“Best Of…” 1996-b

From: B.G.

Subject: Re: Where did you *barefoot* today?

Date: Nov. 1996

I have never gone barefoot publicly in winter myself. Prior to discovering  this newsgroup in February my winter barefoot treks were limited to  activities around the house ie: fetching the morning paper and mail and even shoveling snow but after discovering that I was not alone in this enjoyment I will no longer limit myself to where I go at any time of the year. I’ve always enjoyed walking barefoot in the snow for short distances the sensation is incredible especially in newly fallen snow.

[ In response to getting a boost of confidence to go barefoot after seeing someone else. ]

This has not happened to me yet, I’ve not seen anyone else barefoot anywhere. What I used to do if I thought I would lose my confidence was to leave my shoes at home. When you arrive at your destination your left with only two choices, go in or go home. Chances are if you have driven any substantial distance and you need what you set out to get you’ll go in barefoot. This can be a great confidence builder and come to think of it I may have to use it this winter.

My wife and I are avid hikers and prior to reading this newsgroup the thought of hiking barefoot had never occurred to me. I bought Richard’s book “The Barefoot Hiker” and a whole new world of pleasures began. We primarily hike the White Mountains here in New Hampshire with elevations ranging from 2000 ft. to over 6000 ft. I never thought this kind of hiking could be done barefoot but after my second hike I vowed never to hike with footwear again.

The freedom and the many temperatures and textures are enormously enjoyable.  After seeing my enjoyment my wife decided to try it and discovered that her plaguing ankle problem had disappeared. She however limits the barefoot portion to the ascents, the descents are too rough for her. We also discovered a different attitude from people we meet on the trail then that of people I meet in stores or other public establishments. Of the 26 or so hikes we did this year we have never heard a negative comment about hiking barefoot and as a result became quite proud of our accomplishments. There seems to be two definite attitudes toward bare feet, one for indoors and one for outdoors. When we go hiking I don’t have any confidence problem with respect to people’s attitude and begin to feel what complete barefoot freedom is.

If you truly enjoy going barefoot then don’t let what other people think get in your way. Life is too short.