Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Barefoot Hiking is Awesome!

If you have never tried barefoot hiking, do it! Hiking along a well-worn nature trial in your bare feet is one of the most delightful things I've ever experienced. For me it's a spiritual experience. On such hikes I often think of Jesus walking barefoot through the gardens in and around Jerusalem, or Adam and Eve exploring Eden. The oneness you feel with nature just makes it easier to feel more connected to God. Maybe that's one reason God told Moses to take off his shoes in His presence (Exodus 3:5)!

Sure, if your feet are tender and fragile from wearing shoes it will take time to adjust to the new sensations under foot, but not long. Newbies that join me on hikes move quickly past the fearful tip-toeing around to walking naturally within a mile. Once your feet are toughened up you can explore nature freely, enjoying the touch of the earth but not fearful of the next "ouch." You can even run through the trails with the ease of a deer.

Yeah, I'm going out for a hike... see you later!


  1. I used to be quite an avid hiker, pre-professional life, but have been BF running for nearly a year now. I have yet to jump on the trail unshod, though look forward to the experience. My only concern is the biting critters, snakes in particular. My experience with them on trail proves that they can be quite invisible until with striking distance. Though I suspect a BF hike requires you to slow down and pay more attention. Any experience with critters on the trail yet?

    Though less likely (I hope), evading bears, or similar large, quick and bite-y creatures, is another concern, as one may not be as quick to escape as in shoes, though I presume adrenaline will take care of that run.

  2. It's very rare to have a bear wandering around in my area, but I did nearly step on a black snake once; I shifted my gait just in time to miss it! Thankfully, I also don't have to deal with many venoumous snakes in central VA. We have copperheads but not many. So far, I haven't had any close calls (that I know of) beyond the black snake.

    Actually, as I think about it more, I haven't had any problems on the hiking trails. The black snake experience was on a paved bike trail and the snake was enjoying the warm pavement.

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Welcome to The Barefoot Professor blog, intelligent talk about running, walking and living barefoot. I encourage your comments, even if you disagree with me. In this spirit I don't even moderate the comments. However, PLEASE use critical thinking skills when leaving comments, and avoid inflammatory words. Please keep your comments short and to-the-point. THANKS.