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  • Still Barefoot

    June 21st, 2019
    barefoot
    I've now been walking barefoot most of the time during the warm months for about eight years. While I started going barefoot as a way to save money, back when I thought frugality should one of the higher priorities if you're trying to do good in the world instead of one of the lower ones, I've continued doing it mostly because it makes my knees hurt less.

    Walking barefoot in the city I was initially worried about hurting myself stepping on something. I got splinters occasionally in the first few months (four times, looks like) but after about six months my feet have gotten sturdy enough that I've very rarely had issues. Even when I've accidentally stepped on broken glass I've been able to just wipe my feet off and keep going.

    The times I have hurt my feet have been at the beginning of the warm months when I've responded to the weather change by suddenly walking long distances without shoes. If the muscles in my feet aren't ready, it can get pretty painful. The last few springs I've done a lot better about easing into it.

    After initially having some trouble with the MBTA, I haven't been bothered about not wearing shoes there since. My work also doesn't require shoes (except in the cafeteria) which means that in the warm months I only need to put shoes on for lunch or to go into a store. I keep a thin pair of flip-flops in my backpack now for if I'm going to need to go somewhere that requires them.

    One thing I am careful about when traveling, though, is that I'll only go barefoot in places that freeze in winter, have good sanitation, or ideally both. I don't want to be getting parasites, potential autoimmune benefits aside.

    Overall I'm pretty happy with barefoot walking, and plan to keep doing it. No one gives me a hard time, my knees are doing ok, and, yes, I need new shoes less often.

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