Joy of Barefooting

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Can you do that . . . BAREFOOT?!

Sure!  Let’s view a partial list . . .

demonstrated by those actually doing it!

If THEY can . . . I can!

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OUTDOORS — at the Park or Pool!

Woman and child by waterscape in city parkOh, that spirit of barefoot freedom… splashing in water, skipping on cool tiles, and enjoying the delightful sensations of gentle grass or soft sand underfoot.

That spirit of barefoot freedom still lives in many of us. Perhaps in you, too.  Read on…

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WALKING! 

BF - Woman-walking-dogsBF - Walking - Man womanFeet were made for walking–that’s just what they do.

And if they’re not used to walking on certain surfaces, they will soon adapt with practice.

 

Set Your Piggies Free!  .  .  .  A delightful Sesame Street music video highlighting the joy of barefooting for kids

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RUNNING!

Man and boy running on residential sidewalkBarefoot running has grown in popularity in recent years, and for good reason!

See Bare Feet in Sports  for more.

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HIKING!

BF-Hiking-1Nothing feels more natural than hiking through nature barefoot.  The many textures and sensations offered by the earth, grass, moss, gravel, mud and other natural surfaces provide a sensory delight for bare feet.  Many could not see hiking any other way!

See Barefoot Hiking to learn more.

 

Videos of barefoot hikers and climbers in action:

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DRIVING! . . .

Driving BarefootAbsolutely!  It’s fun, comfortable, offers greater pedal control and avoids hazards associated with high heels and slippery soled shoes.

It’s also perfectly legal.

Check Driving Barefoot for more.

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 AT THE STORE! . . .

Mother and children in a grocery storeBF - Man shopping in storeSure!  It makes shopping enjoyable, relaxing and less fatiguing.  Also, many store floor surfaces offer delightful textures and sensations.  And yes, it’s legal.

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 IN A RESTAURANT! . . .

BF Crab ShackWoman-sitting-with-children-in-a-restaurantsharpbrightA comfortable and relaxing way to enjoy a meal.  And yes, it’s legal–health codes do not regulate customer footwear.

The story of the Oasis restaurant in the Outer Banks of North Carolina that featured barefoot servers from the 1950’s to 80’s.

Man-in-hotel-self-serve-breakfast-areagradedBarefoot-hikers-entering-a-restaurantsharpen

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AT WORK!

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BF-Work-Sierra 2Left and right… Barefoot office workers.  So comfortable and a great way to maximize worker satisfaction and efficiency.

BF - amanda-levete-1Left . . . Amanda Levete, architect, in her west London firm.

On her barefoot work policy: “It’s a great leveler.”  Photo: Andy Hall for the Observer.  Full story: The Guardian.

bf-workplace-gustoRight . . . Gusto, a $1 billion financial company in San Fransisco and Denver with an office no-shoes policy.   CEO Joshua Reeves: “Companies can be sterile and cold.  We want our workplace to be really comfortable. In some ways, people feel more like themselves when their shoes are off.”  Full story here.

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IN SCHOOL!

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IN THE PAST

BF-School-2Left: In the past, schools (even in the U.S.), allowed students to attend school while barefoot Some even encouraged it.

More images of barefoot students attending school in days gone by.

Barefoot in school scene (Conrack, 1974) – Movie based on the real life experience of author Pat Conroy, teaching in South Carolina.  The scene from 3:30 – 5:00 demonstrates a creative and genuinely compassionate way to deal with a student without shoes.

TODAY

BF-School-3Right: Today, some schools in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as in the U.S, including certain Amish communities, still allow and even encourage going barefoot.  Added examples below.

Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy, Dorset, England, promotes “shoeless learning” to create a better learning environment (video).

Democratic Schoolsalso known as Sudbury schools, modeled after the Sudbury Valley School in Massachusetts, allow students to participate in setting policies (not remarkably, kids tend to avoid rules or dress codes that include compulsory footwear).

Clearwater School, Seattle, Washington, a Sudbury school, allows shoeless students (a blog written from a parent’s point or view).

BF - Organic school 1Left: The Marietta Johnson School of Organic Education in Fairhope, Alabama, (pre-kindergarden – 8th grade) allows students to attend barefoot in keeping with its overall philosophy of using all senses for learning.  See the Organic school’s Facebook page here.

Blue Mountain School in Floyd, Virginia – a contemplative progressive school where, as its website states, “…bare feet are common for students and teachers.”

New article on a study indicating that “Schoolchildren with no shoes on ‘do better and behave better in the classroom’, (The Telegraph, May 24, 2016).  Dr. Heppell’s related website: “Shoeless Learning Places”.

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Right:  Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, who feels most comfortable barefoot, speaks to students at Kennesaw State University in February, 2012.  See report in the Marietta Daily Journal.

 

Below:  A persuasive speech–(in school) — on the benefits of going barefoot

Below: A school in Lord Howe Island, Australia that encourages going barefoot to fully utilize all the senses for learning

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…Even GRADUATING!

BF - Grad - HS-1 BF-Grad-1Left and right: Two happy and relaxed barefoot graduates. 

Left: celebrating after graduation.  Right:  In line to graduate

 

BelowHigh School graduate  crossing the stage barefoot

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 MARTIAL ARTS!

Man doing martial arts kickPractitioners of martial arts traditionally do so in bare feet.  Kick up your heels and join us!

See Bare Feet in Sports for more.

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IN THE GYM!

BF-Weightlift-2At Left:  World champion body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger

Observe the evident smile as he deftly prepares to lift a hefty weight in the gym–while barefoot.

Hey, if it works for Arnold, who wants to argue?!

Other video examples of barefoot weightlifting (from BarBend, 2016)

Below: Strength Camp video – Demonstrating Barefoot Dead-lifting

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EXERCISING!

Below:  Ellen Barrett’s Barefoot Cardio (YouTube)

Below:  Jessica Smith 40 minute Cardio Barefoot Flow — Low impact home workout emphasizing benefits of exercising barefoot

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PILATES

BF - Pilates-1Pilates offers a form of exercise that trains the mind and body to work together toward the goal of overall fitness.  Practitioners as well as instructors generally do the exercises while barefoot (including when using equipment as shown on right).

Links describing Pilates:  What is Pilates  /  Pilates with Samantha

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 GOLF!

Below:  LPGA Class A Pro Debbie DonigerTalks about practicing golf barefoot

Below: Two videos of Pro Golfer John Daly golfing barefoot:

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SOCCER & RUGBY!

Below: Barefoot soccer team in action and having fun! – Barefoot Soccer Wav 11

More Soccer: Wellesley College, MA – annual “24 Hours of Barefoot Soccer” charity event (to raise awareness of AIDS in Africa).  Photos here.

Rugby: A video of a barefoot youth rugby group in New Zealand called the Little Rippas.  Note their joy and ease as they participate.

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SKYDIVING!

Woman skydiving (#1)

Woman skydiving (#2)Indeed, the sky’s the limit! Ah, the ultimate in freedom . . . skydiving barefoot.

  • Video – Two barefoot skydivers having a blast
  • Video – Another barefoot skydiver enjoying the time of her life

What about FLYING A PLANE?!

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  YOGA!

BF - Yoga 1Naturally!  As this website explains . . . “At yoga studios, it is common practice (and good etiquette) to remove your street shoes at the door. Bare feet are better able to find stable, balanced contact with the floor, which is essential for standing poses.”

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ROCK CLIMBING!

BF - Rock climbing 1This nimble Rock climber (right) deftly uses both hands and feet to sense the surface textures and then find and grasp the most effective hand and foot grips.  Sheer wall . . . sheer joy.

Video – A barefoot rock-wall climber easily scaling a 30-foot wall.

Video  – Barefoot rock climber Drew Haigh climbing sheer cliffs at Tantrum in Thailand

Video – Another remarkable barefoot rock climber

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PLAYING THE PIANO!

bf-armless-pianist-liu-weiArmless Pianist Liu Wei performed “You Are Beautiful” and won “China’s Got Talent” Final in 2010.

Liu Wei who lives in Beijing lost his arms in an accident at age 10.  But he did not give up.  He managed to do everything with his feet and started to learn to play piano at age 19.  His dream is to become a musician.  The power and inspiration of his zest for life helped him win the competition at the age of 23.  Liu Wei’s motto: “I have two options – I can die as fast as possible, or I can live a brilliant life.  And I chose the latter.

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DANCING!

graphic image by Dave Sheppard of Sound VisionsBarefoot Free-Style Dancing! Boogie your hearts out world-wide in your bare feet.

Also…

Barefoot Flatfoot Dancing, as demonstrated by Rhiannon Giddens, member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops

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PERFORMANCE ART — FOOT JUGGLING!

BF - Dexterity - Twenty toesTwenty Toes – Observe the amazing dexterity of the human foot when allowed to develop its full potential.

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 At a “BAREFOOT PARK” (Yes, they have them!) 

BF-Park-1BF-Park Play scapes-1

 

Active training for the feet

“Barfusspark Nienhagen” by Lorenz Kerscher – Own work. (taken from the german Wikipedia with permission of the Author)

Below: Barefoot Park in Germany — Children and adults enjoying one of a number of barefoot parks there.

Barefoot Parks – A website describing theme park environments (currently mostly in Europe) specifically designed for going barefoot!

Life in Germany: Barefoot Park – Video of an American’s visit to a Barefoot Park.  The caption states, “This is something you just don’t see in the states, and is a TON of fun.  Far more entertaining than I expected.  Take my advice and go with some friends.

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IN CHURCH!

BF - Barefoot in church 3BF - In Church-2Left: A regularly barefoot pastor in the church he serves.

Right: Church music leaders demonstrating their respect for the worship space as holy ground by, in part, going barefoot.

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A Barefoot WEDDING on the Beach . . . Perfect!

BF-Wedding-1Left and Below:  Obviously, they made a vow to live comfortably.”

Photo by Ronnie Macdonald from Chelmsford, United Kingdom – On the beach 05Uploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

 

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MUSIC! – Playing or Performing

BF - Barefoot Movement 1 LeftThe Barefoot Movement, an award winning Bluegrass music group.  As stated on their website, “The music of the Nashville based group is as down to earth as their intention for members of their audience: sit back, relax, take your shoes off, and stay a while. “

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COLD WEATHER?

Woman-on-rock-by-oceanlevel Brisk weather doesn’t have to dampen our barefoot spirit or our enjoyment of the outdoors.

Right: She has chosen to appreciate her surroundings and experience her environment using all five senses.  Invigorating!  And note the smile on her face.

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…Even in the SNOW!

Thomas Perry Climbing BarefootLeft:  Tom Perry, “the Barefoot Climber,” an Italian climber who hikes the most rugged mountains in the world–barefoot. Feats include Mount Etna (10,991ft, 3,350m), Mount Vesuvius, Mount Kilimanjaro (19,341ft, 5,895m), and Mount Fuji.

Below: Sue Kenney, a seasoned barefooter, demonstrates an enjoyable romp in fluffy snow

Other links:

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 Barefoot in MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

Below:  Barefoot-A-Thon Highlights — Two sisters demonstrating how they successfully go barefoot in various places including stores, a library, etc.

Below:  Barefoot Adventures, showing one person going barefoot in various settings including a store and a train.

 

 A web Blog article from a barefooter:

14 reasons to go barefoot

In her Blog entry, writer Kathleen Quiring outlines in persuasive fashion her 14 reasons for why she does not wear shoes.

 

If THEY can . . . I can, too!