Do we live in a shoe-obsessed culture? Have we been tricked into thinking that we need shoes to protect us from pathogens? Professor Daniel Howell, author of The Barefoot Book: 50 Reasons To Kick Off Your Shoes, says that wearing shoes has led to fallen arches, bunions, hammer toes, knee arthritis, blisters, corns, calluses, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus. The answer, he says, is not in “better shoes” — but in no shoes at all. He’s even managed to dig up a few podiatrists who say the same. Is a revolution brewing… or is there some truth in a mother’s advice to always wear your shoes while playing outside?