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Learning to Walk
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Huzefa Siamwala
Learning to Walk on 03/22/2009 08:16:04 MDT Print View

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Learning to Walk on 03/22/2009 12:28:49 MDT Print View

Interesting story.

Last year I had to get off the PCT in Mt. Shasta because my shoes had ruined my feet. I had had no trouble at all with my feet up until I bought the shoes in Mammoth. Then the trouble began.

I healed my feet when I got home by walking around my town barefoot.

I don't think I can hike barefoot, though. I have thought about Barefoot Ted's huraches, but I'm not sure I could hike in those, either.

Huzefa Siamwala
Re: Re: Learning to Walk on 03/23/2009 21:02:28 MDT Print View

There are some shoes which can help barefoot hiking. One is five finger. I have the KSO model on order and really excited about hiking in them this summer. Another option is FeelMax. It is a finish company which make shoes with 1 mm thin kevlar sole. Soles of models sold now are not waterproof but they are coming out with another model this june which has a waterproof sole and completely puncture proof. Check out the review on barefoot ted's website. I think these would be awesome for winter hikes. I can wear goretex socks in them. No need for gaiters. I am really excited about potential weight saving. And this shoes are even lighter then five fingers.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Fivefingers on 03/26/2009 17:54:47 MDT Print View

Sadly I have some Fivefingers. They don't really fit my toes. My toes are too fat for some of the "fingers". I tried to sell them on craigslist but nobody wanted them. I would love a pair of those Feelmax shoes. They actually look nice, like you could wear them to work and feel like you're barefoot all day. I don't think they are selling them here yet.

Recently I bought some cheap aquasocks from the drugstore. They really feel like almost barefoot. But they get awful hot.

I can walk around town and maybe even do short hikes with stuff like this, but I don't know about backpacking. I think I would have to work my way up to it.

But I am a believer that shoes can ruin your feet, especially the more they try to do to your feet.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: barefoot on 03/26/2009 18:53:13 MDT Print View

Actually this is the best way to walk. Unfortunately it is not really acheivable for most of us. If you want to hike barefoot, you have to walk barefoot all the time.

When I was a kid in the 50's and 60's we always went bare-footed in the summer. Never wore shoes. We could play baseball on asphalt streets barefooted. But every June when school was over, it took a few weeks for our feet to get really tough. By the end of summer we could step on a burning cigarette and not feel it.

As to running barefooted, and probably lightweight backpacking, it would be ideal... but you have to go bare-footed all the time. When I started high school, I ran cross country my freshman year because I could not afford shoes, and it was not against the rules. When track rolled around in the spring, I got some cheap tennis shoes to train in (my coach said the weight would help my training) and ran the meets barefooted.

For most of us, barefooted all the time is not possible. We have to wear shoes to work, shopping, etc.

I generally have very few foot problems at all, even when backpacking. It is probably because I work at home 90% of the time, and live in a climate that does not require shoes or boots for cold weather. I probably wear flip-flops 80% of the time, go barefooted 10% and wear shoes the last 10%. My feet always get to 'breath' 90% of the time. But no way would I consider a barefoot trek, unless I went barefoot for a couple of months full time.

For years I hiked in leather boots, with only a rare blister. Heavy boots didn't bother me at all, until someone told me I did not need to lift the extra weight. When I found out about breathable trail running shoes, I was in heaven. Sometimes I hike in cross country racing flats, sans socks. These shoes only weigh 6.5 oz each. No foot, arch or other problems with these either. The only problem with racing flats, is that they do no last long.

stefan hoffman
(puckem) - F

Locale: between trees
Barefoot on 03/26/2009 19:13:45 MDT Print View


Perfect timing, its just getting warm here and just last week i started working my way up to barefoot by walking 3 miles a day barefoot. At 180lbs, my feet get raw as hell, but i try not to walk like im on coals. So 6 days in im pretty solid, still not up to the thorns and whatnot. Like you, i didnt wear shoes in the summer as a child. Now i try to give credit to the fact that i was less than 100 lbs. But i cling to the fact that people didnt always wear shoes, and im sure i can adapt. My Goal is to hike my local summit (13063ft) from my house (6700ft) and back (25miles) I want to be insane and do PCT this summer barefoot, but thats a stretch im sure. But being an avid cross country runner, im WAY comfortable in racing flats. And i was STOKED when i saw the New Balance MR790. 8oz(size?) trail racing flat....thats my shoe. Just ordered 3 pair after trying some on. So thats my PCT shoes. I would go for way more durable shoes but im going for a pretty impressive time. Still wish i could count on my own soles to do the job though.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: barefoot on 03/26/2009 19:20:17 MDT Print View

Yeah, I grew up barefoot too, and when it came time for school I would wear some home made mocassins. I still go barefoot as much as possible (my feet are reonably toughened), but the padding on my heels is thinning and I have a dodgy ankle. These two things have driven me to wear mid-height and well padded boots when I hike, but I make sure the boots (and all my other shoes) are large enough and wide enough to allow my feet to maintain their full spread as if they weren't wearing shoes. I still wear ultra-thin soled shoes at work and around home. I have very wide feet due to growing up barefoot/mocassin/birkenstocked. I imagine the stress of hiking on narrow feet would be more noticeable??

René Enguehard
(ahugenerd) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland
Broken glass on 04/19/2009 20:57:09 MDT Print View

Where I live, broken glass can be an issue. In the words of grandmaster flash:

"Broken glass everywhere
People fighting in the street, you know they just don't care
I cant take the smell, I cant take the noise
Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat
I tried to get away, but I couldn't get far
Cause the man with the tow-truck repossessed my car"