You may see a significant increase in New Yorkers without shoes this week, and there’s a reason why. 

It’s not that shoes are uncomfortable or that these residents hate wearing them…but there are at least two reasons why you will see more people going barefoot in New York this week. 

Across the country, many people are celebrating “National Go Barefoot Day,” held annually on June 1st. The event has been growing in popularity over the last several years since it got its start back in 2004. 

What Is "National Go Barefoot Day?" 

“National Go Barefoot Day” was launched by a non-profit group called Soles4Souls  after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami with one purpose in mind: inspire others to donate new and used shoes to underprivileged children and victims of natural disasters. 

Over the years, several million shoes have been donated since its first “National Go Barefoot Day” (close to 20 million!).

While you can participate in the movement by donating a pair of shoes to a local organization, many people kick off their own shoes and go barefoot for the day to bring awareness to the cause. 

However, there’s another reason why people are ditching their shoes, and some people say it’s because they don’t need them. 

Grounding – What It Means To Show Your Feet

This is a trend that has been steadily growing over the last couple of years. When I was in college, I had this professor that would walk into class, take off his sandals, and teach the lesson while barefoot. 

At first, admittedly, us students thought it was strange, but then he explained why: he was grounding himself. 

The professor told us that he liked to be “one with the earth” by putting his bare feet on the surface. He would tell us that walking around barefoot is good for health purposes because it helps with your balance and more. 

When you are barefoot, you are able to absorb the electrons in the group, so it doesn’t hurt to give it a try in an attempt to improve your balance and overall mental attitude. 

How Long Are People Barefoot?

You can be barefoot as long as you’d like, but you will start feeling better about yourself after 30 minutes of grounding, according to researchers. If you do grounding for 30 minutes or more, it “can heal pain, reduce inflammation, and improve quality of sleep.”  

I know the saying is “no shirt, no shoes, no service,” but I wonder if some places will change their tune in the summer of 2023. 

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