Author Topic: Bare Feet  (Read 28058 times)

jbeegoode

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Re: Bare Feet
« Reply #165 on: November 18, 2019, 06:01:44 PM »
Six miles raw footing barefoot. What kind of conditioning tricks work for you, especially for the feet? Were you actually running this, or hiking at a good pace? Combo? No blisters?

I'd think that the illumination from your feet would keep you awake, but I suppose that that is better than catching the sheets on fire. ;D
Jbee
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MartinM

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Re: Bare Feet
« Reply #166 on: November 20, 2019, 12:29:11 AM »
It was the shortest category of fell race. No records broken by me at just over the hour. The first in my 60 plus category took more than 15 minutes out of me.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EE6fKwD68gokiv4Y9NfPneK2xQOp9az1/view

I never have a problem with blisters going barefoot. My conditioning just involves going barefoot, 24/7. I used to use VFFs or similar for part of my regular run, due to the sharp limestone, but always preferred to take them off when off this area. I just decided to change to barefoot for the entire run and accept having to go slowly on the difficult bits. I noticed a significant improvement in my ability then to run on this stuff.
Tread lightly upon the earth!

nuduke

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Re: Bare Feet
« Reply #167 on: December 01, 2019, 12:12:08 AM »

This is interesting - I think you are very intrepid, Martin M,
When you walk barefoot, as I do, you have to be very vigilant for lumps bumps and sharp things (not to mention soft and smelly things!) which come upon one with great rapidity.  When you are running I feel it must be almost impossible to anticipate hazards quickly enough to avoid them.  But I must be wrong otherwise people would not run barefoot as they evidently do in great numbers.
Does your conditioning develop thick callous of the sole that resists and cushions from the rough surfaces?  What changes in your feet are caused by the conditioning by being barefoot all the time?
John

Bob Knows

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Re: Bare Feet
« Reply #168 on: December 01, 2019, 01:40:30 AM »
Human feet have millions of years of evolution to be adapted to walking and running barefoot.   Our species has only used shoes for a very few thousand years, and most of that for only a small portion of our species.  Our bare feet naturally have leather like soles to walk on mother earth.  We have many muscles that respond to uneven surfaces to distribute our weight appropriately as each step lands.  The foot muscles in shod feet do not have appropriate muscles to encounter natural surfaces. 

Shoes also permanently deform toes to point together rather than splaying outward for balance.  Bare feet also have specialized nerves that measure how slippery the surface so we can adjust our stance and avoid slip and fall injuries.  The constant heel strike of shoes frequently causes repetitive stress injuries to ankles, knees, hips, and backs.  Barefoot walkers tend to land more flat footed or even toe first much of the time. Heel strike first walking is less sever.

Bare feet in cold or hot weather develop vascular dilation to prevent injury from cold or hot surfaces.  Today I was out shopping barefoot for about 4 hours including Home Depot, a pub, and a tree lot getting a tree for Xmas.  High temp around 35F or 1C.  We don't need shoes any more than our dogs or other animals.
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MartinM

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Re: Bare Feet
« Reply #169 on: December 01, 2019, 09:11:41 AM »
As they say, Bob Knows! The only thing I would add is that through living for generations with shoes, we have lost the knowledge of how to look after bare feet, what to do when we get callouses or cracks. Generally we donít want to develop callouses, as these are liable to cracking which are painful and can be difficult to sort. With the leathery skin on the sole of the foot, we also develop fatty pads with cushioning and insulating value.

I wouldnít say we are quite as capable as dogs, at least, not in cool climates, as we arenít well evolved for freezing conditions. I can manage down to about minus 4C, but that involves keeping moving and generally wearing warm clothes, although I will run naked in that temperature in calm, sunny conditions.

I walk and run landing on my forefoot, although at some times on flatter surfaces more midfoot. Forefoot landing is particularly important in rougher conditions. As the wide forefoot lands, with the benefit of all those nerves, it can respond to the underfoot conditions, stones etc. Larger stones and rocks we can see well enough ahead to avoid or take in our stride, although this is a skill which comes with practice.

A midfoot landing on rough rocky surface can result in very painful rocks in the sensitive midfoot section. I know! I still have a bit of a lump from my regular run when I managed to land on several rocks with my right midfoot in a short period. My natural tendency when being more cautious was to run more midfoot with my right foot, resulting in the extra hits. Now, I know that being cautious on such surfaces means letting the legs bounce, with plenty of vertical movement, letting the foot hang and land Ďgazelleí  (thatís how it feels to me)like on the forefoot. If there is a rock then in the midfoot section, you feel and react before any damage is done.

That was quite a lot more - although Iím not sure how useful....
Tread lightly upon the earth!

nuduke

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Re: Bare Feet
« Reply #170 on: December 06, 2019, 02:35:03 PM »

Well, that's all useful and informative stuff.  I'm going to practice walking with the forefoot bias described. 
Do add more stuff on barefoot technique, MartinM.  I'm interested at least. 
Those of us less used to barefooting in the great outdoors (I am almost always barefoot in home and garden these days) can learn from those with experience.  Most of my barefoot walking in nature has been done on meadows and fairly flat surfaces.  I have to say that on the rare occasions I have walked on asphalt pavements, I have felt the stress on heels.  There is some correction to my gait to be made on info from your last post.  In woodland, I tend to leave shoes on to avoid having to think about the possible ground hazards as I walk (and to stamp down the brambles and nettles!)
Bob refers to the historically relatively short time that humans have been using shoes.  It prompts the question why we bothered to invent shoes at all, particularly in warmer climates.  We humans with our technology and skills don't always adopt the optimum solution to things. 
A world without shoes would be more idyllic I feel.  No clutter of shoes and boots by the door, no untidy shoe stacks in the wardrobe (closet) and no irritating shoe shops with expensive foot covering merchandise to resist, no athletes foot, no need to clean shoes etc etc.!
John

Bob Knows

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Re: Bare Feet
« Reply #171 on: December 06, 2019, 04:02:48 PM »
The Society for Barefoot Living] at http://www.barefooters.org/ has a lot of information about walking barefoot. 

I generally go barefoot all the time. I go shopping and to banks and restaurants barefoot.  I only wear shoes for prolonged outings below 20F, -10C, or on crushed rock gravel.  Fractured rock has been used for knives by human ancestors for millions of years, and crushed gravel has similar sharp edges everywhere you step. 

Superglue (runny, not gel) is the modern solution to cracked callouses.
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