22 January 2014

Barefoot walking

A couple of treasured blogs that I read have recently included a New Year's resolution of sorts: I shall walk. I'm with them on that, doing it and loving it.

Once upon a time - as in from 40 years ago stretching back to the dawn of humans - people didn't have to take daily walks as a separate part of their day. It was just a necessity to get somewhere. How things have changed. We need to purposely drag our soft bodies out of our upholstered chairs and car seats and get moving, because our bodies are not designed to slob around for extended periods.

I've continued to be fascinated with the idea of 'natural' human movement, how far we've diverged from it, and how we can get back to it in a pleasurable way. (I wrote about my initial discoveries of this concept here and here.)

Here are a few pics of a walk I do often. During term time I drop Anna at school and stride home this way. In the holidays I get up early to do it before Ian goes to work. We are so lucky to live just a couple of minutes walk from a beautiful natural place.

This cave woman forages as she walks... well,
for her chickens at least. They love greens. And
a girl who feels the cold can't resist a pinecone
 when she thinks about how easy they make
it to light the fire in winter.

Did you spot my barefoot shoes? I love them, although they look creepy, and stink after a few days (they are easy to wash though). I can walk over stones without so much as flinching thanks to their tough sole. It is fabulous to feel my feet walking as they should. I have some pretty barefoot shoes too, and on the rare occasions I have to wear 'real' shoes now (e.g. when doing DIY tasks where things could crash down on the top of my feet) it feels like I'm clomping around with a couple of barges on my flippers.

I've been going barefoot since November. For ELEVEN YEARS until June last year I wore orthotic inner soles and thought that supportive shoes were a moral imperative if I was to avoid the pain of plantar fasciitis.

But here I am nearly three months later, relying on the support of nothing but my own muscles, tendons and bones, with completely pain-free feet. It's a beautiful thing. I do, however, do certain stretches daily to give my feet a helping hand.

Also, I rarely walk on concrete or asphalt. I choose grass verges instead of the footpath (dog poo alert!) but most of all I go off-road and cross-country wherever possible. Healthy feet enjoy and need to walk over tree roots, hillocks, sand etc.

But the best thing about these shoes, as you can see, is that I can pick flowers as I walk.


  1. It has been a trend for everyone to take pictures of their feet the last few years. Why on earth I don't know. But yours are the 1st I truly loved--got a great big laugh when I saw those shoes!

    1. Great! Glad you liked it. Usually I get some pretty strange looks when I wear these shoes. Only the brave onlookers ask me about them.

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