Two of our local parks here have little pebble walkways. They are there, we are told, in order for people to walk back and forth across them barefoot (unlike the person in this picture).
Here is an excellent example of some contrasting worldviews we find in Malaysia. East and West don't always view things the same way when it comes to health and the body. From an Eastern (and specifically Chinese, I think) perspective, walking barefoot on the pebble path increases blood circulation and breaks up toxins in one's soles, consequently improving the vitality of other body systems and boosting one's overall health.
From my own Western perspective, walking barefoot on the pebble causes pain.
What my cultural perspective doesn't account for, though, is why I find these paths so compelling. Every once in a while I do take off my shoes and stroll along over the pebbles, even though it hurts like mad. I wish I understood that myself.