What’s New In Barefooting?

WELCOME!

Here we feature new, recent or at least “new to us” items related to barefooting.  We invite you to let us know if you have a link that might qualify for this page!  Previous featured links (in published order) appear lower on this page (or also on other related SBL pages).

Current “What’s New” features:

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BF - Statue guy NYC 2BF - Statue guy NYCA Statue Stirs to Life in Washington Square Park – By Michael Wilson, in The New York Times (November 14, 2017)

The inspiring story of street performer Johan Figueroa-Gonzalez, the “living statue” in Greenwich Village.  Based on the article and photos, Johan not only performs his craft barefoot but also walks home barefoot through the streets of New York.  Well, why not?

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BF - Runner - professorPregnant at 15, she’s now a professor – by David Whiting, in Orange County Register (Anniversary feature: originally published November 30, 2012)

Interview with Thea Gavin, professor at Concordia University, Irvine, and recipient of two master’s degrees who continued her education after dropping out of high school and raising children.  She also runs barefoot.

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BF - Skateboard kids IndiaBarefoot Skateboarders – Produced by 101 India.  This inspiring video documentary describes how the sport of skateboarding introduced positive social change for children in an impoverished community in India.  (New to us in November, 2017.  Video published September, 2016)

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BF - Novak articleIs it cool to walk barefoot everywhere? – In Medimurje, a Croatian language newspaper (October 9, 2017)

This article, featuring barefooter and SBL member Nikola Novak from Croatia, appeared in Medimurje, a local Croatian language newspaper.  The link, above, provides Nikola’s English translation of the article.

Nikola comments: “[In early October] I agreed to give an interview to a local paper about my lifestyle.  I did it to promote the lifestyle and this way to perhaps encourage more people to go barefoot.”

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BF - Cool parents10+ Times Kids Realized Their Parents Were Cooler Than Them – By Marija Bernatonyte, in Bored Panda (publication date uncertain, likely October, 2017)

Younger internet users share vintage photos of their parents when they were young, hip and, according to the article, “about a hundred times cooler than us.”

Interestingly, half of the photos show these “cool” parents barefoot.  Of course, people during the ’60s and ’70s went barefoot more often.  Now, that also contributes to their “cool” image, apparently.  Could the barefoot trend return?

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BF - Kids barefoot UKBest Barefoot Walks for Kids – Produced by the National Trust in the U.K. (publication date uncertain)This article promotes barefoot walking as one of the top 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾, explaining, “It’s the perfect activity to encourage your children to get mucky, explore the outdoors, and make a lasting connection with nature.”  The article features ten recommended locations for barefoot walking in the U.K.

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BF - Mural KSUKSU students creating barefoot mural – Author unlisted, photos by Robert J. Lucas, in Record-Courier [Kent, Portage County, Ohio] (October 9, 2017)Students and community members participate in “Step by Step,” an effort to create the world’s largest mural painted entirely by bare feet.

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BF - Work Out BarefootIs Barefoot Training Ever a Good Idea? – By K. Aleisha Fetters, in Self (October 4, 2017)A recent spike in barefoot lifting has led more gyms and weight rooms to reconsider questionable shoe rules.  Of course, most yoga, Pilates, and barre studios expect participants to remove footwear.  This article interviews a sports medicine doctor, a kinesiologist (expert in the science of body movement) and a podiatrist for their insights on lifting, running, and taking classes barefoot.

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BF - Barefoot Training - gym 2BF - Barefoot Training - gymBarefoot Fitness Centers – As one example of a barefoot friendly facility, this chain of gyms and fitness centers promotes fitness and weight training while barefoot for its members (as shown left and right) .

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BF - Weight lifting 2Barefoot Strength Training?  Here’s the Deal – By Gabrielle Kassell, in Barbend (October 3, 2017)Barefoot training continues to gain traction, now especially in the lifting community–for good reason.  Going barefoot offers benefits for stability, mobility, coordination, and balance.

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BF - Ogden barefoot parkNorth Ogden axes old rule saying people couldn’t go barefoot in parks – By Tim Vandenack, in Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah (September 30, 2017)A story of a City Council doing the right thing!  The North Ogden, Utah City Council, in September, 2017, axes an old (and clearly absurd) provision in park rules that required park patrons to wear shoes in the park.  Well done!

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BF - running footHow, and Why, to Try Running Totally Barefoot – By Starre Julia Vartan,  in Lifehacker: Vitals (September 20, 2017)Author relates her own positive history and experience with barefoot running.  She also lists some of the benefits and includes tips for starting.

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BF - kids no shoes neededShed those shoes: Being barefoot benefits brain development and more! – Blog entry by Rae Pica, early childhood development consultant, in Rae Pica Keynotes & Consulting (September 12, 2017)

Having long advocated for allowing children to go barefoot, the author cites scientific evidence that “barefooted is better.”

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BF - Children barefoot 3Let Them Go Barefoot: On Why Our Toddler Doesn’t Wear ShoesBy Chantel Quick and Mariano Gru, in Pathways To Family Wellness (New to us, as of September 10, 2017.  Article published June, 2016,)

An excellent and informative interview with parents who have chosen to keep their toddler barefoot based on its benefits.

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BF - Naras blog100% Natural way to walk – By Nara Petrovic, in Nara’s Blog (September 4, 2017, added here Sept. 20, 2017)

An excellent review of the advantages of barefooting with responses to common questions.

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BF - Running record 2017New Barefoot Running Record Set by Vermont Man – By Gina Carey, story and video in Newser (August 21, 2017)

Teage O’Connor smashes a new world record by running barefoot 62 miles in 7 hours and 13 minutes.

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BF - Kids & Adults Go Barefoot MoreThe Surprising Reason Kids (and Adults!) Should Start Going Barefoot More – By Claire Gillespie, in Reader’s Digest (August 19, 2017)

As introduced in the article, “If you’re fed up buying new shoes for your kid’s ever-growing feet, this news will make your day.”  (Actually, we’re not surprised.)

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BF - Running beachIs it worth experimenting with barefoot running? – By George Winter in The Irish Times (August 15, 2017)

The article opens, “What could be more natural than running barefoot? As Dr Vybarr Cregan-Reid makes clear in the July 2017 issue of Psychology Today, running reminds us that we have bodies: ‘It’s bizarre that our feet, which are incredibly sensitive parts of our body, spend their time wrapped up in shoes.’ And of barefoot running, he says that it gives him ‘a richer, more dynamic experience. We develop emotional memories of places we actually touch’.”

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BF - Bikila runnerKent Bush: Barefoot Bikila set the standard for Ethiopian athletes – By Kent Bush in The Shawnee [Oklahoma] News-Star (August 14, 2017)

Everything about Bikila’s gold medal is a cause of pride for Ethiopians. He was the first black man from Africa to win a gold medal. He did it in the only country that ever controlled Ethiopia. He did it all barefoot.

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BF - Children barefoot 25 convincing reasons to let your kids be barefoot – By K. Geary in Revolutionary Parent (Date not given, likely 2014)

As the title indicates, this article provides five convincing reasons to let kids go barefoot.

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BF - Weight liftingI Never Lift Weights With Shoes on, and Here’s the Important Reason – by Fina Florio in PopSugar Fitness (August 4, 2017)

Austin Lopez, CSCS and owner of Ausome Fit, prefers to have his clients remove their shoes during training.  “The main benefit is ‘increased proprioception,'” he explains, “Shoes take a lot away from your ability to feel the ground.

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BF - Running makes us human bookWe Evolved to Run—But We’re Doing It All Wrong – by  Simon Worrall in National Geographic (July 30, 2017)

In an interview with researcher and author Vybarr Cregan-Reid, he shares how, inspired by his Olympic running uncle, he believes running barefoot is more natural—and less likely to result in injury.

Once you have no cushioning at all, you get really good haptic feedback from the ground about your running form,” notes Cregan-Reid.  “Cushioned shoes allow us to run badly and our bare feet tell us a lot more about the world around us.”

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BF - Runner - Bettendorf grad2015 Bettendorf High grad runs Bix 7 barefoot – by JackCullen in Quad-City Times (July 29, 2017)

Shoes just don’t feel right for 20-year Dustin Murphy of Davenport, Iowa.  In his own words, “I’m into this whole living naturally thing, and I love running, so combining those two things together, it just makes sense to me.  You’re born without shoes, so why would you wear them?

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BarefootDancing-6No shoes? No problem for barefoot dancing at Vannie – By Sean Browne in Riverdale Press (July 28, 2017)

For more than 10 summers, the Van Cortlandt House Museum holds weekly outdoor barefoot dances, incorporating dances from various cultures.  In the words of Park Conservancy president Margot Perron, “It’s being connected to the Earth and the joy of being together.  You don’t get the excitement of dancing with shoes on.  Dancing on one’s feet is such a tremendous feeling.

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BF - Research Shoes killing meThese Shoes Are Killing Me! Freakonomics Radio podcast, by Stephen Dubner, produced by Shelley Lewis (July 19, 2017)

As the link explains: “The human foot is an evolutionary masterpiece, far more functional than we give it credit for.  So why do we encase it in “a coffin” (as one foot scholar calls it) that stymies so much of its ability — and may create more problems than it solves?”   Check the podcast to find out.

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BF - Research runningWill running barefoot do you harm? BBC Future video (July 14, 2017)

For thousands of years, humans ran without footwear.  This report reviews current research exploring the benefits of returning to the practice of barefoot running.

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This informative article cites various studies concluding that shoes cause foot weakness and deformity in children and do not offer corrective benefit, while playing a detrimental role in causing loss of foot mobility and altering a child’s natural walking pattern.

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BF - Benefits of barefootBenefits of Going Barefoot (and the Best Barefoot Shoes) – By Katie Wells, in her Blog, Wellness Mama (June 8, 2017)

Katie responds to frequent questions and outlines the various benefits and joys of going barefoot, drawing on authoritative sources and scientific support.

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BF - Kicker NFLThe Era of the Barefoot Kicker – video by NFL Films (June 1, 2017)

NFL Films Presents looks back at the era of barefoot kickers in the NFL.

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BF - Snake hunter dustin crumBarefoot Snake Hunter Catches Mother Of All Pythons – by Paul Scicchitano, in The Miami Patch (May 12, 2017)

The story of Dusty “Wildman” Crum, who always goes barefoot as he carries out his passion: catching snakes in the Florida Everglades!

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BF - child playingLen Robbins: Oh, to be barefoot again – By Len Robbins, in Dalton Daily Citizen (May 9, 2017)

A whimsical editorial recalling the joys of childhood barefoot freedoms (and pitfalls), inspired by the writer’s young son who takes every opportunity to slip off his shoes while noting, “When you’re younger, you’ll understand.”  (Oh, yes, we certainly do.)

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Why the Best Shoes for Kids Might Be No Shoes at All – By Pam Moore, in Parent.co, science & wellness section (April 26, 2017)

Citing numerous authoritative studies, the article lays out the scientific support for encouraging children to go barefoot, noting that optimal foot development occurs in the absence of shoes.

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BF - Runner at 59No Shoes, no problems for 59-year-old marathon runner – by Ryan Flynn, in Malibu Surfside News  (April 18, 2017)

In 2007 marathon runner Alberto Perusset accepted his coach’s advice to run barefoot.  Ten years and 98 marathons later, he has no regrets.

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BF - Football practicePractice is like a (barefoot) walk in the park for Chargers – by Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times (April 10, 2017)

Under the leadership of John Lott, the San Diego Chargers innovative strength and conditioning coach, team members participate in the team’s voluntary off-season workouts while barefoot–for its benefits.

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BF - Curling BonspielBarefoot Bonspiel marks the close of Medstead curling season – by Corrina Murdoch, Correspondent / Battlefords News-Optimist, Saskatchewan, Canada (April 9, 2017)

Celebrating the end of the Curling season, the community of Medstead holds its annual Barefoot Bonspiel in which participants let loose and complete a round barefoot.

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BF - Autism challengeBarefoot Autism Challenge Begins This Weekend!  An international challenge that involves no shoes – By Megan Ticknor, WeAreIowa, video of Des Moines, Iowa, ABC channel 5 Midday show, broadcast (March 27, 2017)

Tyler Leech, who goes barefoot and also has autism, appears on a TV program to promote an event (April 1-30) in which anyone, anywhere can participate to raise awareness for those struggling with Autism.

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BF - Rooted footWalk Barefoot and in minimal shoes, by Dr. Theresa Nesbitt, MD, blog article in Dr. Theresa for health that lasts a lifetime (date unlisted, but likely 2014)

While not a new blog entry, we only recently discovered this blog site written by a physician who understands the benefits of going barefoot.  “When you can,” suggests the author, “go barefoot or wear minimalist shoes to stimulate your brain and get in touch with the world…

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BF - Actor barefoot IndiaWhy Vivek Mushran shoots barefoot for Ek Aastha Aisi Bhee – by Indo-Asian News Service in Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India (March 23, 2017)  

Indian Actor Vivek Mushram chooses to show respect by going barefoot.  “You will never see me wear my footwear during any of my scenes,” he said, in preparing for his upcoming TV show Ek Aastha Aisi Bhee.

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BF - Climb Mt HawaiiSans shoes, man runs up Mauna Kea; Barefoot marathoner makes trek in honor of deceased grandmother – by Kirsten Johnson in Hawaii Tribune-Herald (March 21, 2017)

A barefoot runner took on the challenge to hike barefoot the more than 40 rugged miles to the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

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BF - Johnny AppleseedThe barefoot eccentric whose legacy we still use – by Bill Federer, in WorldNetDaily (March 17, 2017)

A blogger’s overview of the life of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, who, according to the historical record, not only appreciated apples but also the barefoot life.

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BF - Singer No arms 2Girl With No Arms Sings & Plays Piano With Her Feet, YouTube video from Got Talent Global (March 21, 2017)

A talented young girl with no arms leaves the audience and judges in tears on Romania’s Got Talent as she sings and also plays the piano with her feet.  An inspiring demonstration of what the human foot is capable of doing.

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BF - weaving feetIndigenous tribesman inspired me to go barefoot – by Ilana Straus, in From The Grapevine, (March 9, 2017)

Upon living with the Waorani indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest (who generally go barefoot) the author decided to try it herself.

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BF - Mardi Gras8th Annual Barefoot Mardi Gras – video report on KIII-TV website, Corpus Christi ABC TV News affiliate  (February 17, 2017)

The Barefoot Mardi Gras takes place on February 25, 2017 on Padre Island near Corpus Christi, Texas.  Event includes a parade, food, exhibits and other activities.  Direct link to event here.

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BF - Grammys Paris JacksonParis Jackson Wears Tye-Dye Gown at the Grammys 2017…and No Shoes – by Avery Matera, TeenVogue, (February 12, 2017)

During the 2017 Grammy Awards, Paris Jackson chose to appear on stage barefoot.

[Adele did something similar at the 2012 Grammy Awards, as a recent article recalls: Adele Went Barefoot On Her Big Grammy -Award Winning Night – by Allie Fasanella, in FN (February 11, 2017)]

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BF - Golfer Jim FurykWatch: Furyk goes barefoot for shot at Pebble Beach by Golf Channel Digital (February 10, 2017)

During the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament, golfer Jim Furyk went barefoot for a shot off the pavement to guard against his shoes sliding on the wet concrete.  Makes sense!

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BF - School-kidsOne way to improve classroom performance?  Remove kid’s shoes – By Derek Staahl, in azfamily.com, CBS news affiliate, Arizona–article and video (February 8, 2017)

Education researchers say there’s a simple way to improve classroom behavior, student performance, and save money to boot – encourage kids to remove their shoes.

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BF - College 1An unfortunate title: Barefoot on campus, it’s uncomfortable and unprofessional – by Ryan Thaxton in The Daily Reveille, LSU Student Media (February 7, 2017)

This opinion piece deserves a spot in the human/barefoot ‘hall of shame.’  It essentially seeks to ridicule, shame and dismiss those who simply look or dress outside the “norm” of the writer.

But do check the “comments” section–a collection of reasoned and intelligent responses (and the reason we’ve included this article link).

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bf-walk-across-americaA SAD UPDATE: Earlier (Dec. 2, 2016) we posted a link to an article about Mark Baumer, a Rhode Island-based author, poet and activist, who set out to walk across America while barefoot to raise awareness about climate change.

On January 21, 2017, Mark died when a car veered from its lane and struck him as he walked along the shoulder of Highway 90 in Walton County, Florida.  Two news reports:

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BF - Mother Teresa BeijingMother Teresa went barefoot even in Beijing’s harsh winter – by P.K. Balachandran, in The New Indian Express News Service (January 21, 2017)

While speaking at a talk given by Navin Chawla, Mother Teresa’s biographer, A. Natarajan (India’s Consul General in Jaffna) noted that Mother Teresa, an epitome of simplicity and piety, went barefoot even in the biting cold of Beijing during a visit there.

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Woman driving barefootBelow, we’ve listed two articles (one from the U.S., the other Australia) on the legality of driving barefoot.  Both answer correctly: it’s legal (no laws prohibit driving barefoot).  But oddly, both articles then recommend against it anyway–based on myths and inaccurate assumptions.  However, the “comments” sections include excellent replies from those with actual barefoot driving experience.

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BF - Water ski team new yearOne Tega Cay team went barefoot to celebrate 2017. They made a splash

The Carolina Show Ski Team started 2017 off the way they do most every year.  By kicking off the shoes, and putting toes to the water.

BF - Gwen Moffat Mt guideMountain guide Gwen’s life inspires winning film – by Margaret Chrystall in What’s On North (December, 2016)

In December, the Banff Mountain Film Festival celebrated outdoor stories, including the short film, Operation Moffat, inspired by the life of Gwen Moffat, Britain’s first female mountain guide.

Moffat’s first book, Space Below My Feet, shares the 91-year-old’s first experience of climbing during the Second World War.  In the film, writer Claire Carter and film-maker Jen Randall follow in Gwen’s footsteps – including climbing in bare feet.  As Claire explains: “Gwen climbed barefoot to begin with because she couldn’t afford boots.”

Video clip from the movieOperation Moffat which highlights Moffat’s barefoot climbing exploits.

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bf-baseball-pitcher-barefootThat time a pitcher threw  a complete game barefoot – by Tim Hagerty, in Sporting News, (December 23, 2016)

Forget “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Marlin Stuart went shoeless and sockless.  Stuart grew up in the 1930s.  By the time he was 18, Stuart was dominating the muggy sandlots of Arkansas.  When the St. Louis Browns signed him in 1940, Stuart told them he had never seen a pair of spikes.  “I can just naturally pitch better when I can feel the diamond dust oozing between my toes.” . . .

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bf-football-player-ben-jones Titans’ Ben Jones plans to walk frigid field barefoot before NFL game on Sunday – by Mark Inabinett, in AL.com sports (December 17, 2016)

Lots of NFL players have a pregame ritual.  Ben Jones, Tennessee Titans center, always takes a stroll on the field in his bare feet, regardless of weather.

Another article about Jones’s barefoot ritual by Jim Wyatt in Titansonline (December 15, 2016)

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bf-winter-barefoot-printGet in touch with nature: Should you try barefoot winter walking? – by Jini Reddy, in The Telegraph, Well-being and Fitness  (December 12, 2016)

“When we put our feet in shoes, we block their ability to communicate with the earth,” states Lynne Allbutt, a Welshwoman, author, TV personality and first woman to run across Wales barefoot, as she invites the author for a barefoot walk–in winter.

Related Links:

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bf-research-walking-heel-firstWhy we walk on our heels instead of our toes – by Alexis Blue, in Phys.org (December 12, 2016)

An excellent article about a research study from the University of Arizona published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.  In addressing the mechanics of walking and running, the study also explores the question of why barefoot runners often use a different stride that would feel unnatural when walking.

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bf-weddingWediquette Wednesday: Is it acceptable for a bride to go barefoot at her wedding? – by Melanie Warner Spencer, in Let Them Eat Cake, the official blog of New Orleans Bride magazine, offering a daily dose of all things weddings (December 7, 2016).

In answer to a mother-in-law’s concern about her daughter-in-law’s plan to be barefoot for her wedding, Melanie offers some no-nonsense, intelligent advice (spoiler alert: she says it’s OK).
Click here for a follow-up article by Melanie (December 21, 2016).

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bf-tightrope-walkerBarefoot walker breaks world record in 246m-high slackline stroll – by Kate Solomon, in Yahoo News (December 6, 2016)

A tightrope walker in Mexico City has broken a dizzying world record after walking barefoot between two high-rise buildings.

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bf-walk-across-americaThis Guy Is Walking Across America Barefoot to Protest Climate ChangeBy Tori Telfer, in Vice (December 2, 2016)

Mark Baumer is walking across the United States barefoot, but this isn’t his first rodeo. He’s already walked the length of the country once before—though that time, he wore shoes.”  This time, he’s walking to raise money for an environmentalist group.

SAD UPDATE: On January 21, 2017, as Mark walked along the shoulder of Highway 90 in Walton County, Fla., a car veered out of its lane and struck him.  Mark died at the scene.   Two news reports:

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bf-runner-india-awarenessHyderabad woman runs barefoot for 350 km to raise breast cancer awareness – by Think Change India, in Your Story (November 29, 2016)

Hyderabad woman runs barefoot for 350 km to raise breast cancer awareness.  Another report on this story here.

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BF - Walking studyUpdate on a study previously noted.  Earlier, we cited a report on research to study the differences between the feet of habitually barefoot South African children and their counterparts in Europe (Walking Barefoot Study Underway, scroll below to December 3, 2015) .

Updates:

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bf-beach-bf-trainingThree Reasons Surfers Should Start Training Barefoot – by Nick Holt, in The Inertia (November 15, 2016)

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bf-healthy-feetStudies show shoes are ruining our feet and here’s why – by Kelsey Robertson, Deseret News Service, in the Randolph County Herold Tribune [Illinois] (November 10, 2016)

Citing various studies comparing the foot health of those who habitually go barefoot and those who wear shoes, the article concludes, “Science shows why all of us should strive to embrace certain aspects of going barefoot.”

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bf-michelle-obama-bMichelle Obama’s Latest White House Rule: Shoes Are Not Mandatory – by Jillian Ruffo, in People Style (October 17, 2016)

When a woman standing in line at the White House to meet Michelle Obama developed aching feet and asked if she could take her shoes off, the First Lady replied, “Yes, and you can tell anyone who tells you to put them back on that Mrs. Obama said you can take them off.

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bf-winnipeg-man-barefootWinnipeg man walking barefoot for 13 years – by Beth MacDonell, CTV News, Winnipeg, Canada (October, 17, 2016)

Simon Jardine took off his shoes in the summer after sixth grade, 13 years ago. He’s been going barefoot ever since.  “Not wearing shoes is comfortable and wearing shoes is physically painful,” said Jardine.  He added that walking without shoes is healthier and connects him to his surrounding.

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bf-runner-guiness-recordIllinois man sets three Guinness records running barefoot – by Tim Froberg, USA Today Network-Wisconsin (Appleton Post-Crescent) (September 19, 2016)

Barefoot runner Sonny Molina set three Guinness World Records (unofficial until verified), according to Fox Cities Marathon officials–for most half marathons in a month by a male, most half marathons in a month barefoot and most half marathons run barefoot on consecutive days.

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bf-dirt-and-healthGet Your Children Good and Dirty – By B. Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta, Wall Street Journal, (September 15, 2016)

“Researchers are discovering how crucial microbes are to our health and to avoiding a range of newly common diseases. So it’s time to get dirty, eat better and stop overusing antibiotics”

[The article’s related photo suggests this obviously includes going barefoot.]

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bf-weightlifterNo Shoes, No Problem. These Bulgarian Lifters Trained Barefoot When Their Luggage Got Lost – by The BarBend Team, BarBend, (September 15, 2016)

Also: a previous post by BarBend (June 26, 2016) on other examples of barefoot weightlifting: Summer Is Barefoot Lifting Season. Here Are Our Favorite Shoeless Snatches

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bf-miss-america-2017Savvy Shields Is Miss America 2017 Winning With Barefoot Dance Routine – by Luigi Lugmayr, I4U News (September 12, 2016)

For the talent portion of the pageant, Shields (Miss Arkansas) performed a jazz dance to “They Just Keep Moving The Line” from the American drama series Smash barefoot.

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LOOK: Barefoot Olympian throws first pitch at Wrigley Field,Beach volleyball player April Ross threw out the first pitch at the friendly confines – by Mike Axisa, CBS Sports (September 02, 2016)

Chicago, IL, USA; USA Olympic Beach volleyball player April Ross throws ceremonial first pitch before the Chicago Cubs and San Fransisco game at Wrigley Field.

Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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bf-soccer-wellesleyWellesley College holds its annual 24 hour Of Barefoot Soccer event on August 20, 2016

Photos from 2016 event here.

Participants pay $25 to play soccer barefoot for 24 hours (or as long as they want).   Proceeds support a charity that raises awareness of AIDS in Africa.

Photo shown here from 2015 event.

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BF - Irish barefoot walk 2016Record-breaking Irish barefoot walker sets his sights on the United States – by Nick Bramhill, Irish  Central [Irish online publication] (August 11, 2016)

Also (earlier article):  This Mayo man has walked over 1000km around Ireland barefoot – and he’s not finished yetby Roisin Nestor, The Journal [Irish online publication] (July 3, 2016)

The story of Eamonn Keaveney, who decided to walk barefoot around Ireland’s coast to raise money for Pieta house, which focuses on preventing suicide and self harm.  The earlier article above points out a reality that any barefooter will recognize: [Eamonn Keaveney] acknowledged that his feet have gotten used to the surfaces and that in the last few days, he’s been able to easily walk over surfaces he previously found difficult.”

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BF - Child in sandWhen you walk with naked feet, how can you ever forget the earth? – by Dianne Traynor RECE, Pedagogical Team Leader and Beth Hartin RECE, Compass Early Learning and Care, Ontario, Canada (July 7, 2016)

A blog article by two educators on the benefits of allowing children to go barefoot in educational settings.  As the article notes, “Children learn with their whole bodies. There can be an instinct for some educators to ask children in programs to keep their shoes on. However, we must not forget that being in their bare feet offers children unique sensory experiences.”

Related article from Compass Early Learning and Care on the benefits of Stepping in Clay, using feet as well as hands.

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BF - Canada barefooting“It is what makes me happy’: Lethbridge pair lives the barefoot life”By Sarah Komadina, Global News, Toronto, Canada (July 7, 2016)

The story of two Canadian women who have chosen the barefoot lifestyle, and who haven’t looked back or regretted their decision.

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BF - Sawmill owner How a barefoot sawmill owner avoided making too much money – by Charles Wohlforth, Alaska Dispatch News (June 20, 2016)

The column begins, “As he has sawed up logs over the last 40 years, the ground has risen up under Steve Gibson’s bare feet. Sawdust and wood chips grow ever deeper on his three acres in the woods east of Homer, like the friendships and conversations that fill the day.”

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BF - Barefoot BarKey West meets Northwest Iowa: No shirt, no shoes, no problem-o at Barefoot Bar – by Earl Horlyk, Sioux City Journal (June 9, 2016)

How about that: a successful food and entertainment establishment (located in Sioux City, Iowa) that understands fun and respects the barefooted customer!

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BF - Memory enhancing Want to enhance your memory? Doodling, yoga or running barefoot can help ramp up recall by Seth Porges, Bloomberg, as reprinted in the Watertown Daily Times (June 7, 2016) and Tyler Morning Telegraph (June 13, 2016)

As the article relates, “…it turns out that slipping off your shoes — or at least paying attention to where you put your feet — may improve your memory.”  (Note: Some may question the methodology of portions of these studies so more research may be needed).

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BF - Love Nina BBC 2Why Going Barefoot Has Become the New Status Symbol – by Shane Watson, The Telegraph (May 28, 2016)

The BBC One series, Love, Nina, featuring a barefoot nanny named Nina (photo), has highlighted the power of bare feet.

Thus, as the article above relates, “…bare feet have become a symbol of confidence, free thinking and a lot more besides. New research shows schoolchildren who don’t wear shoes in class get better grades, read more, and it turns out the Scandinavians insist on it. Bare feet now equals smart as in brainy, and smart as in fashionable.

Why going barefoot is the new green juice – by Frankie Graddon in The Pool (June 1, 2016).  This opinion piece also reflects on going barefoot as “the new status symbol,” with specific reference to the Love, Nina TV series.  [This link found and added October, 2017.]

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BF - Study of shoeless students 2“Schoolchildren with no shoes on ‘do better and behave better in the classroom’, research shows – by Javier  Espinoza, education editor, The Telegraph (May 24, 2016).

The article, siting new research by Bournemouth University, states, “Schoolchildren who attend their lessons wearing no shoes are likely to obtain better grades and behave better than those who wear them, a decade-long academic research has revealed.

The article provides the rationale for no shoes and the observed results, based on a study of schools in Scandinavia, England, Australia and New Zealand.

Dr. Heppell’s related website: “Shoeless Learning Places”

Related follow-up article: Take your shoes off!  Barefoot kids do better at school – by Angela Mollard, News.com.au (June 3, 2016)

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BF - Brittany TaylorWhy I Don’t Wear Shoes – Video by barefoot minimalist Brittany Taylor (May 20, 2016)

Her video introduction states, “I love living life barefoot! Embracing life without footwear has been such a blast and has contributed to the joy, health, and connection I experience in so many ways. In this video in my “why I don’t” series, I share my experiences and evolution around wearing shoes, sandals, and ultimately embracing the joy of being barefoot.”

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BF - Love Nina BBCBBC TV series, Love, Nina features a barefooted lead character named Nina, a nanny who moves to London to care for two children.  Based on the real life experiences of Nina Stibbe.

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BF - Councilor RodolfoBarefoot Councilor Stands Out in Zambo – in Inquirer Mindanao, the Philippines, by Julie Alipala (May 15, 2016)

The inspiring account of the humble Councilor Rodolfo Bayot, who roamed his city barefoot to remove his campaign materials.  He received the the moniker “barefoot councilor” for walking around and going to work with no shoes or slippers.

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BF - julia roberts CannesActress Julia Roberts barefoot at Cannes Film Festival – in People, by Dave Quinn (May 13, 2016)

The article, “From Pretty Woman to Cannes: Every Time Julia Roberts Famously Rocked the Barefoot Look,” offers a positive report recounting memorable times Roberts has chucked her footwear.

Related Articles:

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BF - High HeelIs it legal to force women to wear high heels at work? – 

A 27 year old woman working for a City firm in London says she was sent home for refusing to wear high heels. But is this legal, fair or healthy?  An interesting twist on footwear choice that could have a bearing on the right (or at least option) to go barefoot.

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BF - Anna Klinge performance Anna Klinge puts her best foot forward – on the Britain’s Got Talent TV program  (May 7, 2016)

Anna offers a totally amusing, creative and entertaining performance using her feet.   See also her German language website here.

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BF - Good for HealthGoing barefoot may be good for your health – by Kyle Davey in the Statesman Journal (April 21, 2016)

The author observes, “…it’s really, really important to have healthy, well-stimulated, happy feet in order to have a happy, healthy, well-functioning brain.  And shoes don’t make for happy feet.”

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BF - Hike C divide - DaveMan Plans to Hike Continental Divide Trail Barefoot – by Rob Cheney, The Missoulian, Casper Star Tribune (April 30, 2016)

Dave will attempt to hike the 3,100 mile trail over the course of two years.  As Dave relates, “It took about three weeks but it got to the point where I could walk barefoot without anything bothering me.”

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bf-workplace-gustoThe CEO of a $1 billion company explains why he makes everyone who walks into the office take their shoes off – By Jacquelyn Smith, Business Insider (March 18, 2016)

The article relates, “Joshua Reeves, the cofounder and CEO of Gusto, recently told Adam Bryant of The New York Times that he’s implemented a no-shoe policy at work.  ‘…Companies can be sterile and cold,’ Reeves added. ‘We want our workplace to be really comfortable. In some ways, people feel more like themselves when their shoes are off.’  And his employees agree...”

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BF - Orthotics K MarvinOrthotics or not > Our limiting foot beliefs are hurting us – article by Kristin Marvin, a sports performance recovery specialist (March 29, 2016)

The author writes, “Research on European, Indian and Asian adults who had never worn shoes in their lifetime all showed fan shaped feet with variations in arch height. Flat feet, middle arch or high arched unshod adults were all asymptomatic. That means no foot problems.”  The article continues with the “Top 10 things to do for better foot/overall body health.”  (Kristin Marvin’s website and blog: <http://kristinmarvinfitness.com/>)

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BF - Yorkshire Wild gooseYorkshire’s first barefoot walking club aimed at curing stresses of Leeds city life b in Yorkshire Evening Post (March 14, 2016)

The article begins, “Hayley Gillard, an ecotherapist who runs the Wild Goose social enterprise, is quite literally stepping up her bid to help crammed city dwellers destress through the first barefoot walking club to be founded in Leeds and possibly Yorkshire.

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BF - Child 1Why kids should go barefoot more (and probably adults, too)b in The Washington Post, On Parenting (February 29, 2016)

An informative article on the benefits of going barefoot–especially for children but also adults–and how allowing children the freedom to go barefoot can significantly contribute to their physical and psychological health.   Based on the research and personal experience of the author.

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BF - Kids outsideWhy You Should Let Your Kids Go Barefoot Outside b in PopSugar (March 1, 2016) – A follow up article to the Washington Post article directly above

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BF - Archer - M StutsmanParalympic “Armless Archer” features on HBO’S Real SportsBox Score  (February 26, 2016)

The inspirational story and video featuring Matt Stutzman, an armless 2012 Paralympic silver medalist in archery, who demonstrates what our feet can accomplish when given the opportunity.

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BF - UW Barefoot GuyUp close and personal with the UW’s ‘barefoot guy’ – by Laura Mishkin, The Daily, University of Washington  (February 23, 2016)

The story of Michael Kastama, a sophomore at the University of Washington, who is known for walking barefoot around campus and has lived barefoot for the past nine years.

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BF - Brain body connectionHow Walking Barefoot Affects Your Brain-Body Connection – Dr. Houston Anderson, CureJoy (February 22, 2016)

Recognizing the correlation between shoe wearing and foot problems, the author writes, “The first step to training your feet to return to their natural healthy status is to introduce them to the natural environment,” and then follows with an intriguing challenge to the reader.

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BF - Examiner - 1Surprising benefits and risks of going barefoot – by Jane Buhler,  Houston WellnessExaminer (February 22, 2016)

An informative article focusing on the health benefits of going barefoot, citing supporting research.

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BF - Thomas Jane 2Thomas Jane still shoeless after all these years – By Ruben V. Nepales in Inquirer.netPhilippine Daily Inquirer (February 19, 2016)

The three-time Golden Globe nominee for HBO’s “Hung” series, who also appeared in “The Punisher” and “The Expanse” goes barefoot, even at the premieres of his shows and movies.  As he notes in the article, “I love the sensation of feeling my body connected with my environment whereas with shoes on, your feet are just imprisoned all day.”

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BF - NovoselovUkrainian Man Has Been Walking Barefoot for the Last 10 Years, Regardless of Weather – by Sumitra in OddityCentral.  (January 7, 2016)

The story of Andrzej Novosiolov who, despite his region’s sub-zero winters, has walked barefoot since February 2006.

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BF - Climber - FrenchVideo of barefoot French rock climber Charles Albert.  French title: “Celui Qui Grimpe Du 8C Bloc Pieds Nus” (January 5, 2016)

Charles started barefoot climbing after discovering that his climbing shoes were suddenly too small.  A French language video with English subtitles.

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BF - Climber - nguyenMeet Vu Nguyen, the World’s Best Barefoot Climber – Article by Melanie Wong in Outsider Magazine  (December 21, 2015)

As Lynn Hill, an American climbing pioneer, notes in the article, “…I could see how climbing barefoot could be an advantage.  Our movements are based on sensory inputs, and if you’re wearing shoes, that’s mainly through your eyes and your hands. You can see the appeal of having your feet on the rock as well.

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BF - Walking studyWalking Barefoot Study Underway – By Ilse Fredericks  (December 3, 2015)

Report on a new research project–a collaboration between the University of Hamburg, Germany and South Africa’s Stellenbosch University department of Sport Science, to study the differences between the feet of habitually barefoot South African children and their counterparts in Europe.

Update:

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BF - Ithaca collegeGoing Barefoot, Strong ‘Foot Core’ could help prevent Plantar Fasciitis, Shin Splints and other common injuries – Ithaca College Newswise.

Interview with Dr. Patrick McKeon of Ithaca College School of Health Sciences (November 17, 2015)

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BF - Walking barefoot-1Walking Barefoot Helps You Avoid Foot Injuries, Also Improves Posture, Balance and Stability – a Medical Daily article by Samantha Olson  (November 18, 2015).

As the article states, “Walking barefoot can help foster how the brain sends signals through the muscle groups to improve balance.

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BF - Myth-Fact-3Barefoot Myths – The following two new web pages identify common barefoot myths–and facts to counter them.  How many of the myths have you heard . . . or believed?!

Top Ten Barefoot Myths (November, 2015) – From the SBL website

Footwear Use–Myth and Reality (revised November, 2015) – By physician an researcher Dr. Steven Robbins, MD

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BF - Run across USRunner’s World article on man who runs across the U.S. barefoot (November 6, 2015).

The article states, “Brown, who averaged about 20 miles per day, believes he is one of the first individuals to run across the U.S. without shoes. Others, including Rae Heim, have finished most of the distance unshod but wore shoes for some segments. After more than 3,000 miles of ground-pounding, Brown said his feet are in ‘good condition’.”

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BF - Men's exercise-1Men’s Health article Four exercises You Should Always Do Barefoot, by Jill Fanslau.  (October 2, 2015)

The article states:  “’If you look at the problems of the foot—hammer toes, achilles tendonitis, pronation, bunions—they’re all because of shoes… When you stub your foot in a shoe all day, it makes your foot muscles, tendons, and ligaments weak. You lose mobility in your foot because it’s not moving over the ground like it’s suppose to.’  So Rooney’s advice: Go barefoot—especially at the gym.”

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BF - feetfreex-jumpIn his Blog, Dr. Daniel Howell, writes about “…a grassroots movement started by Jessi Stensland to liberate our feet and persuade the footwear industry to provide smarter shoes for our feet.”  (September 28, 2015).

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 BF - Ruin YoutubeWhy “Buy One, Give One” [Shoe] Companies Don’t Help Anyone – Educational video produced as part of the Adam Ruins Everything series.  (September, 2015)

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BF - Footprints-1Sole Exposed – A thoughtful article by Mark P. Davies in Spirit Of Change Magazine (September, 2015).

The author reflects on the often overlooked benefits and delights of going barefoot, especially outdoors.

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BF - MailmanThe story of the “Barefoot Mailman” A Palm Beach, Florida Post Times (September 23, 2015).

An article about one of the area’s most endearing figures–who also happened to go barefoot.

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BF - Hilltop ViewsBarefoot students embody Austin culture by comfortably not wearing shoeswrites Jasmine Rodriguez in Hilltop Views, the student newspaper at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas  (September 25, 2015)

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BF - In Office-1Going Barefoot in Office Boosts Creativity! – by Ismat Tahseen in the Times of India  (August, 2015)

Who would want to argue with the inspiring premise of this article!

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BF - Memories-1Memories of Barefoot Summers are Inspiring Me to Go Shoeless Once More – a submitted personal reflection by J. E. Hewitt contributed to The Globe and Mail, Toronto, Canada,  Facts & Arguments section.  (June 30, 2015)

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Sabrina Fox - 1In 2014, author and speaker  Sabrina Fox embarked on a very unusual adventure.  She took her shoes off for a year.  She wanted to find out what would happen: to her feet, to her well-being, to her surroundings.  In the last twenty-five years she has studied and written about the mind-body-connection.

View her video presentation (June 23, 2015) about her barefoot journey and resulting  discoveries.

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In Life of a Barefoot Dude (June 23, 2015) writer Rob Greenfield writes about his conversion to a barefoot lifestyle and the benefits he gained as a result.

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imageBarefoot Lifestyle Interview (May 3, 2015) – Paul Mumford, an internationally respected Personal Fitness Trainer, interviews Dr. Steve Bloor, a barefoot podiatrist in the UK (for an article in Ultra-FIT magazine, June 2014, from which he used excerpts for this interview).

Read Paul’s article on his own blog here: “It’s time to get naked (a somewhat misleading title).

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krf_fea_barefootdustin010_021815Student makes the daily commute barefoot – by Ryan Squanda  (February 19, 2015)

As reported in The State News (Michigan State University’s online newspaper)

 

 

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BF - Jeopardy-1Shoeless student competes on the Jeopardy! TV game show

As reported in Philadelphia magazine. (February 11, 2015)

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barefoot.jpgAs reported in the Central Florida Future, “UCF students bare all below the ankle, walk barefoot,” by Rachel S. Stuart  (November, 2014).


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BF - Shoes 1Why Taking Off Your Shoes Could Be the Key to a Better Workout – Kelsey Cannon, in Men’s Health (November 6, 2014)

The article begins, “Your naked feet can help you lift more during this type of exercise…

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BF - Macalaster barefootersNo Shoes, No Problem: Macalester’s Barefooters – By Ahren Lahvis, in The Mac Weekly (October 31, 2014)

Story of two Macalester College students who opt to go barefoot.

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BF - Lent shoelesssGiving Up Shoes, Gaining Perspective – By Melissa Aguilar, in The Beacon, University of Portland, (September 17, 2014)

Sophomore Katie May gave up wearing shoes after her experiences working with homeless and underprivileged people in Haiti and Spokane, Washington. Though she originally gave up shoes for Lent she decided to keep going barefoot after Lent ended.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA5 Reasons to Let Your  Children Go Barefoot – by Kathleen Quiring in Red & Honey, a site dedicated to natural living, parenting, eco-friendly ventured and real food recipes  (June, 2014)

As  the article relates, “…little ones — whose bodies are growing rapidly — can especially benefit from going without shoes.”

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BF - Gym-1Want Better Control of Your Body? Exercise Barefoot  (March, 2014)

Article on New Yorker Stacey Lei Krauss, who has studied barefoot exercise for 10 years, works as a fitness adviser and has developed a class to help participants strengthen and increase foot mobility while learning to move and land gracefully.

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BF - Barebottom-DragonSue Kenney, developer of Barebottom Shoes, appears on the Dragon’s Den TV show in Canada (January, 2014)

The Barrie Examiner article reports on the presentation and results of Kenney’s appearance on the show.

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BF-Teacher-Howell‘Barefoot professor’ stands out – by K. M. Calpin in Liberty Champion, Liberty University student newspaper (October 30, 2012)

As the article begins, “Daniel Howell encourages students to ‘go natural’ by defining the benefits of shoelessness.”

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BF - Walking-barefoot - PreventionDos and Don’ts of Barefoot Walking, learn how ditching your shoes can reduce pain and prevent future injuries – Article by Natalie Mackenzie in Prevention magazine  (May, 2012)

Provides a primer for the general public on barefoot walking.  Directed toward those still contemplating its benefits and limits.

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BARFOOT1.jpg Sonnet Baker, of Boulder, climbed Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro barefoot in 2011. Used with permission from Baker.Barefoot on the trails: Hiking barefoot follows the running boom – By Jenn Fields, Colorado Daily (Jan. 2012)

The article begins, “When Sonnet Baker showed up at the bottom of Mount Kilimanjaro ready to hike up the mountain barefoot, her guides had doubts.

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BarefeetInTheNewsBarefoot Professor Dr. Howell on NBC’s TODAY SHOW with Kathie Lee and Sheryl Crow (Dec. 2, 2010)

View the video clip here