With that said, I highly advocate practicing going barefoot for the following reasons:
- Having strong feet that doesn't rely on tools(shoes) can be considered a survival asset. If you are out innawoods far away from any help and for some reason loose your footwear, and you only have soft baby feet, you can find yourself in real trouble, as even just a pointy rock or stick can render you immobile. You will also travel a lot slower regardless of any injuries than with hardened feet, which could be another big factor in a survival situation.
- Shoes, especially a lot of modern shoes, are kind of unnatural, and can deform your feet and atrophy tendons and muscles. Most people today already suffer from this in some form since they nearly always wear shoes. Raised heels are the biggest contributor to this. While I never measured it, like others, I feel like my arches lifted and my toes spread out a lot more evenly wider.
- You gain a much better sense of what you are walking on. Any kind of barrier between your feet and the ground dampens your sensory perception in your feet. Some kinds of sandals are made with this in mind and are softer and thinner, giving a lot of feedback, but I have never used them personally. This is something I only noticed, and missed, once I wore shoes again after going completely barefoot for about two months a while back. It just felt so disconnected and disorienting to wear shoes, I had to focus on my gait to keep proper balance and form. But really, I just like that feeling of walking barefoot too, walking in shoes feels very dull.
And as a point interest, the most uncomfortable my bare feet feel is when I go to the mall, man some stores have chillingly cold floors.