steve

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After a very long hiatus, my brother convinced me to get back into running.

In doing so I read a book called Born to Run by Chris McDougall.

Amazing book whether you like to run or not.

Among other things, the book discusses the principles of 'barefoot' running.

Some take this quite literally and run barefoot in nearly all conditions.

Others apply this more as minimalist running and wear running sandals or minimalist shoes (no heel rise or arch support).

I've taken this to heart not only in my running but my day to day life.

I've always been one to remain barefoot whenever at home and whenever possible out and about.

I'm expanding that, going for long walks barefoot, running barefoot.

I've now found some minimalist shoes to wear at work.

I'm astonished at how good I feel. 

The foot was meant to feel the ground and experience physical stress to remain strong and healthy.

We have been conditioned to lock our feet in cushioned boxes that cause them to weaken profoundly and take away all tactile relationship to the earth. I think there are many physical ailments that are related to our use of shoes (plantar fascitis, Achilles tendonitis, neuromas, flat feet, back pain, knee pain).

Anyone else embrace this?

I'm interested in your thoughts and experiences.

 

Peace

 

 

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"The CDC's parasitic division estimates that hookworm is the second most common human helminthic infection (a helminth is a parasitic worm"

 

"

  • Infections Associated with Walking Barefoot.
  • 1.1 Hookworm Infection. ...
  • 1.2 Strongyloidiasis: ...
  • 1.3 Cutaneous Larva Migrans ( Creeping Eruption) ...
  • 1.4 Tungiasis. ...
  • 1.5 Tetanus (for more info see #36) ...
  • 1.6 Injury and Bacterial Infections. ...
  • Animal Bites and Stings Associated with Walking Barefoot."

 

My thoughts, don't care much for parasites,  which are also natural to most environments.

Edited by windwalker

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46 minutes ago, windwalker said:

"The CDC's parasitic division estimates that hookworm is the second most common human helminthic infection (a helminth is a parasitic worm"

 

"

  • Infections Associated with Walking Barefoot.
  • 1.1 Hookworm Infection. ...
  • 1.2 Strongyloidiasis: ...
  • 1.3 Cutaneous Larva Migrans ( Creeping Eruption) ...
  • 1.4 Tungiasis. ...
  • 1.5 Tetanus (for more info see #36) ...
  • 1.6 Injury and Bacterial Infections. ...
  • Animal Bites and Stings Associated with Walking Barefoot."

 

My thoughts, don't care much for parasites,  which are also natural to most environments.

 

Well, aren't you just a bundle of joy. :lol:

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I like walking barefoot on the beach.  Early on, my biggest fear was coming back and finding my shoes gone.  Happy to report after all these years that's never happened.  <note to self, buy better shoes>

 

I acknowledge that crappy things can happen, yet I'm tough.  If they do, hookworms, animal bites, stings.. I'll get over it.  Better to take the risk then not know the pleasure of walking on the sand au naturel. 

 

Let me also throw out that Christopher McDougall's book Natural Born Heroes:Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength & Endurance, is also an excellent read.    It links the tough guys of the past with modern refounding of there skills. 

 

 

Edited by thelerner
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When I do not have to wear close-toed shoes I do not. If I must wear shoes to protect My feet from the heat of the ground you'll find me in flip flops. Any other time, I am barefooted, in and outdoors, especially on grass.

:wub:

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Not exactly on walking barefoot, but I have a related question:

 

What are good exercises for keeping strong and healthy feet when you have to wear shoes in daily life.

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Walking barefoot is one of the great, simple joys of my life.

 

Barefoot now for twenty plus years.  Only ever wear shoes at work (which is 4-7 months a year), or in a restaurant/store.

 

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair."  ~Khalil Gabran

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, silent thunder said:

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair."  ~Khalil Gabran

 

;)

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Speaking of feet, one change I have over growing up is that we usually take off our shoes on entering home.  In the 70's that would have been very eccentric, but it keeps the floors a little cleaner and the tootsies a little happier.. imo.

Edited by thelerner
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For those concerned about hookworm and other hazards, minimalist shoes offer the protection of traditional footware while preserving much of the earthy, proprioceptive zing of barefooting.  The brand I`ve tried is Vibrams but there are many others.  I remember one glorious Vibram-clad afternoon soon after I`d made my purchase, traipsing around downtown Berkely and delighting in all the little sensations that I`d been missing for decades in my tennies.  Trying to walk in regular shoes is like trying to eat right after a dentist has shot your mouth full of novacaine: you`re not gonna feel anything.

 

There are so many ways that technology cuts us off from what I`ll call, for lack of a better term, the real world.  Following societal norms, we lose touch with reality -- and then lose touch with the fact that we`ve lost touch.  We think so many things are normal that aren`t.  Sitting at a desk for hours at a time. Eating genetically modified vegetables that have been sprayed with toxic chemicals and grown in mineral depleted soil.  Living at the mercy of our "smart" phones and Facebook notifications.  Shoes.  

 

Many Bums are expert at various spiritual arts and sciences.  We practice tai ji and stand like trees.  We meditate on emptiness and try to feel the stripped-down nature of how things are deep in our bones.  I`d suggest that this endeavor is hindered if we  also spend our lives sitting down in an office, interacting with screens more than people, and eating food that comes out of a box.  Luckily, there`s one simple thing that goes a long way towards reconnecting ourselves with our senses --  taking off our shoes.  Barring that, we can wear minimalist shoes.  It`s something worth trying.

 

 

Edited by liminal_luke
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On 8/13/2018 at 5:00 AM, wandelaar said:

Not exactly on walking barefoot, but I have a related question:

 

What are good exercises for keeping strong and healthy feet when you have to wear shoes in daily life.

 

The best exercises are running and walking. 

You can wear shoes and still reap the benefits, you simply need to wear minimalist shoes - 

zero drop, no arch support, thin and flexible sole.

 

For those suffering from helminthophobia,  simply wear minimalist shoes or sandals and remember that while it is a legitimate concern, you're far more likely to be maimed or killed in an automobile than contract worms from walking barefoot. 

That information probably doesn't stop many of us from driving...

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Continuing on Liminal Luke's theme that wearing heavy shoes is only one aspect of this retreat from the real. ......

 

In so many ways, there has been a prising away of life from place, an abstraction of experience into different kinds of touchlessness. We experience, as no historical period has before, disembodiment and dematerialisation. The almost infinite connectivity of the technological world, for all the benefits that it has brought, has exacted a toll in the coin of contact. We have in many ways forgotten what the world feels like. And so new maladies of the soul have emerged, unhappinesses which are complicated products of the distance we have set between ourselves and the world. We have come increasingly to forget that our minds are shaped by the bodily experience of being in the world ‚ÄĒ its spaces, textures, sounds, smells and habits ‚ÄĒ as well as by genetic traits we inherit and ideologies we absorb. A constant and formidably defining exchange occurs between the physical forms of the world around us, and the cast of our inner world of imagination. The feel of a hot dry wind on the face, the smell of distant rain carried as a scent stream in the air, the touch of a bird's sharp foot on one's outstretched palm: such encounters shape our beings and our imaginations in ways which are beyond analysis, but also beyond doubt. There is something uncomplicatedly true in the sensation of laying hands upon sun-warmed rock, or watching a dense mutating flock of birds, or seeing snow fall irrefutably upon one's upturned palm.

 

(From Robert Macfarlane, The Wild Places.)  

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and one more barefoot step....

 

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

 

~Wendel Berry

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Hi Steve,

 

its good stuff I do walking meditation every day barefoot...but hiking I don't, certainly not in the harsh Australian terrain with all the sharp stones, rocks, roots and various wild plants. I'm not an Aboriginal Australian. :)

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On 8/15/2018 at 8:41 AM, Yueya said:

Continuing on Liminal Luke's theme that wearing heavy shoes is only one aspect of this retreat from the real. ......

 

 

like when something your working around falls on your feet :huh:, one will know what the meaning of "steel toed" means and why they are used. 

 

 Tends to bring one back to reality and reasons why shoes or foot wear were invented used in the first place.

 

 Liminal Luke,  also blocks people he doesn't want to deal with...on this site he mentioned that I may be one..

 

Doesn't matter much to me.  It does seem to be a recurring theme from those asking others To do what they do not.  Is this also dealing with the real or retreating from the fact that people have different opinions experiences. 

 

Whether one wears shoes or not, one should be aware of what they could be setting themselves up for, modern world or tropical rain forest,  lots of things out there looking for a place to live or a meal to eat....

 

reality knocking 

 

 

Edited by windwalker

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Common sense is valuable.

I would never go barefoot in an operating room or construction site.

I would also never volunteer for Naked and Afraid!

I once had several hundred pounds of sheet metal drop on my foot - the steel toes caved in a bit but save my toes.

Flexibility is important, not only in the feet and shoes...

 

 

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For Gerard -

 

Even Aboriginal Australians occasionally wear shoes...

 

Aboriginal+footwear.jpg

 

These are actually ceremonial slippers worn by shamans on occasion, not terribly functional.

But I love the look and they seem comfy!

 

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Yes, barefooted is certainly not always appropriate. It’s only in the warmer weather I go without shoes, and then only on the maintained parts of the mostly forested land that surrounds my home. I used to be more adventurous when I was younger, but now I’m more cautious of snakes, spiders and other hidden objects. 

 

5b790719d5e9b_Road-S.JPG.448f6c5e93a0ad6ecd6c438760434a56.JPG

 

After winter I toughen my feet up by walking barefooted for a few kilometres every day along this dirt road that runs through my land.  

 

 

But, as I mentioned in my previous post, ‚Äėbarefooted‚Äô is also a good metaphor for developing a more pervasive felt relationship with the natural world. It‚Äôs about opening one‚Äôs being to nature, about dropping inner shields that prevent felt connection with its spirit. (And this can certainly be done wearing appropriate footwear and other clothing.) ¬†From the same book, here‚Äôs another passage I particularly like....¬†

 

In the letters, poems and journal entries Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote over the course of his months of solitary wandering the wilds of the Lakes District UK in the early years of the nineteenth century, we see him beginning to think out a new vision of wild; a vision which at times approaches a level of theology.  One idea above all emerges: that the self-willed forms of wild nature can call out fresh correspondences of spirit in a person.  Wilderness, in Coleridge’s account, is an energy which blows through one’s being, causing the self to shift into new patterns, opening up alternate perceptions of life.  

 

As he moved between the crags and cataracts, over the fells and moors, and through the pathless wilds, a sense of joy ‚Äď joy, the beautiful and beauty-making power of nature ‚Äď began to seep back into him. He felt a ‚Äúfantastic pleasure that draws the Soul along swimming through the air in many shapes, even as a flight of birds in the wind.‚ÄĚ

Edited by Yueya
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