You may have heard about the health benefits of grounding or earthing, which is the health-boosting practice of contacting the earth with bare feet. Earthing will help lower your blood pressure, reduce inflammation, ease depression, improve quality of sleep, and make you feel happier and more, well, grounded. For many of us, running around barefoot is impractical for daily life. Enter the practical solution to this dilemma known as earthing shoes.
What Earthing Shoes Can Do For You
Earthing shoes allow your body to connect with the earth the way it is meant to, without actually going barefoot. This is accomplished either via a sole made of a natural material (such as leather) that does not insulate you from the electromagnetic field of the earth, or through something a little more high-tech. Read on to find my three favorite picks for earthing shoes.
1. Earth Runners
I’ll start with Earth Runners because they were my first earthing shoes and because I love sandals.
Earth Runners sandals are made sustainably in the USA. Earth Runners feature a copper dot and special conductive straps which connect you to the earth, while their grippy Vibram® soles equip you to take on any landscape. They’re great for hiking and running out in nature, and the soles are thin enough to mimic a “barefoot” feel if that’s you’re thing (thicker soles can be ordered if it’s not).
Another thing I love about Earth Runners: they sell woolly socks so you can wear their sandals in cold weather too!
Earth Runners also sells a DIY kit that allows you to convert ordinary shoes (like your favorite pair of Chuck Taylors) into earthing shoes.
2. Soft Stars
I now own two pairs of Soft Stars. You can shop their many earthing options here which have leather or suede soles. I have a pair of these adorable suede Roo Moccasins with fringe. They have suede soles so they’re not meant for rainy days, but the interiors are lined with cozy sheepskin, so they are lovely when cool weather rolls around. Soft Star shoes are made with the softest leather so they are wonderful for kids (or grownups) who don’t like the constraints of “regular” shoes.
Also made sustainably in the USA, Soft Star makes shoes to fit everyone, from tiny babies to grownups. Though all of their shoes are “barefoot” or “minimal” shoes, not all of them allow a direct connection to the earth, so look for the styles without rubber soles. The Original Run Amocs are available with a bullhide leather sole, and the Roo Moccasins have suede soles. Plus, you can customize your shoes with any colors you choose! I will warn you that using their Visualizer to design your perfect shoe is strangely addictive.
Groundz are THE earthing shoe for when you want to put your most fashion-conscious foot forward. Their beautiful sandals are made by hand using eco-friendly materials like vegetable-tanned leathers. They have a slightly padded insole for comfort, and a copper rivet to connect you to the ground. I was thrilled with the quality when I put them on. They feel like solid sandals that will last for years. Rumor has it Groundz will be adding closed-toe shoes soon.
Two Honorable Mentions:
- I absolutely love ballet slippers as earthing shoes, and these are my favorites. They are available in narrow and wide widths (they do run a little bit small – I recommend ordering half a size up). They are not ideal in a rainstorm, and I try to avoid stepping on small pebbles when I’m wearing mine, but they’re otherwise great. I don’t know if they’re sustainably made, but they’re very budget-friendly. They also make your feet look cute.
- Look for Juil shoes on Ebay. They were so well made, so comfortable, and so stylish. If you can find some in your size, you won’t regret it.
When You Can’t Go Barefoot
Earthing shoes will ground you when you stand or walk on soil, grass, sand, or concrete. You can easily enjoy the health benefits of earthing just by changing your shoes. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to get a new pair of shoes?