Barefoot Mama

"I started running barefoot in March 2008. I started one step at a time, one day at a time. I decided to start keeping a journal of sorts. Sharing my history, my journey and my adventures."

I have taken some new paths in relation to my running over the last year. This blog will still include my running adventures but I have to move on with more stories of my family and the journey we have taken together over the last year. This blog was started as a way to help me record my barefoot journey but now needs to become more than that. Please be patient as I explore ways to stay connected with family and friends.

Friday, May 27, 2011


In one of my earlier posts I stated: "One of the ends of my toes just fell off was a long time coming. Got frostbite last winter and has never been the same. Do we really need our toenails? A discussion for another time I think."

Well, I looked into the subject and found from "Ask Yahoo" this little bit of info. So I'm ok with loosing a few toenails. In my opinion I no longer need them and I'm ok with that.

We find nail polish to be a good enough reason for having them but thought you might be looking for a more scientific answer. We set out to find one by consulting the always reliable

According to the online encyclopedia, the human and primate nail corresponds to the claw, hoof, or talon of other animals. Human nails protect the tips of the toes and fingers, while fingernails help us pick up small objects and scratch ourselves.

On the other hand, the feet of primates are capable of gripping objects, just like their hands, so their toenails have much the same function as fingernails. However, human toenails seem to be an evolutionary leftover.

We searched the Web on "toenails fingernails" and "toenail purpose." Both of these searches turned up sites devoted to diseases of the nails, which provided more opinions. On one such site, podiatrist Michael Zapf agrees that nails are essential for manipulation and scratching (and he points out the importance of scratching in a primate or human's life).

But the doctor debunks the notion that nails exist to protect the tips of toes and fingers. He argues that your digits wouldn't be especially sensitive without nails. Dermatologist Mitch Bender appears to agree: "People can get along without nails -- toenails more than fingernails -- but they do make daily life a bit easier."

So, though there's some disagreement about whether or not toenails and fingernails serve to protect our digits, our resources all agree that our nails help us pick up little stuff like pencils, peanuts, and even bottles of nail polish.

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