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Going Shoeless: A discussion about barefoot living  RSS feed

 
Posts: 14
Location: Wanderers
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I love to be barefoot... it provides greater connection to everything... and my daughter has to be convinced to wear shoes. We were out recently and she was barefoot - someone stopped us, mouth aghast "she has no shoes???" but for me, allowing my child to be free is the best thing I can do :-)
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Posts: 80
Location: North Coast Dominican Republic
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John Saltveit wrote:There is a lot of research about "earthing", and a book by a doctor named Stephen Sinatra.  Walking barefoot is said to be a way to ground yourself electrically with the earth.  It is said to decrease pain and be like an antioxidant. Concrete floors and leather work the same.  Most people wear synthetic or rubber shoes, which don't ground.



Concrete floors could be another whole discussion. I know the trend is for people to remove carpets, for sanitary and allergenic reasons, but any kind of hard floors hurt my feet. Concrete, vinyl, whatever. I prefer barefoot; but if I am in a home without carpets, I have to break out the puffy-insole slippers.

Think about it this way: early humans did not walk on solid rock all the time. They walked sometimes on grass, sometimes on forest duff, sometimes sand. Hard floors are like staying on solid rock all the time.

Other than that, I am one of those people who only wear shoes when I have to -- and if I don't see a sign saying I have to, I have been known to push that boundary and see if I can get away with it. When I used to live in Bremerton, Washington, there was a coffee house where I went barefoot all the time, and no one said a word about it. Some of the little downtown stores let me go barefoot, too. Once, I rode the ferry across to Seattle barefoot -- but halfway through the return trip, a crew member told me I had to wear shoes. I also got away with going barefoot two or three times in a public library before they caught on and told me to wear shoes. I wonder: is there a critical mass where if enough people do it, it will become accepted as normal?
 
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I've always used shoes or sandals but I do know someone who never uses shoes when at home and cuts the lawn bare footed walks over gravel with moss on it, I suppose it's what you like in general...I think with me it's thinking of catching germs

https://www.symptomfind.com/healthy-living/walking-barefoot/



 
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I'm walking barefoot, as much as I can, outside of places where I think I am likely going to have to wear shoes. And when I am wearing shoes, I am wearing as minimal shoes as I can- SoftStar and Vibram (the former if I must look nice and the latter for general day-to-day use).

And about the picture! We've been getting some rain in Missoula (where I'm going to college), and I've been really enjoying squishing mud between my toes! :)
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My dirty feet, because I like mud! Mud's fun!!!
 
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regarding the social acceptability of being barefoot (especially in areas where people don't know one another as well, like in cities), my self-awareness of others' perceptions sometimes reminds me of that scene from the "Terminator 2" movie (1991) where Arnold Schwarzenegger walks into a bar !without any clothes...
 
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Ouch! Great to see that prickly pear is still growing in the nearby wildlands.

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Gail Dobson
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Ouch! Great to see that prickly pear is still growing in the nearby wildlands.



Joseph that must have been sore did you get spikes in your foot?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Sure, it hurt to have 20 or so spines go into my foot, but none of them broke off inside, so I forgot about it immediately.

However, in pulling it out, I got a spine in the joint of my finger, which broke off, and bothered me for a couple days.
 
Posts: 259
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
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Stacy Witscher wrote:I'm so envious. I'm struggling with plantar fasciitis and cannot go barefoot at all.

I have never liked shoes, and would also prefer to be barefoot all the time.

I put off trying to where shoes all the time to deal with the plantar fasciitis as long as I could. But now the pain is unbearable.

Oh well, hopefully things will get better quickly, until then I will live vicariously through you.



I have read that the tendons where the plantar fasciitis pain originates start right up below the knee.  The way to heal it is to massage deep into the groove on the inside of your lower leg, between the shin and calf muscle - find the sore spots and dig into them.

Shoe-wise I tried vivo barefoot but they wore holes in the tops of my feet by the creasing of the leather.  So they went back on the 100-day trial.  The adviser said I probably needed a larger size, even though I told them there was a good inch in front of my toes and I was tripping over them.  Oddly, when they added a "what size do I need" feature on their website, it suggested a full size smaller.  So I went off them a bit. 

My new favourite is Merrell Barefoot trail shoes.  I always liked to go barefoot but there is a difference between just wandering round the house or over to the neighbours and really putting in a few miles hiking.  I can definitely feel the difference in my stride after wearing these a lot, it's shorter and my feet land more directly under me.
 
Dave Burton
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I just think this is so cool! I can actually see and feel my feet changing, while I'm going minimal. I am not yet going barefoot everywhere, because I don't want to get fussed at for not wearing shoes. But wearing the shoes I got from Vibram and Softstar are pretty close (3mm or less sole). I can see that I have grown more muscle on my feet, developing some nice calluses (growing my own sole! :) ), and I can feel the tendons and ligands in my feet are becoming stronger (when I touch my feet I can feel them).

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side of my left foot
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top of my left foot
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bottom of my left foot
 
pollinator
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Hester - I have finally found a solution for my plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis, nightly massage with an herbal salve, but thank you for your advice. I will try that as well.

I'm wearing vivo barefoot right now. I have two pairs and I love them.

There definitely growing pains to barefoot living, but ultimately I think it's the best choice for me.
 
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All power to you footwalkers!
However, I find shoes to be quite easy to justify.
A pair of shoes generates a little over 2kg of CO2 emissions.
This is equivalent to an uncooked serving of beef steak or a chilled sixpack of beer.

It's annoying when a new pair of shoes fall apart within a year.
But my last pair of $20 shoes survived for 14 years and coped with 80,000 km's cycling and 20,000 km's walking.

We have lots of venomous and very deadly snakes in this part of Australia, we're raised to be very mindful of covering up the whole leg for protection. It would also be a shame if a preventable foot injury stopped you from doing what you love for the rest of your days.
 
Dave Burton
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Jondo Almondo wrote:e have lots of venomous and very deadly snakes in this part of Australia, we're raised to be very mindful of covering up the whole leg for protection. It would also be a shame if a preventable foot injury stopped you from doing what you love for the rest of your days.



I think that is a completely valid point, and there are a diversity of approaches to this. Some people like shoes for this, and it does give more forgiveness when something is missed when observing one's surroundings and where they place their feet. Though, I prefer being barefoot and as close to barefoot as possible (minimal shoes), because the entire nature of doing so forces me to be observant and forces me to pay more attention to what I am doing and where I am placing my feet. And because of this, I pick up on more things throughout my day that I may have otherwise not noticed, because I was nto receiving the sensory information that my feet pick up when they touch the ground. For example, in some of my barefoot walks, after I have done everything for the day that might require shoes, I can walk around and find wet spots and dry spots on campus and find warm spots and cold spots. These are little details I might not have noticed if I was wearing shoes.
 
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