Going back to barefooting

Discussion in 'Barefoot' started by BarePeter, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. BarePeter

    BarePeter New Member

    Hello everybody,

    I'm new to this forum. I joined because I'm going barefoot again - sort of, not quite completely right now but that's the idea. I figured I'd join a group of like-minded people. Here's my story:

    15 years ago, I lived in Utah. Back then I was in a lot of pain due to my knee prosthesis that was taking time to heal, and I had been for years. I was popping a lot of painkillers and going from one doctor to the next to get more pills. One day I met a doctor who was also a chiropractor. He told me "I'm not prescribing you anything. Your problem comes from your shoes. Go barefoot and the pain will subside." I asked him if he was serious. He said "Give it a shot for a few days. The worst that can happen is, you'll look like an lunatic for a few days". I thought, what the hell. So I did what he said: I dumped the shoes, and 48 hours later, the pain was gone. Amazing!

    Long story short, I spent the next 3 years barefoot. I went barefoot everywhere year round - on the street in the heat of summer, on the ski slopes in winter, at work, at home... everywhere, all the time. It was great, apart maybe the constant skin cracks due to the thick skin I had developed under my feet and the dry weather there. People did take me for a bit of a lunatic - particularly my colleagues at work, since I was a middle manager working in suit and tie. But I never really had problems anywhere. I never got thrown out of a restaurant or a store because I didn't wear shoes. People just looked at me funny, but it was pretty much a case of live and let live.

    Then I moved to Europe. There, it's a different story: if you go barefoot, you're either a drifter or you're crazy. In fact, a policeman friend of mine told me they had instructions to arrest barefoot people wearing "normal" clothes (i.e. not looking like a typical drifter) because they're usually people who escaped from an insane asylum - and in fact, those institutions didn't give shoes to their patients for the very purpose of being spotted by the fuzz if they run away. After observing the local society for a while, I quickly realized I wouldn't be able to go barefoot freely like in the US. Especially in my line of work. So I started wearing shoes again, much to my chagrin. I always chose the thinnest-soled shoes possible, but I just couldn't go barefoot anymore, for practical social reasons.

    Fast forward to now: a few weeks ago, I sustained a pretty bad foot injury. Suddenly I couldn't wear shoes anymore. The slightest pressure on top of my injured foot hurts like hell. So I started to go to work in sandals and socks, which is the only kind of footware I could stand for more than 10 minutes. My colleagues started chuckling at my appearance. A two-piece suit and sandals clearly don't go together... But they accepted it because, well, I had a good reason to look odd.

    Then recently I discovered a certain kind of "barefoot shoes" - the brand of which I won't mention, so I'm not accused of advertising for it - that puts zero pressure on my foot and lets me walk almost normally all day long. So I started going to work with them, with thin black socks underneath. They look odd, and barely like shoes, but they still look like "proper" footwear nonetheless. So I don't contravene my company's dress code or shock our visiting customers. And with the excuse of my injury, my colleagues understand that I'm looking for alternative solutions to my walking problem. So after a few snide comments, my funny shoes are now totally accepted at work - which is nothing short of amazing, considering how strict and old fashioned my company is.

    But more importantly, these "shoes" are so thin my feet started to remember those happy years 15 years ago in Utah. And they started to crave feeling the ground again. So I decided to go barefoot again. Not for a while yet, since my injured foot needs to stay bandaged for a few months, not at work since i want to keep my job obviously, and probably not in town because it's not socially acceptable here (the special shoes will do there too). But as soon as I can, I'll start hiking barefoot again. I can't wait!

    So, that's my story. Hopefully I'll rejoin the ranks of happy barefooters again soon :)
     
  2. goodearth

    goodearth Member

    Welcome! Hope you are able to spend enough time barefooted to maintain your foot health. I started barefoot hiking to strengthen my ankles for skateboarding. It strengthened my whole body core and greatly improved balance.
     
  3. BarePeter

    BarePeter New Member

    Thanks! Yes, barefooting forces you to walk differently - one would even say normally. For me it was not striking the ground with my heel so hard at each step that initially cured my knee problem.

    I already spend most of my day either truly barefoot (at home) or in my sock-like shoes. The only time I wear stiff-soled shoes is when I cycle with my clipless sandals, which is actually desirable to transfer power to the pedals efficiently.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. sixties_freak

    sixties_freak Member

    That's it. Just go with the flow and do exactly
    as you like. If it doesn't hurt anybody else then so be it.
     
  5. nuspieds

    nuspieds Hip Forums Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    I recently twisted my ankle as I was rushing from my car to keep an appointment. Yes, I was wearing shoes, and I regretted my stupidity. My thick shoe sole caught the pavement at a bad angle, and etc. Go barefoot!
     
  6. goodearth

    goodearth Member

    Take care, friend……and don't be too hard on yourself. We all wear them sometimes when we're away from Eden.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. BarePeter

    BarePeter New Member

    Well, I guess I'm not as hardcore as I once was. I wish I could go barefoot all the time (at least when my foot is healed) but I must admit I can do without the social stigma.

    So for that, my super-duper barefooting shoes are an excellent compromise: my feet are a mere millimeter off the ground, I can feel what I walk on (or rather, I would describe it as feeling the ground with the volume turned down a bit, if that makes sense), I can feel the rain, I can feel the wind, I can feel the heat and the cold. Yet I only register as a guy wearing funny-looking shoes in society.

    It's extremely relaxing: I feel barefooted and free from moralizing stares at the same time, and I can go anywhere confident that I'll be completely invisible. That's a luxury I never really had back when I had truly forgone shoes, and I must admit it's quite intoxicating.

    I think I'll stick to true barefooting when I out in the sticks, and pseudo-barefooting when I have to share my space with others who don't get it.
     
    bfe2012 and goodearth like this.

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