Author Topic: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons  (Read 163 times)

jbeegoode

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Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« on: June 26, 2020, 06:41:51 PM »
We were getting off about what to wear when nude hiking and off in nature on the "Handbook thread."

I'm thinking that this might be a good topic. It isn't specific to the  "Barefoot" thread.

ric wrote: i dont like walking in boots , i just feel they restrict ankle movement....and freedom of movement is one reason for not wearing clothes in the first place.   i also like wearing sandals to let air circulate around my toes.   only boots i ever wear is wellies.

John P. wrote to respond to ric: I'm afraid that for any serious hiking, I need boots. On an easy trail I'll walk in sandals, but I have a bad habit of kicking rocks or fallen branches, and injuring my toes. And I do seem to lead with my right, because that foot gets more than its share of damage.

Maybe I should join this group and build up my resolve to be in contact with Mother Earth:
https://www.meetup.com/eastern-mass-barefoot-hikers/

BobKnows replied: Bob Knows: I"m with Ric.  Boots or shoes are restrictive and actually harmful to human feet.  Boots or shoes increase the risk of painful or debilitating injuries.

Then, I found myself off on a general footwear spiel about my experience with boots, trails, with pros and cons for boots.



« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 06:55:41 PM by jbeegoode »
Barefoot all over, all over.

jbeegoode

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 06:43:25 PM »
Toe shoes are like moccasins with a big gob of rubber in from of each toe. My toes don't go to the end, but for the big two. The strap around the ankle and the instep help to keep my feet from sliding forward when downhill, combined with the inside of my toes stopping me from sliding forward to cause pressure to loose a nail.

I'm more aware of each step, like being naked in foliage. Boots just allow me to trudge through, kicking away, less awareness, like wearing heavy clothes, breaking away at everything, less in touch, but making better time.

I look down for snakes and consequently, naturally, I see most rocks and roots, which I don't kick so hard from awareness.
 
There's less weight and less shuffle out of boots.

I got out of my stiff alpine boots (which were so heavy) and found a pair of thick rubber sole moccasin-like boots in the nineteen seventies. Those worked all over South America. The Army caught up with that technology shortly after and in the early eighties and I found their technology in canvas boots, when the high-top moccasins with thick wicking socks weren't available anymore.

The stiff old multilayered vibram soles sewn into leather were just plain clunky, compared to the flexible lighter tan rubber desert boots. Some mountain boots had metal bars down them. I'd wear wicking socks with the less breathable moccasins.

I was given a pair of thin sole track shoes with leather tops in the late seventies, early Nikes. I found how well I could move on the rocks at Redington translated to all other trails. My whole body was better balanced and they gripped better.

I was told in the late sixties, that if I went barefoot that I would have no arch support, which would fall and flat feet would get me out of the draft. I decided that flat feet was better than Vietnam injuries and at 16, began spending summers barefoot in Michigan (It was cool, hippie stuff to be barefoot). Although the asphalt and concrete was a problem, hopping off to the grass was Heaven. Winters were long and way cold, but I got some fur lined boots with simple rubber soles and Bass Wejan penny loafers.

Moving to Tucson in the early seventies got me into custom Indian Kaibob moccasins and custom cowboy boots. The moccasins wore out easily and I began to mostly wear the boots everywhere, but Redington situations. After over 30 years of those boots, I developed Morton's Neuroma from squeezing my toes and high heals. I got used to walking unnaturally. My hiking boots took my toenails,when I began to get back out hiking more after seldom hiking for a couple of decades.

When the front of my feet spread out and the heels stayed the same, shoes just stopped fitting. Custom boots was what I had. Vick down at Stewart Boots knew more than my podiatrist. Still, the above problems. There ain't nothin' like barefoot, except like barefoot, so toes shoes and barefeet, became my norm. I still kick a rock here and there, usually when I get tired. I hear a pained grown out of DF every so often, too, but that glob of rubber has always saved me. It curls up. It is like a heavy stiff metal bumpers compared to a new techy flexible bumper that cushions and absorbs impact.
 
It used to be that I would lose toenails constantly and have to hang up my hiking boots for months at a time. My toenails are still deformed from walking downhill in the wrong shoes after several years.

Iím barefoot whenever possible, certainly indoors, ala India. I mostly put on high end flipflops if the ground is sharp or hot, or very cold. I have handmade leather sole gillies for dancing or dressing up a bit. Toe shoes for hiking/backpacking.  I massage my feet and apply coconut oil.
Jbee
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 06:52:37 PM by jbeegoode »
Barefoot all over, all over.

ric

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2020, 10:44:55 AM »
my footwear of choice is strapped sandals , 2 straps over the front and one round the heel.  velcro fastenings are secure enough.  i tend to wear a size bigger so theres a bit of sole stuck out infront of the toes.   most of my walfing is on good surfaces, most rambles are along smooth paths.   ill go barefoot on good grass, but its rare.   when its wet ill wear socks and wellies , when too cold for sandals its a good pair of leather shoes with socks.  but april till october its mainly the sandals.   exceptions being when i feel toes need protection , strimming,mowing, welding etc.

very occasionally ill wear a pair of trainers... usually if im going somewhere too wet and muddy for proper shoes and not wet enough for wellies.... but i find they make my feet sweat,   and a surprising number come too far up the back of the ankle to be comfortable.

Peter S

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2020, 12:09:25 PM »
House and garden - bare feet (unless it's cold, when socks and slippers come into play - if my feet are cold or warm the rest of me follows)
Going round to the neighbours - sandals, easy to slip on and off - pavements are gritty and gravelly
Walking the dog - usual walk area, trainers - lots of grass but also very stony pathways
Into town - trainers or shoes, depending on level of casualness
Proper hiking - boots. Copes with all surfaces and terrains and protects ankles against turns and trips.
Visiting the grandchildren - boots. Too much Lego lying in wait.
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Bob Knows

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2020, 04:09:39 PM »
I've been generally barefoot, or nudefoot, summer and winter for about 6 years now.  Nudefoot around home, in the woods, in stores and bars, its all good.

I do my hiking barefoot.  The only terrain I avoid nudefoot is crushed rock such as former railroad ballast.  Our feet evolved bare and are capable of almost every natural terrain, but crushed rock is unnatural.  When forced I use harrachi sandals with a thin sole and strings.
Human bodies are natural, comfortable, and green.
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jbeegoode

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2020, 10:37:26 PM »
"NUDEFOOT" I like that.

I found that after being barefoot in Zipolite for a couple of weeks my feet got well versed in nude. When I got back, they were used to it and didn't seem to know that they were bare. As time goes on, being indoors, shoes for burning hot asphalt and crete, they are more sensitive and remember that they are bare.
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

nuduke

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2020, 10:43:26 PM »
I wear sandals too but I also find that wearing hiking shoes (rather than boots) is comfortable and safer.  When the terrain is right e.g. meadow or grassy path, I will take the shoes off and walk barefoot.  I have done some hiking in huaraches (kit from Xero Shoes) which is nice.  It's surprising how comfortable and suitable they are for reasonably heavy walking.  I don't wear them tied up the ankle or leg.  I have adapted mine to the most minimal tie I can work out - Thong style at the toes, one cord over the top of the foot and round the heel tied at the top in a single knot.  Very comfy and very minimal.
I don't like mockasins, I prefer realasins!   :D
John

MartinM

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2020, 01:34:25 PM »
Boots went many years ago, the probable cause of problems to my feet which a podiatrist said was a collapsed metatarsal arch. When he had nothing to explain the cause and I found no benefit from wearing recommended basic orthotic, rather it seemed to prevent my foot from doing anything, I started my journey to becoming a barefooter, at the same time as I started my journey from occasional skinny dipper to naturist.

ĎLess is moreí I had read in an aticle in Trail magazine, although they were trying to sell lightweight (but expensive) gear. The phrase stuck, but perhaps not as they intended. Ok, I bought some light summer boots to use instead of my heavy winter boots which I had worn year round - but I didnít do a lot of summer walking before then. They were, still are (relative to other boots Iíve had) comfortable and light but I quickly moved on to walking sandals. Great in the summer and I started running in them, realising you have to change your gait due to the lack of cushioning.

Then I discovered the original Vibram 5 fingers, which were a revelation, and used them for several years, running and by now, back-up only for walking, as I had discovered the possibilities, delights abd benefits of walking barefoot. But the VFs were a pain to put on when feet cold and wet so I moved on.

I now keep a pair of Sockwa G4 (like water shoes) and some do-it-yourself Xero sandals as backup. The former roll up and go in shorts pockets, the latter are tougher and fit flat in a small pack - but not my favoured for running, especially if muddy.

98% or more of my time is completely barefoot. I used to stub my toes fairly regularly in VFs. That little lump of rubber at the end of each toe was the reason - apparently my brain wasnít very good at accounting for the extra. When I convinced myself to go entirely naked on my morning runs, my feet toughened up some more and, while I would occasionally catch a toe, when I did it was less of a collision, a lesson to keep the spring in my legs and to stay mindful. I have a slight problem because both little toes are so damaged by shoes so that they curl down permanently, making them prone to being caught and less flexible to impact.

Ok, so the other day I obviously wasnít so mindful, or just unlucky. I took a chunk out my little toe. There was some blood to begin with but when I got back I just cleaned it up, cut off the thickened skin that had pulled away and put a plaster on. No real damage, although the skin will take some time to thicken again. Itís sensitivity will keep me careful....

Hiking is less of a problem although I occasionally need to resort to backup if I come across a track made with sharp granite chippings, or similar.

Being barefoot is part now of who I am, as is being naked when I can. I am only truly happy when I am fully naked in natural surroundings - and the weather is kind.
Tread lightly upon the earth!

BlueTrain

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2020, 06:05:42 PM »
I think I might be happiest when it's snowing. But that probably puts me in the minority here.

I try not to be dogmatic about footwear, although I've never hiked barefoot. I don't hike that much anymore, about two miles a day, generally over the same trails. I can do that from home and I'm trying to reduce my driving. My usual route takes me over a variety of surfaces, from asphalt paving to mud, from grassy paths to rocky creek beds. I like the freedom that wearing boots gives me. I don't have to worry about what I step on (or in). Even when I've hiked otherwise naked, which has been a while, I still wore boots. The long hikes I've made have mostly been on very rocky trails.

As far as the actual boots I use, I have a variety, some better suited for colder weather. Fit is the most important thing, followed by weight. Boots and shoes sold as hiking boots seem to be the best but I never give advice as to what anyone else should wear. Then again, no one's ever asked.

jmf

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2020, 12:08:05 PM »
I'm a little wary of open-toed shoes. In March, I was in sandals in the garden. I bumped into a root or a small stump and fell. Result: emergency service at the hospital, local anaesthesia to remove a splinter of wood deeply embedded and four stitches.

I like hiking, running, kayaking, biking, sailing, geocaching...naked of course!

Peter S

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2020, 07:35:48 PM »
If you heard a bump, that was me fainting when I scrolled down to JMF's picture ...
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BlueTrain

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2020, 10:57:22 PM »
A cut like that looks much worse when it's just above one of your eyes. Believe me, I know. I used to get into lots of fights.

I have worn both surf shoes, as I think they're called, and sandals, too. But those were both mostly experimental. I otherwise always wear some form of boot and generally speaking, "hiking boots" are probably best. At least they have been for me. The only disadvantage is when wading a creek, you'd want something higher. I nearly always wade a creek on my outings. I actually got the so-called surf shoes for wet weather use but I didn't think they really were any better than regular boots. Just like sandals, grit and small pebbles get inside the shoes. But I guess they have their uses. At least they have well-protected toes.

On the subject of expense, I've never been convinced that really expensive boots and shoes are worth it. I have used hiking boots (about 5 or 6 inches high) from Walmart on a long hike and they were perfectly fine on a very rocky trail. They weren't ultra light but neither were they particularly heavy. They were on the stiff side, though, but that's what I want for a rough and rocky trail with a lot of climbing.

I think I've mentioned before somewhere that thinking about the prospect of a serious injury in the backwoods on a day hike led me to a somewhat radical revision of my first aid outfit. What I used to carry (on a long hike) was really inadequate for a serious injury and unnecessary for anything else. My original, traditional first aid kit goes in the car and on trips. My new first aid kit now consists of an army field dressing for puncture wounds and a few bandaids for everything else. I suppose a broken bone would be a really bad thing but I don't know what you might carry for that. I have had to get medical attention for bad falls but they happened at home. Either it's safer in the woods or I'm more careful out there.

nuduke

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2020, 01:20:22 AM »
I'm a little wary of open-toed shoes. In March, I was in sandals in the garden. I bumped into a root or a small stump and fell. Result: emergency service at the hospital, local anaesthesia to remove a splinter of wood deeply embedded and four stitches.

OUCH!  That was a nasty injury.  That must have restricted your hiking for a week or two, JMF.
I recently (early March) cut my thumb very badly (7 stitches) and it still isn't back to fully operational yet.  Has your injury fully healed?
John

Bob Knows

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2020, 04:54:45 PM »
I'm a little wary of open-toed shoes. In March, I was in sandals in the garden. I bumped into a root or a small stump and fell. Result: emergency service at the hospital, local anaesthesia to remove a splinter of wood deeply embedded and four stitches. 

There are risks everywhere.   There have been a few risk studies of bare feet vs. shod feet.   Shoes tend to result in more risk of slip and fall injuries.  Feet have special nerve endings that measure how slippery the surface is, but they aren't effective when the foot is covered.  Shoes prevent some foot injuries, but increase the risk of ankle, knee, hip, and back injuries. 

Over the years I suffered numerous "sprained ankle" or sprained knee injuries while wearing shoes or boots.  One common cause of sprained ankles is stepping on a rock that rolls under your (solid) shoe.  That turns your ankle or knee. When you are 5 miles from your car that can be serious.  While I was a Scoutmaster one Assistant Scoutmaster told about his experience doing trail running in athletic shoes.  His female running partner suffered a spiral leg fracture when a rock rolled under her running shoe. Lots of dangers out there.   

The usual heel strike gait forced by shoes is also responsible for knee, hip, and back damage suffered by many people from years of repetitive small shocks. The medical business now makes big money replacing hips. 


Flip-flops may be the worst of both, not protecting feet and increasing the risk of fall.  Open sandals also have risks of shoe injuries while giving a false sense of confidence that can result in toe injuries.  I now choose to let my own natural feat cope with all the loose rocks, weeds, pieces of wood, pine needles, etc.  I haven't gotten a sprained ankle or other serious foot injury since I started going nudefoot. I haven't slipped and fallen from a wet floor at the auto parts store either.

Human bodies are natural, comfortable, and green.
To see more of Bob you can view his personal photo page
http://www.photos.bradkemp.com/greenbare.html

jbeegoode

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Re: Footwear for Nude Bodies: Pros and Cons
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2020, 06:28:09 PM »
Last Saturday night, DF and I went for a walk around the UofA campus. It was a warm dry evening. The campus is quiet, especially with most of the students gone. The architectural design of each building is interesting, creations of student innovation. There is always something new, I don't get over there, but every couple of years. I have many fun and fond memories to share and reflect on, that are stoked wandering around.

The dress code is lack of. Students cavort and sun in any manner of dress, down to bikinis. We got out of the car at administration. I immediately realized what to do. I placed shirt and shoes back in the car. All that I needed was a thin light kilt. DF had a thin light "A" frame sundress.

It was more like taking my feet out for a walk, all about the peds. They enjoyed the whole experience.

The campus was built in several stages. Although there is more concrete than the olden times, when I spent more time there, it is arranged in paths. It is consequently many different textures. There are engravings, brass plaques, spots of the red brick that most buildings are made from (billions and billions of bricks), patterns, a never ending plethora of varied sensual experience.

The mall is a carpet of more than a half a mile of finely attended green fluffy lawn grass. Students run barefoot and many toss frizbee.

We and the rest of the limbs thoroughly enjoyed the large concrete staircases, walking, running up, or just being aware of the whole body's change in movement from level to climb.

We walked in the barren under tree canopies, some with debris and on metal stairs; we balanced walking across short walls and concrete sitting benches, and thin borders to separate garden from foot path.

The end brought us to old main, the original building from 1910 with a huge porch all around. I was delighted to remember the planks with thick smooth layers of paint accumulated over the years. The stairs are now something different, that textured composite wood like the new children's playground equipment.

We took our feet out for a three hour evening stroll and they loved it.
Jbee
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 06:41:41 PM by jbeegoode »
Barefoot all over, all over.