TikTok influencer who has ditched shoes, even in public, labels them ‘foot prisons'

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Are we about to give shoes the boot?

A week after a Perth school revealed it would allow students to go barefoot in 2021, a popular TikToker has opened up about why she is breaking free from “foot prisons”.

Mother-of-one Alice – a creator who goes by the handle, @alicellani – said she is already reaping the benefits of her decision to stop pampering her feet.

“Lately I have not been wearing ‘feet prisons’. I have noticed only benefits,” she said in a post which has racked up more than 4.4 million views and 424,000 likes.

“I used to have severe foot pain. Now I do not.

“I feel more awake and more alive.”

Alice added that “a lot of how we experience the world is supposed to happen through our feet”.

“Nobody has ever told me to put on shoes before but I have gotten some very intense looks from old ladies,” she said.

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Some of the Arizona local’s 631,000 followers raised concerns around infections, germs and sharp objects.

“You must be new here, I do not fear germs,” Alice said.

“I welcome them, I invite them, I live in harmony with nature, not at war.”

While some questioned her decision to ditch footwear, there were others who backed her decision to walk her own path.

“Yes babes, the bottom of your feet will get stronger and be a natural shoe,” one person wrote.

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Just last week it was announced that preschoolers at Inglewood Primary School would soon be able to spend their days barefoot under a policy set to be introduced next year.

The school announced the change in a newsletter this month, saying it’s intended to “strengthen and promote” kids’ agility.

“We believe that children need opportunities to explore indoor and outdoor environments without shoes,” the newsletter said.

“Going barefoot is beneficial to children as it nourishes, strengthens and promotes agility in a child’s growing feet, ankles, legs, knees and hips.”

Murdoch University early childhood education director Sandra Hesterman said barefoot play had long been considered best practice, but the increased formalisation of school uniforms and concerns about safety meant wearing shoes had become the norm.

But University of WA head of podiatric medicine and surgery Burke Hugo said there was no evidence to support claims that going barefoot improved children’s gait, co-ordination or balance.

“If they’re in a safe environment it certainly won’t hurt them, and maybe it will give them a little bit of freedom, but there’s no plausible evidence that shows benefits to it over wearing well fitted shoes,” Dr Hugo said.

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