According to a major decade-long study* observing thousands of children in 25 countries, keeping shoes off kids’ feet in the classrooms allows them to concentrate more and perform better academically. So if your kids’ school insists on shoes – make them barefoot ones.
Why? Kids’ feet are packed with up to 200,000 nerve-endings that send vital messages to growing, curious brains. Keeping kids’ feet able to feel allows for this brain/feet connection to stay active, helping growing brains as well as feet and bodies.
Wearing cushioned, snugly fitting shoes restricts the essential sensory feedback from feet to brain.
RESTRICTING FEET AND NATURAL PLAY RESTRICTS BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
Our feet have as many message-sending nerve-endings in our feet as in our hands. Traditional school shoes are too snug, rigid and stiff for this essential sensory feedback to flow.
So when we bundle kids’ feet into traditional stiff, rigid shoes and then expect them to spend most of their days sitting at desks in classrooms (and then watching tv/doing homework/playing computer games) it’s hardly surprising their feet, bodies and minds are affected.
Kids need to move and play naturally and freely - and as barefoot as possible - to develop the strong bones and tendons in their feet which will lead to balanced, coordinated and skilful movement. Let your kids’ feet run wild – it’s good for their brains!
THE MORE KIDS MOVE AND FEEL, THE MORE KIDS CAN PAY ATTENTION
Numerous studies show that a child’s sensory system develops at best during free play in nature.
Our sedentary lifestyle and the increasing academic demands we make on our kids are counter-productive. Put them in stiff, padded shoes, make them sit and do hours of homework and the way they grow – mind and body - is atrophied before they’ve even had a chance.
The more natural movement in nature the better for a kids’ brain and balance system. The happier, healthier and faster they learn!
Our Vivobarefoot school shoes are nice and wide, helping kids feet to grow as nature intended. Our ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole allows for all the hundreds of nerve-endings in your kids’ feet to stay active for better balance and coordination. And they’re built to last, we want your kids to outgrow our shoes, not outwear them.
*Professor Stephen Heppell led the research out of Bournemouth University.