Because that’s how many of us are feeling (and probably thinking) when our legs or feet are covered in sand or mud. I mean, we’ve been told that the only thing that keeps a person alive in an extreme heat is a layer of insulation underneath. Which brings us to the question: what’s the point of a layer of insulation if you’re not going to keep it on? Wouldn’t you rather keep your feet warm and dry, rather than toasty?
There’s a certain degree of truth to that advice, though. When walking barefoot, the lower part of a person will feel cooler, and the foot will become a bit drier. This is particularly true if you have a large-set, and feet tend to be on the thicker side. What is also true is that the foot tends to soak up sand. If you think of a wet sock with a foot in it as sand, the foot absorbs the water faster than the sock. This is especially true when swimming.
I have a theory of my own here. To soak feet in sand and water for so long is good for you, because it activates sweat glands. This is true, but I don’t actually believe it is true for everyone. Most of us just can’t get enough of water on our feet. To that end, I recommend that you shower, clean your feet, and then leave them soaking. As mentioned above, they do lose moisture faster than a wet sock, I think, but as long as you don’t keep them wet too long, their skin temperature will actually increase. This is a good thing in a lot of cases, but only if you avoid running in sand.
Now if you still don’t believe me about sand and skin temperature, allow me to provide some scientific evidence. In a new study out of the University of Chicago, they looked at how feet respond to the cold. They found that in warmer environments, the feet will shrink with increased temperature, but that does not occur in colder environments. Not only does this suggest that skin temperature is not all that important when it comes to protecting shoes, but even the foot-shrunken effect disappears when an individual steps out of their own shoes. It’s as if those shoes are simply protecting them from a bit of sand when walking barefoot. That is, unless you are running in a pair of sandals. Again, I am not saying we should never do either of these things, but let’s be honest — unless your shoes are
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