Nearly 30,000 years ago, perhaps even earlier, humans decided that it was high time to cover our feet, the earliest footwear being earthing sandals – to walk faster, to run free and to stride more comfortably on Earth. We absorbed the comforts of cushioning our soles with every step.
What happened in the meantime is that our feet became narrower (a result of walking shorter distances combined with carrying less) and they became more prone to bunions caused by tight fitting shoes. Our modern foot pampering has also distanced us from the grounding energies of the Earth, which is why we have taken footwear back into our own hands and created a pair of earthing sandal patterns for you to recreate and enjoy!
The soles of shoes have gradually gotten thicker, utilizing harder materials, as society has advanced. The more garbage we produce and the more toxins we release into the wild, the more we desire to protect our precious feet – after all, it is our contact with the ground that keeps us moving further ahead.
The oldest surviving rope shoes are from around 10,000 years ago. The oldest leather shoes, also a great conductive material for grounding, is estimated to be 5,500 years old; they were found in an Armenian cave.
In the beginning we were covering our feet in an attempt to handle the effects of hot sand, sharp stones and poisonous insects, and the most ancient sandals did this perfectly with all natural materials. Now our aim is to protect our feet from broken glass, sharp plastic and metal, and to keep our feet dry, super dry.
Production of “plastic shoes” in the 1940’s came with the advancement of man-made materials that are known and loved to this day. Shoes were easier to care for than ever before, they didn’t shrink or let your toes get wet. Plastics made footwear more alluring and shiny, with more intense colors than can be achieved with natural materials. Now, footwear could perfectly color-match outfits or painted toenails (another synthetic advancement we could do well without!). The only downside(s) being that plastic shoes do not breathe, later on they cannot be recycled. Plastic shoes are made cheaply and sold for a generous profit, at a great cost to the environment, terrestrial and marine alike.
With the amount of plastics in production, combined with the fast-fashion disposability of footwear (shoes, boots, sandals, flip-flops) there is a tremendous amount of garbage being buried in the soil, or being released into waterways worldwide.
Plastics are one of the largest problems we are facing at this moment in history, when the human race is more pressured than ever to answer the question – how to live sustainably. What has already been created will far outlive our lives, by hundreds, thousands of years! While a plastic-free life sounds like an illusion in an ideal heaven, the question remains, how to safely, gracefully, naturally, cover your feet while you spend your meaningful days on Earth? Jump straight into a pair of earthing sandals for a start!
Why wear earthing sandals?
In the quest for truly sustainable footwear, we have found that it is best to make your own earthing shoes. No company exists, or at least they are extremely difficult to find (outside of eco-minded artisans), that uses 100% sustainable, compostable materials in creating shoes that are made to fit your individual feet.
This means zero plastic, no synthetics, free from all dyes… It sounds so simple, yet it is so hard to find a pair of ethically made shoes that also allow for grounding – connecting with the energies of the Earth.
It is so important for children to take their initial steps in soft-soled shoes. Leather is a wonderful material for their first earthing shoes, as children love to run, and many styles are available, ready-made. We chose to use hemp rope as a sustainable footwear option when our daughter was young:
Discovering the virtues of the feet being able to move freely in and with the footwear, we made both earthing sandals and earthing shoes to fit our adult sized feet too. If what is better for your feet, is also better for the Earth, the only question to ask is why are we not all wearing earthing shoes? It is true that they will get wet, they will weather and stretch with age – they are footwear that grow and shrink, mold to your feet in direct proportion to your connection to the land. And that, by their very existence, makes them beautiful.
Benefits of Earthing
Connecting to the land is best done with bare feet, however, we aren’t always in the situation to find a clear patch of beach, grass, meadow or forest to walk confidently in. That’s when earthing sandals come in handy. Not only are they lightweight, they are crafted from sustainable materials, and are compostable at the end of their lives. How often can you say that about a pair of shoes that you currently own?
Grounding is a practice that we should be doing every day, so get outside, barefoot or in earthing sandals, and rediscover what we have to gain from earthing:
- Reduced stress levels – simply by connecting to nature
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased ability to generate electricity
- Increased vitality and overall energy
- Improved sleep
- Normalized biological rhythms
- Improved blood pressure
- Relief from muscle tension and headaches
- Protection from electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
- Accelerated recovery from stress and illness
Try earthing for 30 minutes every day to discover a better, more relaxed, healthier you!
Earthing sandal patterns
Now that you are convinced that you absolutely must create a pair of earthing sandals for yourself, or for your loved ones, just click on the images below to download our earthing sandal patterns for children or women.
Please note that we have found 2 distinct ways of sewing the hemp rope, choose the sewing style that suits you best. We encourage you to get creative with your own earthing sandals and rope-soled shoes, for the ability to be grounded is yours for the taking!
And as you move beyond crafting your own earthing sandals, create an upper part with the same hemp rope (or combine it with natural fabric), so that your rope soles can extend into cooler months. The process is the same, ingenuity is up to you!
Did you know that creating your own earthing shoes and sustainable clothing helps to lower your carbon footprint too? Not to mention the clean conscience such attire lends, so you too can become the walking ad-vocate of living sustainably.
Have you created your own pair of earthing shoes in the past, are you ready to walk softly on the Earth into the future, and/or will you continue to walk barefoot every chance you get? Leave us a note in the comments, we’d love to hear your sustainable footwear story!