A couple of days ago the Spanish newspaper, El País had a very interesting article about how many actors are being spotted going barefoot in and about town. In ¿Por qué a los famosos les ha dado por andar descalzos? (Why have the famous been walking barefoot?). The article does a nice job talking about the benefits of going barefoot.
But of course they also have to talk to a podiatrists who hates it.
The article starts out by noting that photo shoot with Gisele Bundchen for Chanel, but then goes on to note that a lot of celebrities are starting to go barefoot in their daily life. They mention Chris Martin in Malibu, and show a picture of Rihanna barefoot in New York City fairly recently.
When they talk about the benefits of barefooting, they rely on the book by Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee Barefoot Walking. But they cannot resist using the word “supposed” when talking about those benefits.
The article also covers the fact that going barefoot in daily life is not uncommon in Australia and New Zealand, but is quite rare in Europe. For Spain in particular, the article says that most Spanish regard going barefoot as poor hygiene (the old Health Department myth). They say going barefoot in a grocery store will attract attention.
And then, of course, they talk to a podiatrist, Miguel Canovas, former president of the Asociación Española de Podología. He concedes that taking off shoes after a long day’s work is a good thing, but beyond that:
Eso es una barbaridad. Lo desaconsejo totalmente desde el punto de vista dermatológico, por la protección de la piel del calor del asfalto o de cristales o clavos que puedan causar heridas, y también desde el punto de vista muscular, porque nuestros pies no están adaptados a ello. Han sido año de evolución y no podemos pretender cambiarlo de repente.
Yup, he calls going barefoot outside a “barbarity”. He’s horribly afraid of glass and nails, and even hot streets.
And then he really is an idiot, saying our feet are not adapted to going barefoot because our feet have now evolved to wearing shoes. Well, urban feet may not be adapted to going barefoot, but that’s just a question of conditioning. Do it more, and feet will respond. But evolution?
We know huge numbers of people still went barefoot even only 100 years ago. Evolution does not work like that in just a few generations. Pfft.
The article ends by noting the recent controversy at Cannes, regarding high heels on the red carpet there. It turns out that at least one woman had no problem going barefoot there: Adriana Karembeu. (And no, this was not a case of her showing up in painful heels and then taking them off—this was the look she was going for.)
The article has a pretty good list (and pictures) of various celebrities barefoot out on the streets. You might want to check it out.