We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.~Thich Nhat Hanh, plumvillage.org
As a conscious hiker, I believe you would naturally like to find shoes that are actually comfortable, looks great and that are actually good for your body and the planet. Especially when traveling. Here I present you with some of the best shoes that allows your feet to stay in contact with the earth beneath you, so you can stay grounded.
What are the actual benefits of wearing grounded shoes?
Since the rise of industrialization from the late 19th century, we also have had the great innovation of the rubber sole that has given us comfortable shoes for wearing. The downside is, the rubber and synthetic soles don’t allow for the transfer of electrons between our bodies and the ground. Our Modern lifestyle, that impacts most of us nowadays, means we do not have enough transfer of charged electrons out of our body field and therefore have a possible accumulation within our bodies instead of transferring it further to the ground. Asphalt, cell phones, synthetic clothings, modernized mobile data networks and wireless networks, all do impact us by lessening our grounding contact, and serves increased risk of accumulating charged electrons within our bodies. And why does that matter?
XXXX studies have shown that when walking barefoot, we get several significant health benefits such as increased blood flow and plate count ratio, and also lowers inflammatory indicators in our bodies. To put it simply, to have our feet touching the ground is good for us. Therefore several shoemaking companies have over the last decades started working on how to create shoes, both as environmental friendly as possible, and to keep us grounded to Earth.
If you want to skip reading further because you are already quite conscious about grounding shoes, below I share a selected range of shoes that allows you to stay grounded, looks good, that are comfortable and have great reviews. Great shoes for hiking, travel and also to have in your daily life!
What are the difference between “regular” shoes and grounding shoes?
At www.grounded.com, they argue that perhaps much of our inflammatory diseases over the years may have some correlation to the change from leather soles to rubber and synthetic soles over the last 50 years. There are a few varieties of grounding shoes and I share more details on that in the paragraph under. The main difference between what we can define as “regular” shoes are shoes that have rubber or synthetic soles and does not allow for conductivity between the foot and the ground. Now, there are a lot of great and environmentally friendly shoes that does not offer grounding, they are for another article!
Grounding shoes either have sole material, such as natural cork or leather, or a copper pin (that is small and harmless to the feet!) that allows for conductivity. Conductivity means that the electric charges can move up or down through the material. The level of conductivity can vary between the different materials, that allows the exchange of charged to uncharged electrons to between the ground and the body.
How much should you wear grounding shoes?
Going back before we even had shoes, and definitely had a different lifestyles (caves, hunting, outdoors) than our urban lifestyles today in most parts of the world (however, only XX % of the Earth is inhabited), we never wore rubber or synthetic soles. So, the short answer is you can wear it all day! On the other side, a scientifically found minimum of time wearing grounding shoes, or staying barefoot which is what I prefer when I can, is at least 20 minutes each day. That amount of time has shown to give visible effects on the blood in the body.
In the section at the end, I offer a few suggestions on both versions.
What types of grounding shoes are there?
Different shoes for different travel:
here´s a few pick for you:
My definite favorite for hikes in good and warm weather: Earthrunner´s Alpha sandals (opens in new window). It is super light, the reims are comfortable to fit to your feet. What takes a little time if you are not already used to it, is having a strap between the big and second toe. I suggest adding a little tape underneath if you are not used to wearing such shoes for hiking as you might get sore.
Bahé Recharge Forest – running shoes that looks good
Birkenstock – soles made of cork gives great comfort for long days walking, are airy and have great conductivity for happy feet!
…before you go and shop all your new favorite shoes, also take a look at these grounding socks from groundology in the UK