best wishes ~