Subject: Reflections on my first summer as a barefooter
I began barefooting in May of this year. I had started with minimalist shoes but went barefoot more and more as the weather warmed, my feet gained strength and circulation, and my confidence grew. Since mid-June, the only shoes I have worn are my muck shoes when working in the pastures and my Xero Shoes when I needed them for protection or social reasons.
Here are some of our experiences:
– The kids and I have taken several barefoot hikes through local parks, enjoying the textures and the quiet. We see much more wildlife when hiking barefoot.
– We attended a homeschool convention where I trekked miles in some bare-sole slippers. My daughter started out in sandals but eventually tied them to her bag and went completely barefooted. We received a few strange looks and one compliment on my slippers but no negative comments.
– At a local gun rights convention, I received a few curious inquiries from friends but no negativity. One man there asked whether we were “Aim-ish.” (I was dumbfounded by that one. A woman who is barefooted and wearing blue jeans while attending a gun rights convention. Yep. Clearly Amish. ???)
– I have shopped in Publix, Kroger, and Ingles wearing barefoot sandals with no problems. I even saw another barefooter in Kroger a few weeks ago.
– I have attended services at two churches. Most recently we have started attending a church that is closer to our home. At the first Bible study I attended I was pleased to find another woman who is a barefooter!
In all, it has been an adventurous, educational summer. I am amazed at how my feet have gained so much strength and so much more circulation. The cold floors in the grocery store are now easily bearable; at the beginning of the summer my feet would freeze even wearing sandals. As long as I keep moving I can tolerate all but the newest blacktop or the hottest part of the afternoons. I still have to gingerly pick my way across our gravel driveway, but it is not as unbearable as before. I have seen a general reduction in inflammation throughout my entire body. My daughter’s flat feet and collapsed arches have greatly improved.
Now I find regular shoes to be awkward. My minimalist ballet flats are entirely too warm. My feet even get too hot in Xero Shoes.
While out in public, I am much more comfortable in barefoot sandals or bare-sole slippers. Yes, we should be able to go completely barefooted without drawing attention. But until society changes I feel more confident wearing them. Even then, I like them as accessories. They are pretty.