Win a Fokin hoe blade this week in the Gear forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Miles Flansburg
garden masters:
  • Dan Boone
  • Dave Burton
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Barkley

Going Shoeless: A discussion about barefoot living

 
Posts: 14
Location: Wanderers
3
forest garden tiny house woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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 :-)
barefoot.jpg
[Thumbnail for barefoot.jpg]
 
Posts: 174
Location: North Coast Dominican Republic
21
forest garden tiny house trees
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

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?
 
Posts: 78
Location: Staffordshire_UK zone 4
5
books dog solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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/



 
garden master
Posts: 3314
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
1174
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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! :)
My-Barefeet.jpg
[Thumbnail for My-Barefeet.jpg]
My dirty feet, because I like mud! Mud's fun!!!
 
Posts: 14
Location: Los Angeles area
forest garden solar purity
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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...
 
steward
Posts: 4243
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1265
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ouch! Great to see that prickly pear is still growing in the nearby wildlands.

stepping-on-prickly-pear-cactus.jpg
[Thumbnail for stepping-on-prickly-pear-cactus.jpg]
boneville-shoreline-trail.jpg
[Thumbnail for boneville-shoreline-trail.jpg]
 
Gail Dobson
Posts: 78
Location: Staffordshire_UK zone 4
5
books dog solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

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
steward
Posts: 4243
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1265
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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: 311
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
30
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

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
garden master
Posts: 3314
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
1174
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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).

Sides-of-Foot.jpeg
[Thumbnail for Sides-of-Foot.jpeg]
side of my left foot
Top-of-Foot.jpg
[Thumbnail for Top-of-Foot.jpg]
top of my left foot
Bottom-of-Foot.jpg
[Thumbnail for Bottom-of-Foot.jpg]
bottom of my left foot
 
pollinator
Posts: 572
Location: Southern Oregon
86
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.
 
Posts: 192
Location: NNSW Australia
25
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
garden master
Posts: 3314
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
1174
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

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.
 
Dave Burton
garden master
Posts: 3314
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
1174
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So, been reading the $50 and Up Underground House, and Mike Oehler made some comments about floor materials and how they affect the human body. I agree with his remarks, because in my experiences going minimal and walking around barefoot, I find soil and earth to be the most comfortable for walking, and I find things that aren't soil to be uncomfortable. I find walking on soil to be comfortable, like mike Oehler has said, because the soil gives some to my feet as I walk on it. Soil doesn't pound me back. And I think he is correct in his analogy, too; walking on hard surfaces that aren't soil, like concrete or stone or wood, is very similar to pounding your face against a wall- it is painful and causes problems.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
steward
Posts: 4243
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1265
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Trace Oswald wrote:You can't sit naked in a store because it's at least partly health code violation, same as no shoes, no shirt.



I have read letters from the health departments and/or department of agriculture in just about every usa state, which say that it is not a health code violation for customers to be barefoot. Once in a while, a store employee has a private-policy requiring shoes. That's easy to deal with, just don't patronize that store, when that employee is working.

http://www.barefooters.org/health-codes-and-osha/



 
master pollinator
Posts: 658
Location: Ontario, Canada
128
homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:You can't sit naked in a store because it's at least partly health code violation, same as no shoes, no shirt.



I have letters from the health departments and/or department of agriculture in just about every usa state, which say that it is not a health code violation for customers to be barefoot. Once in a while, a store employee has a private-policy requiring shoes. That's easy to deal with, just don't patronize that store, when that employee is working.



I never understood the no shoes thing.  No shirt I can see, especially in a food shoppe.  I've just never understood why shoes were cleaner than feet.  I was my feet, seldom my shoes, though I haven't run around barefoot since I was a kid, but I could spent almost a week at a time without shoes.
 
pioneer
Posts: 863
Location: 4b
137
bee building dog forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:You can't sit naked in a store because it's at least partly health code violation, same as no shoes, no shirt.



I have letters from the health departments and/or department of agriculture in just about every usa state, which say that it is not a health code violation for customers to be barefoot. Once in a while, a store employee has a private-policy requiring shoes. That's easy to deal with, just don't patronize that store, when that employee is working.





That's refreshing for me to hear.  I'm not at all personally bothered by people going barefoot, walking around without shirts, or pretty much whatever else they want to wear.  I've just been told it was a health code violation, but it may just be a left over judeo-christian modesty thing.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2385
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
125
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some places say no jeans only slacks/etc
 
Joseph Lofthouse
steward
Posts: 4243
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1265
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I believe that the "No shirt. No Shoes. No Service!" slogan originated as a way of oppressing the barefoot hippies.
 
Trace Oswald
pioneer
Posts: 863
Location: 4b
137
bee building dog forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I believe that the "No shirt. No Shoes. No Service!" slogan originated as a way of oppressing the barefoot hippies.



That is a great point and one I hadn't considered. I was born in the Midwest in 1964, so my knowledge of the hippy movement is entirely from books and movies so that never even dawned on me.
 
pollinator
Posts: 375
Location: San Diego, California
50
building chicken food preservation forest garden rabbit woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I never understood the no shoes thing.  No shirt I can see, especially in a food shoppe.  I've just never understood why shoes were cleaner than feet.  I was my feet, seldom my shoes, though I haven't run around barefoot since I was a kid, but I could spent almost a week at a time without shoes.



Just speculation, and I don't agree with these potential reasonings for "No Shoes" policies, but:

- They could do it to minimize lawsuits if someone injures themselves, or their barefoot skin doesn't absorb all the toxic gick in their industrial cleaners;
- Hard floors hurt more barefoot than with shoes(for the average person) soft shoes = longer time spent shopping!
- Inhibit the spread of athlete's foot/fungus?
- So that you the consumer can't tell how dirty their floors really are by feeling all the unswept dirt/hair/etc still on the floor (I do know that the supermarket tiles are usually patterned just right so that you don't notice as much dirt as is really there).
 
Joseph Lofthouse
steward
Posts: 4243
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1265
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I believe the "minimizing liability" meme to be similar to the "health code violation" meme. Seems to me like both are social fears that are not based in what actually happens.

Let's do a couple of thought experiments... Supposing that I go into a store, and I take a can of oil from the shelf, and I pour it onto the floor, then I walk across it, and slip, and claim that I was injured by the store? Is there any store, judge, or jury anywhere that is going to reward me damages for that? NO! Because I was negligent, and I contributed to my own demise.

Supposing that I go into a store, barefoot, and step on a piece of glass... Is there any store, judge, or jury anywhere that is going to reward damages for that? NO! Because they can claim that I was negligent, and contributed to my own demise.

However, supposing that I am habitually barefoot, and that when I wear shoes, I get clumsy because I can't feel the ground, and I slip more because plastic soles are slicker than natural feet. What then, if an employee requires me to wear shoes before entering the store, and I stumble and fall into the spaghetti sauce display? Then the store could be held liable, because they required me to wear unsafe attire in order to enter the store. Therefore, from a legal-liability standpoint, it is less risky for stores to have no policy regarding shoes/barefoot.
 
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
been going bare foot all my life i cant stand shoes or bras i walk in the mud in the pasture in the snow . my father says i was the cheapest kid he had couse he never had to bye me shoes. :D
 an i am now 54 years old.....
 
garden master
Posts: 998
Location: Maine, zone 5
246
food preservation forest garden homestead solar trees wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

lea witchey wrote:been going bare foot all my life i cant stand shoes or bras i walk in the mud in the pasture in the snow . my father says i was the cheapest kid he had couse he never had to bye me shoes. :D
 an i am now 54 years old.....


Welcome to Permies Lea!  I'm going barefoot right now as I'm typing to welcome you!  :)  
Thanks for joining us all here.
 
We find this kind of rampant individuality very disturbing. But not this tiny ad:
Rocket Oven – is it Right for You? Here’s What You Need to Know
https://permies.com/t/99726/rocket-ovens/Introduction-rocket-ovens-build
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!