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The Benefits of Barefoot Stimulation for Children

Updated: Jan 24




The benefits of barefoot stimulation have been recognised for many years. But, in our increasingly indoor world, many of us go from building to building, and hard floor to hard floor, all while wearing shoes.


Encouraging children to play barefoot offers a wealth of health and development benefits, from improving posture and foot strength, to helping them discover and connect with the world around them.


Here are the key benefits of barefoot stimulation for children:


Improve balance


When we can feel the ground beneath our feet, we stimulate the brain’s balance system, creating new neural connections and remapping the mind for greater balance.


Improve grip


When children walk and play barefoot, they can use the muscles of their feet and toes to grip the ground more easily. The small muscles in the feet adapt the shape of the foot and position of the body to the surface, strengthening the muscles and developing a more effective grip.


Strengthen the feet and body


During the early years of a child’s life, barefoot play allows for the activation of all the little muscles, ligaments, and nerves their feet. The more stimulation the feet, ankles, knees, and legs receive as they develop, the stronger they become. Arches, bone and muscle strength, ligament flexibility and stability all increase with barefoot stimulation, helping to support good posture and avoid flat feet.


Stimulate pressure points


When children wear shoes, they miss out on the feeling of different textures and landscapes beneath their feet. Our feet are jam-packed full of pressure points and nerve endings, so going barefoot offers them a huge amount of stimulation. It’s one of the easiest forms of sensory play!


Not only this, but research has shown that the activation of nerves in the bottom of the feet can promote concentrations and other cognitive function.


Develop spatial awareness


Going barefoot increases the quality and quantity of information sent to the brain. When we can feel the environment properly through our feet, we develop better spatial awareness. This results in safer body control and movement, better balance, improved postural stability and better coordination.


Develop a healthy gait


Walking barefoot distributes the weight more evenly round the body, promoting better biomechanics. Barefoot stimulation helps children develop a more natural, gentler gait with a shorter stride. This means less pressure is put on the heels as the knees bend more to cushion each step, while the toes support grip.


Connect to nature

Shoes create a barrier between our feet and the natural world. When children walk and play barefoot, they can connect with nature far more easily and this connection supports not only physical development, but also social and emotional well-being.




At Happy Feet, we understand that barefoot stimulation is an integral part of child development. So we’re bringing the textures of nature into your home so that your children can experience the benefits of barefoot stimulation and explore the world by touch.


Explore our range of sensory playmats and get in touch if you require any further information or help choosing the best sensory mats for your child.



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