In The Barefoot Book I compared wearing shoes to smoking cigarettes. While this is an obvious exaggeration, there is truth in the comparison: both shoes and cigarettes are unhealthy and lead to physical and functional maladies in the body.
In the 1950’s a few doctors first proposed that tobacco was a health hazard, especially Dr. Ernst L. Wynder. In a panic, the major tobacco companies set up puppet research centers in 1954 that spent more money on propaganda than medical study. Phillip Morris tried to “buy” Dr. Wynder for forty years but without success, thanks to the integrity of this great scientist. Even as late as the 1990’s the tobacco giant Brown & Williamson conducted a massive smear campaign against Dr. Jeffery Wigand, one of their executives-turned-whistle-blower on the industry’s efforts to hide the dangers of tobacco. Today, however, the risks of tobacco are common knowledge and public health has improved dramatically with the concomitant disuse of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Presently, I’m asserting that shoes are a public health hazard. As far as I can tell, shoes are responsible for at least 90% of the foot maladies we suffer from in America. While many podiatrists continue to insist that shoes are “necessary” and members of the general public jeer and mock my position (See my Mean People Suck post), they are all on the wrong side of the medical facts. Given this truth, I hope that fifty years from now most people will be going barefoot much more often than they do today.
Be ahead of the curve. Go barefoot for better health.