Much of the western world can learn a lot from the relaxed attitude that New Zealand schools have to footwear at school - seriously one of the reasons that I brought my 7 year old son here so that he could experience a life being barefoot without the prejudices that some societies seem to have to unshod folk. Being barefoot in this part of the world is so common that no one bats an eyelid, unlike the UK where people crossed the road to avoid this crazy barefoot bum, supermarkets ban you from ever returning without at least flip flops and where cafes operate a no shoes no service regime.
Ironically it's ok to be barefoot in a UK surf town like Newquay, but not a few miles away in a smart town like Truro.
Anyway, back to kids and New Zealand. Kids feet are obviously growing and need plenty of space to do so. So they do NOT want their feet to be restricted in a solid narrow show. Kids feet also need to grow strong and to do so they need to be USED, just like any other joint and muscle system in the body. Kids postures can be severely affected by wearing solid inflexible shoes with arch supports and heels - again barefoot or a barefoot shoe is the best and only way to ensure that all kids have a perfect start in life.
In NZ not only do they welcome kids to school barefoot but they also encourage them to run and play sports unshod too. After school Touch Rugby rules clearly state 'No Shoes Allowed!' What a breath of fresh air!
So let's get serious about the health of our kids - start with freeing their feet and maybe you will free their minds a little too thanks to the benefits of earthing our bodies through our feet.
And kids love to be barefoot, it's so natural after all!