Schoolchildren with no shoes on ‘do better and behave better in the classroom’, research shows…

A decade-long study reveals that heading into the classroom sans shoes could also be one of the keys to a good education.

Researchers at the University of Bournemouth followed children in over 100 schools in 25 different countries for the past 10 years and found that children who leave their shoes outside the classroom arrive to school earlier, leave later, read more frequently, behave better and are more engaged in their lessons than their shoe-wearing counterparts — all of which ultimately results in better academic achievement overall.

In Scandanavian schools, the practice is considered normal. Children in northern Europe have learned with their shoes off because they are left at the school door due to snow, ice or slush. Now the results are in and perhaps we should be calling for the same ‘shoe-less policy?’

Researchers believed that children who take their shoes off before entering the class and more relaxed while learning, as they “feel at home”


Ever take your shoes off at work? No? Do that and let us know how it feels… Comfortable, that’s what…..

“Children are much more willing to sit on the floor and relax if they have no shoes on, The last place a child would sit to read is an upright chair and we’ve found that 95 per cent of them actually don’t read on a chair at home.”  Stephen Heppell, lead researcher.

The homey feeling may also be what’s responsible for shoe-less children arriving to class earlier and staying later than kids who wear shoes in the classroom — which translates, on average, to half an hour of extra learning per day. “The key to attainment is engagement and if children want to be there and enjoy being there, universally they do better,” Heppell says. “When they arrive late and leave early and are disengaged, their performance suffers. Kids with shoes on are less engaged than those without shoes.”

What’s more, the study found that bullying rates in schools that have no-shoe policies are markedly reduced. “It seems to be difficult to be a bully with your shoes off,” notes Heppell. “All the places we’ve been where kids have their shoes off, they report calmness.”

When “everything is going in their favour” children’s academic standards tend to improve too.

How to apply a shoe-less policy.
It should apply to all, including head teachers and guests and children need to be given notice so they are not ridiculed. (or even at your workplace) He explains: “Children need to know their holey socks will not be exposed to mockery from their peers.”

“Short teachers who have been a bit ‘stacked’ by their heels come back down to earth.” Is possibly the main limitation.


To do: Go on throw your shoes off, let us know how it feels. Feels good right?


*This post is part of our barefoot series. At Fit Clinic, we encourage our community to get a little more barefoot a little more often.

Why? The information can be found in our “Barefoot Series” posts


All found here:

1: Barefoot is best: Reasons To Go Barefoot

2: Barefoot Children Are Smarter

3: It’s Not Your Fault You Have Poor Foot Control

    2 replies to "Barefoot Children Are Smarter"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.