top of page

About socks, toes and summer vacation

Another academic year of hustle, play, learning, movement and teaching is behind us. It's starting to be time to celebrate and go to the summer pastures. And everyone needs a vacation.

How fit and in good spirits our children and teachers go on vacation depends on many things. In this article, I am focusing on a very small, but even more important detail. Namely, to the legs.

Several studies have found that students in shoeless schools are more motivated than students who wear shoes throughout the school day. On average, students without shoes cope better with their schoolwork and behave better than students who wear shoes during class. The research also found that students in "shoeless" schools were also more likely to come to school on time!

Researchers have given schools in England a recommendation in favor of a shoeless activity culture, because students feel most at home and relaxed then.

Stephen Heppell (Professor at the Center for Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University) says that "for example, children prefer to sit on the floor and are more relaxed when they don't have shoes on." Not having shoes and being at home had a positive effect on the boys' reading activity and the enjoyment of all students; you get to school on time and you are not in a hurry to get home. "The most important motivational factor is having fun, and in general, if a student is having fun, he will also perform better in his studies." Says Professor Stephen Heppel.

So, going shoeless seems to have several advantages:

  • cleaning costs are reduced by approx. 27% and schools do not have to spend as much money on furniture as before.

  • the kids seem better behaved

  • the floors are cleaner

  • bullying decreases 'it's just hard to be Naughty with your shoes off'!

  • noise is reduced (carpets are quieter, hard floors do not echo the sound of shoes, children move more carefully,

  • children want to sit on the floor, on softer furniture and use information and communication technology

  • clean floors give additional space for community, working together and presentations

Why does not wearing shoes at school have such effects?

It is interesting that different cultures explain the matter in slightly different ways. Maybe the truth can be found in a combination of these?

  • In China, the cause is suspected to be the effect of stimuli on the soles of the feet, i.e. reflexology. Irritation of the soles of the feet has positive effects on the state of alertness, memory, metabolism, etc.

  • In India, taking off your shoes is a sign of respect, e.g. when entering a holy space

  • In England and Spain, not wearing shoes is considered homely

According to the study, children are generally very satisfied when their school decides to go shoeless. Not wearing shoes also has an equality aspect, because teachers also have to leave their shoes off.

Now that the school year is coming to an end, the socks are also gone

Walking barefoot is also beneficial for your health, because the small muscles of the feet are activated and strengthened even more efficiently with winter socks. The movements of the legs become more versatile and the joints of the legs get movement. In addition, the flexibility of the joints increases when they get the opportunity to adapt to different uneven substrates and surfaces.

The feet have a lot of organs that sense movement and position, and when the foot receives versatile stimuli, the body's sense of movement and position develops. Over a longer period of time, this can also improve balance, but special educators know that spatial-temporal orientation also affects learning.

Many muscles and tendons are stretched and their flexibility improves. Even the tight Achilles tendon starts to flex a little more. Barefoot towards the summer. I hope that the person who signed will also get to play on the sand as much as possible.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page