Allowing babies to walk barefoot can make them smarter, say experts

Doctors have revealed that allowing a baby to walk barefoot can help with the development of two crucial sensory systems and can increase brain function


                            Allowing babies to walk barefoot can make them smarter, say experts

It is only natural that parents want what is best for their baby and will protect them at all costs. Parents dress their kids according to the weather and, of course, also decide what shoes and footwear the child should wear. However, recent studies have shown allowing a baby to walk barefoot can result in the baby becoming smarter.

According to Dr. Kacie Flegal, vitalistic chiropractor and member of the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association, two sensory systems — proprioceptive and vestibular — are very important but generally tend to be overlooked. She revealed that allowing a baby to walk barefoot can help with the development of these systems. It can also help increase brain function. 

Walking barefoot can idevelopment of higher brain centers responsible for emotional control, problem-solving, language, social skills, and self-assurance (Source: iStock)
Walking barefoot can improve development of higher brain centers responsible for emotional control, problem-solving, language, social skills, and self-assurance (Source: iStock)

In order to get these systems to develop fully, it is crucial to expose them to sensory input. Wearing shoes all the time results in your feet not being stimulated, especially since there are multiple sensory cells connected to the feet.

Walking around barefoot helps to increase neuromuscular strength, improves balance, and also boosts the development of the associated brain centers.

According to 'Homemaking', "It is obvious that when our little ones are playing in cold or harsher environments, we want to protect them and keep them safe, but with guidance and a soft patch of grass, dirt, or wet leaves available, encourage babies to discover how great it feels to tromp around with naked feet!" said Dr. Flegal. "As a result, you will permit them a great platform for the development of higher brain centers responsible for emotional control, problem-solving, language, social skills, and self-assurance," she continued. 

While these systems contribute to the healthy growth of a baby, they can also have benefits for adults. In case you are suffering from poor balance, spatial reasoning, or even coordination, walking around barefoot from time to time may help you a lot. 

Podiatrist Tracy Byrne specializing in podopaediatrics spoke to the Guardian and shared, "Toddlers keep their heads up more when they are walking barefoot. The feedback they get from the ground means there is less need to look down, which is what puts them off balance and causes them to fall down". She is also of the belief that walking barefoot helps to develop the muscles and ligaments, and also helps increase the strength of the foot's arch.