Barefooting

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Kima
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Barefooting

Postby Kima » 14 May 2012, 19:47

I used to do it in the woods and fields when I lived in the countryside but hadn't considered taking my shoes off in the city. I'd love to know if anyone here walks barefoot on a regular basis and/or has heard of the term "barefooting". I'd love to give it a try... but I'm afraid of people's reactions!

In fact, I'll have a quick walk outside right now to see if I survive the experience.

http://www.barefooting.eu/informations/ ... ng-basics/
http://libaware.economads.com/barefootfaq.php

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Re: Barefooting

Postby Kima » 14 May 2012, 20:12

Ok, so I walked down the street for about ten minutes and came across a few people, most of whom had no noticeable reaction. A few of them looked at my feet and one woman stared at me with a disapproving air (her daughter was walking beside her). I can live with that.

The main reason why I'd never considered walking barefoot in the city is that I'm afraid it's dirty. Unlike the few sources I've read, my concern isn't about bacteria or broken glass or even dog poo, it's things like chemicals in the hall of the building, oil on the street, pollution on the pavement. I suppose the skin of my sole is probably the least absorbant of my entire body, but this is still the thought that worries me the most.

Alright people, who's joining the jolly crowd of barefoot druids?

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Re: Barefooting

Postby D'Arzhur » 14 May 2012, 21:33

I have been thinking lately about when I was young in the south of France: I was always walking barefoot at home and in the garden and even sometimes in the streets... but since I am living in a much colder country I have totally lost the habit... Yet I am starting again to walk barefoot in the house and after reading your post I will do it more often...it feels great & natural...it gives me a sense of added freedom too :)
I hope you will post about your progress :shake:
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Re: Barefooting

Postby Erithe » 14 May 2012, 22:27

In the city, it's a lot more likely that you'll step on something broken or something ... foul in an unnatural way, if that makes sense. I would recommend wearing sandles at least, especially in larger places. But when I was a kid and we lived in the country, I never wore shoes. I still don't like wearing shoes at home or in the yard :D
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Re: Barefooting

Postby Tynan Elder Oak » 14 May 2012, 22:57

the only time I wear shoes is when I have to go into town or work! lol. the rest of the time I am bare foot. I always have been. My dad used to say I had peasant feet, broad and sure clod hoppers, :???: a kinder friend said she thought they were pilgrim feet! :hug: My kids say they are hobbit feet, though not so hairy. :o They are like leather, but, they are strong and I feel grounded.

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Re: Barefooting

Postby Erithe » 15 May 2012, 02:32

the only time I wear shoes is when I have to go into town or work! lol. the rest of the time I am bare foot. I always have been. My dad used to say I had peasant feet, broad and sure clod hoppers, :???: a kinder friend said she thought they were pilgrim feet! :hug: My kids say they are hobbit feet, though not so hairy. :o They are like leather, but, they are strong and I feel grounded.
You made my day so much better with that post :)
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Re: Barefooting

Postby Badger Bob » 15 May 2012, 09:15

I have noticed a lot of people now run barefoot, the running magazines all have had features on running barefoot marathons, 10K and 5K races. Apparently you use the foot the way it was intended, like a spring rather than landing on the heel which damages the knee. I haven't had the bottle to try it myself (I am only running 5K maximum at the moment) but I always walk around the house and garden barefoot. When I go fishing I uaually wear a pair of shorts and wade in barefoot as well, much better than wearing sweaty waders although it can be a bit chilly at this time of year. One place I don't go barefoot is the city though. A friend of mine had a needle-stick injury while barefoot jogging in Nottingham, fortunately she is OK but it could so easily have ended in HIV or hepatitis. We have to do a shoulder to shoulder search of the playing field before a game of rugby or football to check for dumped syringes these days despite needle exchange programmes.

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Re: Barefooting

Postby samurai » 15 May 2012, 09:33

In the 80's and 90's before most karate training sessions we'd run around the streets of Milton Keynes barefoot,for about 3 miles.In certainly toughen you're feet up,but I don't think that running distances is particular good for your feet especially on hard ground.Your feet are made up of many small bones,and are easily stress fractured.
Two months ago I went to a pilgramage to Glastonbury,and part of my dream was to walk from the centre of the town to the Tor.So that was what I did,a few looks,but on the whole the public were'nt fussed,I also took a slighty longer route by accident.Coming down was nice to have a paddle in the waters of the Chalice well.
There use to be a guy in the 80's who lived in the Fens and he lived barefoot,living off the land.Called Mick something.I do think cities and towns are dodgy for barefoot.

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Re: Barefooting

Postby Badger Bob » 15 May 2012, 11:40

Samurai, a lot of people swear by barefoot running these days:

http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/

Not convinced myself though. I like a nice shoe to keep my toes out of the horse dung...

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Re: Barefooting

Postby Tynan Elder Oak » 15 May 2012, 12:01

The thing about running on pavements and track is that your foot needs protecting from the shock. A great deal of money is spent on designing running shoes that keep the foot in a good and safe position while running. If you run on grass or sand that is very different. You know yourself when you walk on sand as opposed to bare earth that the different substances make different muscles work... so I would suggest that it really depends on the track or medium you are working. Zola Budd of course was a very famous bare foot runner. I would never reccommend running bare foot unless your a child in safe open feilds or sand.. :cloud9: .. however I never run any way, being rather much rounder than the average person. :o

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Kima
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Re: Barefooting

Postby Kima » 15 May 2012, 15:25

The thing about running on pavements and track is that your foot needs protecting from the shock. A great deal of money is spent on designing running shoes that keep the foot in a good and safe position while running.
What some are saying is that the shock absorbed by the shoe may protect the foot but is transmitted to other joints instead, hence the commom knee or hip/back problems. When you start running barefoot your feet are very fragile because they are used to the protection, but once the muscles build up the risk of injury actually decreases.

Also, stimulating the sole of your feet can be very beneficial for health in general (as in reflexology).

Now I'm off for my second barefoot stroll :o

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Re: Barefooting

Postby Erithe » 15 May 2012, 15:52

It's probably a good idea to avoid pavement anyway - the earth has more give to it. Unless it's raining. I love walking in the driveway when it's raining and the concrete is warm and the trees are all drippy.
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Kima
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Re: Barefooting

Postby Kima » 15 May 2012, 16:26

Hehe, here it is, on the website of the Society for Barefoot Living: http://www.barefooters.org/key-works/ca ... ealth.html
The modern running shoe and footwear in general have successfully diminished sensory feedback without diminishing the injury inducing impact...
...the authors hypothesized that there exist adaptations associated with barefoot activity that provide impact absorption and protection against running-related injuries
Another funky source: "The Barefoot Hiker" (free-access) http://www.bhthom.org/hikertxt.htm

Some people do this full-time, not just for short walks or a Sunday at the beach!

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Re: Barefooting

Postby Badger Bob » 16 May 2012, 09:23

When it comes to proprioception, the ability to sense balance, it can be far easier to walk on uneven surfaces barefoot. I did a barefoot ascent of Kinder Scout as an act of pilgrimage after the Bardic Grade and found that it was significantly easier climbing a mountain barefoot than in the big heavy boots I usually wear. My feet were very sore by the top (1.5km x 350m ascent over rock and stream) and I did slip a pair of trainers on for the descent but gripping on wet rock makes it obvious what your toes are for, they grip much better than mud-filled cleats.

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Re: Barefooting

Postby samurai » 16 May 2012, 18:59

As said earlier I did alot of barefoot running and it does put your feet under unnessary shock.As a postman I would'nt want to walk 9 mile plus(which we do) daily without stronger boots and even then my feet still ache.
As for having stronger sense of feeling in barefoot,you are spot on.We do martial arts in barefeet and I hate it when we train with shoes on.I love the sense of earthing when I'm barefoot.

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Kima
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Re: Barefooting

Postby Kima » 17 May 2012, 07:02

One of the most famous barefooters is the barefoot professor, who wrote "The Barefoot Book" and whose blog you can easily find. Here's an interesting video on barefoot running and how it supposedly reduces the stress usually put on joints: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jrnj-7YKZE This being said, I don't personally run so have no experience when it comes to that.

What I do is walk, and I've had problems with my ankles since the age of twelve. SInce then I have sprained them so many times I stopped counting, and recovery was longer each time. It hasn't happened for several years but now my knees are starting to hurt, probably because they compensate for the ankles. I hike a lot with big steady hiking boots, and it may be that while they protect my ankles, they increase the stress put on my knees.

It is true that I walk differently when I'm barefoot. Instead of coming down hard on the heel I put the whole foot down and most of my weight is on the ball of my foot. Yesterday I took a longer walk down the river, mainly on the pavement but also, with care, on a path of pressed earth that led to the water edge. Sand, mud, cold water, grass! Since it's a city environment I am extra careful and watch out for glass or metallic objects. But I also remind myself that when I fell last week in the same spot, I was wearing shoes (same with all my accidents, including stepping on a nail) - the heightened perception when walking barefoot has its advantages. Everything is more alive and vivid, I am more present and part of my surroundings.

My soles are becoming more supple, not harder. My feet aren't overly sensitive, perhaps because I have walked barefoot before. But let me warn you, it is addictive! I had to go somewhere for work yesterday evening and on my way back it felt like such a waste to walk around with shoes that I took them off. It was lovely although some people looked at me like I was doing something inappropriate. I realize how clean this city actually is, and the extra attention I pay when going barefoot allows me to step over anything I'd rather avoid.

Oh, the look of envy on children's faces :D

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Re: Barefooting

Postby samurai » 17 May 2012, 13:31

Walking barefoot does make you more aware,of where and how you walk,and you notice more about your steps.They become more precise and purposeful.

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Re: Barefooting

Postby Kima » 21 May 2012, 22:50

I love walking in the driveway when it's raining and the concrete is warm and the trees are all drippy.
This sounds nice :D

Yesterday I went on my first barefoot hike and walked through all sorts of terrains: grass, rocky paths, river beds, sand, mossy woods and muddy puddles, all sorts of roads... sensory information overload! My soles are just fine, only a little overstimulated, but my arches ache a little. I usually wear orthetics so it's perfectly normal that my feet would need to adjust. But other than minor discomfort (which is mainly felt today since I didn't push past my limits yesterday) it's been very pleasurable to feel so present to my environment with all of my senses awake. I find it frustrating to wear shoes again. It's amazing that in only a week my feet are visibly different: my toes have spread out a little, my soles have become more supple, and my feet look a little swollen - they are by no means painful but they are sometimes warm, a previously rare occurence!

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Kima
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Re: Barefooting

Postby Kima » 28 May 2012, 19:59

SPLINTER :anx:

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Erithe
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Re: Barefooting

Postby Erithe » 29 May 2012, 14:27

When I was little, we had to watch for honey locust trees (native to Indiana and the Midwestern U.S.). They have really huge, vicious thorns. Bad for bare feet, really. :D

I hope you are doing all right. Splinters are awful :(
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