I haven’t taken up walking around town barefoot, but I have become more aware of my feet. Yesterday I wore a pair of tennis shoes all day. I didn’t walk to work, but I stood all day, as usual. When I got home, I hopped on my Wii Fit (which I am now addicted to) and found I couldn’t play any of the games while wearing my tennis shoes. The day before, my center of balance had been almost perfect in the center of the board. With my tennis shoes on, however, my center of balance was way back on my heels. When I played one game, which requires me to lean forward in order to make my mii move, it was almost impossible to do in my shoes. Like most shoes–especially tennis shoes–my shoes lift up under the toes. This makes leaning forward very difficult.
I took off my shoes and was able to play, but my center of balance was not as good as it had been previously, when I had been spending my days in my flat sandals, and my feet tired much more quickly.
It’s making me rethink wearing tennis shoes. I’m also giving more thought to making a pair of soft leather shoes (think ballet slippers) just to try walking in them and see what happens. If you’ve ever noticed, martial artists don’t wear shoes when they’re practicing or fighting. Can you imagine how much their center of balance would be screwed up if they were wearing tennis shoes like mine? When you are not centered, it’s much easier to knock you down. And what does it do to your knees and back when you are not centered?