The seat of the soul is in the sole.
Barefooters are people who refuse to believe that the feet we are born with are somehow defective, needing coddling and cushioning. We recognize that, on the contrary, shoes are bad for our locomotive health. The incidence of flat-footedness among the nations of the shod, and the absence of this structural defect in unshod nations, speaks for itself. Shoes are bad.
Why shoes are bad:
1. It causes flat-footedness in adolescents (and adults).
2. It reduces your ability to receive information when the load being placed on your feet is too great, thus leading to injury.
3. It drastically changes your walking gait, preventing the tendon and calf muscles from providing propulsion and thus forcing other muscles in the knees, thigh muscles, hips and trunk to take up the slack
. This causes anatomical reinforcement in these areas which then is the cause pain in the legs, backs, and shoulders as these regions are being over-strained by being put to use in ways they were not meant to be used.
4. It silences one of the bodies most sensitive tactile organs, the sole, preventing one from enjoying the wet, waxy texture of a dewy lawn; the brittle, sharp crunch of autumn leaves, or sink in the thick, fecund, loamy humus of a recently tilled garden.
I have personally experienced #3. When winter came, I was forced to start wearing shoes again. My legs, knees, back and shoulder had to readjust. The first week was torture. I was constantly reminded of the unnaturalness of the shod life by running cramps in my thighs and hips. Its just not natural. Your thighs, hips, back and shoulders aren't meant to accomplish work meant for your calves and arches.
Be healthy. Go barefoot.
With Spring coming, I thought I would start this thread as a place where other barefooters can come to talk, discuss barefoot topics and post stories about the pleasures of barefoot hiking. You needn't be a committed barefooter, anyone who enjoys keeping the shoes off and letting their feet breathe, whether just in the house or during the occasional walk in the park, is welcome.
For those who are committed barefooters, do you go barefoot in businesses, such as grocery stores, public buildings, schools, etc? What kind of reaction do you get? What do you do during winter? If you do use shoes during winter, when do you usually start going barefoot again? How thick is your sole leather? How long have you been living life day to day habitually barefoot?
Looking forward to meeting other barefooters!
I will end this post with these beautiful words from Barbara Holland:
Maybe the whole world secretly understands that free feet produce a different, more philosophical, relaxed, and unbusinesslike mindset. Without shoes, our ambitions would fade away, wolfish trade practices seem too much trouble, international frictions look foolish. Armies would curl up to take a nap. Nobody would get any serious work done and the world would go straight to hell.
Considered in this light, going barefoot is almost as much a vice as a pleasure. Subversive. Counterproductive, like smoking pot. Which isn't likely to stop us two out of five who revel in it.
Yes, Mother, some of the time our feet are cold. And yes, we do run the risk of stepping on bits of broken glass in the house and, outside, bees in the clover. As they say in the Pentagon, it's an acceptable risk. Highly acceptable.
The Barefoot Bible: http://www.bhthom.org/hikertxt.htm
Society for Barefoot Living: http://www.barefooters.org/