Barefoot all over, all over: Part THREE

Alf’s Rules for Hiking Barefoot

Alf wrote this. He is dear to many who frequented the TSNS site. He is an avid barefootist, and a fine advocate for being barefoot everywhere. This is a good knowledgeable outline and a basic barefoot footbook . In time I will take some of his points and add science, the medical reasoning, contribute my own understanding and direct you into a deeper understanding of some of these points that he gives here. For now, perhaps you may trust that this is correct and use it.

 

Alf’s Rules for Hiking Barefoot

1. The MOST IMPORTANT RULE is to ALWAYS STEP STRAIGHT DOWN.
2. Don’t walk as you would when wearing shoes. Instead, follow rule #3.
3. Land on the toes and balls of your feet, then shift weight to the heels.
4. Do not scuff your feet. Lift your feet properly for each stride.
5. Watch the path ahead of you to plan each footfall.
6. Keep your head up and scan your entire environment so as to enjoy the walk.
7. Try walking on different surfaces, both natural and manmade. Try mud.
8. Be BOLD, people generally don’t care that you are barefoot, so enjoy the experience.
9. Your calf muscles may get tired if you are inexperienced or if you don’t shift your weight to the heels after each footfall.
10. The arches of your feet will gradually get more pronounced and take a more natural shape.
11. The skin of your soles will gradually thicken.
12. You will learn to distinguish the difference between pain and normal sensations.
13. Beginners will probably interpret loud sensations as pain.
14. If you persist, you will want to increase your barefoot activities.
15. Walking barefoot in snow is sometimes OK, but don’t continue if you feel numb.
16. Your feet will not get sweaty and stinky, they will be healthier overall, but you must use lotion regularly, remove calloused skin from the heels, and carefully remove the occasional thorn.
17. Barefoot walking is natural, shod walking is normal (based on averages).
18. Above all, enjoy the sensations of being barefoot.

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