The Importance of Being Barefoot

The middle of the summer….. I’m fortunate enough to spend it in a lovely little town by the shore of one of the Great Lakes. It has an endless beach with stretches of sand, beach grass, and round beach pebbles. We ‘re having a bit of a rainy/windy spell right now (not really surprising for this part of the world). Meanwhile, in Menorca……


Calijú handmade  behind this name hide one or more local Menorcan artisans who make custom leather sandals and bags. Someone named Luis created these sandals  and what looks like a fringed suede bag:

Handmade sandals

Source: @calijuhandmade, Instagram

Beautiful Roman style sandals. I love the reinforced toe detail and the leather is amazing. Well, it’s Menorca, and they are famous for their leather. Not sure if those are ankle bracelets or the shiny stuff is actually part of the sandal. In any case, two thumbs up!

The sandals made me think about the connection between shoe-loving and nice feet. More than just a good beach look is at stake here. The simple truth is that fashion shoes, whether they are flat or heeled, no matter how well made, require healthy feet to wear them or it’s no fun for anyone.

The Spanish are phanatically serious about the health and appearance of their feet. I realized that when I was in Granada, Andalusia, walking the streets and wondering at the great number of podiatrist offices and orthopedic shoe stores. Puzzled, I started paying attention to people’s feet, expecting to see the signs of some severe foot ailment. The reality was the opposite: men and women, young and not so young, had perfectly heatlhy, aesthetically pleasing feet. It makes perfect sense, of course – with so many warm months out of the year, especially in Andalusia and on the islands, lower legs and feet play a huge role in your appearance and your well-being. If your feet are hurting, it’ll show in your gait and your face. Besides, injured feet just do not look good. I’m not even talking about serious feet problems. Of course, this depends on what you call “serious”. Even a simple blister causes a big fuss in Spain. We can laugh all we want,  but being fussy with your feet pays off. Trust me, I learned it the hard way.

Beach is a great thing for feet. Take advantage and exfoliate your feet by walking barefoot on sand or massage your arch by walking on pebbles.


Your feet will get stronger and more flexible. Besides, they can use a break from shoes, even the most comfortable ones.

Once you are ready to slip back into shoes, make sure that the shoes are good or the benefits will be undone. Avoid hard, unforgiving soles. Espadrilles are good for the summer – they are very breathable, don’t constrict the foot much, while still giving it a nice shape; the jute sole has a lot of give and comes in all elevations – from flat to high wedge. Sometimes you can get an espadrille-style flip-flip too:

Here is a RAS fliplop with an espadrille sole:





About Me

Ann Mailsi is a writer and social media buff based in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada. Her interests include fashion, technology, and nature adventures.

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