Salted Barefoot

I have loved going barefoot. One of my earliest memories was this conversation:

Me:"Let's get the world record for going the longest without shoes."
M. Cornelius: "People in Africa do it all the time."(Paraphrased, details lost to time)

I suspect that stopped the record attempt.

We all know that feeling of warm sand or wet grass on our naked footsies.

When I go to the woods I spend most of my time barefoot, even when its wet and muddy. There is something about toes that enables them to get a better grip in a steep muddy slope than chunkyboots.

This summer I have been maxing out my barefootness and really enjoying it.

Yesterday, unrelated to my barefoot summer, we all went on a barefoot walk organised by a woman called Julie the Ranger. She was very keen, very knowledgeable about barefooting and a big part of the delightful three mile walk washer  educating we twenty about its benefits. She had handouts and FAQs and an answer to any question, so long as it was around the "barefoot" format and content.

I had quite a few chats with her as we ambled.

My first was about "Earthing".

"Have you heard of Earthing?" I asked.

"Yes. We shared a brief glance..."

"Do you think it is Woo?"

Earthing is very very woo woo as practices and theories go. The idea, in a nutshell is this:

We are electric beings. The earth is an electric system. We evolved connected to that system. In modern life, with shoes and carpets and asphalt, we are disconnected from that system. Therefore, by reconnecting with this system, we will gain some wellbeing benefit.

We didn't discuss earthing anymore after that but she did really put the positives on barefooting, promoting its virtues far beyond what I thought.

Do I belive in earthing?

Its hard to say. We know the earth has electromagnetic fields and resonances. We know the body does. We know that electromagnetic effects can have biological effects. We know biological effects can have psychological effects. We also know that the frequency of a phenomena can effect its interactions.

It doesn't seem to be to be pseudoscience to postulate that earthing confers a genuine benefit to humans. (Note how very different this fact-grid is to something like, say,  Homeopathy. One has has an explanatory and mechanistic explanation and is nomologically compatible with known physical processes/systems, the other has none of these accolades. And... Yet,  both are considered by the media, science establishment and internet skeptics to be of comparable woo, nonsense, pseudoscience, bs, etc)

But the fact Earthing is a consistent scientific theory doesn't mean that it is true. To see if it is true we need to look for evidence, and this is where it gets tricky. The very nature of Earthing as a practice makes it hard to isolate its possible effects because it needs to be practices in Nature, and nature, has significant and demonstrable benefits.

I without a doubt know, for certain, that when I go barefoot I get wellbeing benefit. This cannot be contested, you cannot say "No you don't really feel better when walking barefoot."

But that is as far as it goes.

The epistemic limit is that I do not how much of that wellbeing benefit is from being in the countryside (the place I mostly barefoot). Or from being in leisure time. Or from the sun.

So I don't know if Earthing is real.

I do not think that earthing is nonsensical, I am not sure if it is true.

I digress...

So on the walk I spoke to JTR a number of times. She was inspirational in her keenness and understanding. She had tips a plenty.

"What about when you go to a friends house?"

"I carry yoga socks and put them on."

"I bet you do Julie The Ranger, I bet you do." (This line didn't actually happen, it was just put in there for some drama.)

What JTR most convinced me of was not that i should go barefoot the whole summer, which I was already planning largely to do. But that I should take up barefoot running.