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 they are perfect for the warmer weather which is now upon us.
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 can make you a custom sandal using a trace of your foot. I was overjoyed to be able to order custom-made sandals that truly fit the shape of my odd little feet.
This winter, Earth Runners sold a kit that would allow you to convert ordinary shoes (like your favorite pair of Chuck Taylors) into earthing shoes. Now that it’s sandal weather again they are not selling that kit, but if you sign up for their mailing list you’ll know when the kit is back in stock.
2. Soft Stars
I don’t own a pair of Soft Stars yet; the gorgeous pair of custom ballet flats I ordered didn’t fit my feet – have I mentioned that they’re kind of an odd shape? – so I had to return them. But the next pair of shoes I buy will be 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’ll be lovely when fall rolls around.
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.
3. Plain Old Ballet Slippers Are Earthing Shoes!
I love these because 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 lovely. I don’t know if they’re sustainably made, but they’re very budget-friendly. Of my three picks, these will make your feet look the cutest.
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?