Is Barefoot Beautiful?

A question frequently asked of doctors of podiatric medicine is whether it is wise to venture out without shoes or socks during the warm weather months. The answer, as you probably suspect, is no – despite the fact that running barefoot in the park does sound like great fun.

Common sense says that going barefoot increases the chances for injury and infection. Public parks and streets have hidden hazards capable of cutting or puncturing your feet. Then there is the chance that our barefooted spirit will pick up a fungus, leading to an athlete’s foot infection, or a virus that will bring on plantar warts.

Are there any safe places? You can try it on a clean, sandy beach, but even then, it pays to be observant for buried glass or sharp driftwood fragments. Even your own backyard is fraught with hazards – you can step on a bee, some poison ivy, or a puddle of toxic weed killer.

At the pool, wear thongs to keep your feet protected from abrasions – it’s easy to pick up a wart virus in this environment.

The bottom line? It may feel good to walk barefoot, but you’re running a risk for injury or infection. Consider yourself warned.

Alexandra Buk, DPM

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Allan Gold, DPM Richard Bronfman, DPM Edwin Clark, DPM James Comerford, DPM Alexandra Buk, DPM