'Shoes are bad for your health', says barefoot advocate

You're probably aware that high heels aren't terribly good for you and that Ugg boots are lacking in the support department. But a member of the footwear manufacturing Clark family has declared that all shoes are "bad for your health".

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Gallahad Clark, who owns a small stake in the family firm, told the Daily Mail: "There's really good, independent science about this. I don't want to become a hairy hippy about it, but barefoot is best. Shoes are really bad for you."

The 35-year-old claims that anything that prevents feet from functioning normally "does more harm than good" and suggests that the more padding your shoe provides, the more damage it does to your feet.

He's not alone in his views. Dr Bernhard Zipfel, an anthropologist from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, has been studying the feet of people from two African tribes and comparing them with those of Europeans.

His study, which was published in the International Journal of Clinical Foot Science, found that we Europeans had by the far the unhealthiest feet, and concluded: "Most commercially available footwear is not good for the feet."

Indeed, scientists believe that the invention of footwear has caused our toes have become weaker, since the need to grip has been eliminated.

In a bid to put things right, Gallahad Clark is about to go into business to launch his "barefoot shoes". With a sole just 3mm thick, Gallahad hopes his flat, puncture-resistant footwear will encourage the nation to go as close to barefoot as possible.

Just how practical that will be for most remains to be seen.

What do you think? Would you invest in a pair of Gallahad's 'barefoot shoes'? Leave your comments below...