I have been continuing my 'wandering around barefoot' project. I have been finding some strange things though that I didn't expect. People by and large seem to expect that the world is chock full of broken glass, puke, dog poop and other gross and dangerous objects that are just waiting to attack but I have found that in fact the sidewalk itself that is the challenge. In particular walking barefoot on hard surfaces is really different than walking in shoes even when the surface is perfectly flat and clean.
When walking in shoes people tend to place their heel down first. This is perfectly comfortable when wearing shoes with padding underneath your heel and good weight distribution and not so at all while barefoot. Strangely my feet tend to react on their own to this situation and simply land toes first. It does feel very different to walk this way and I can really feel muscles in my calves that normally do not speak up after just a short walk. I also find myself inclined to speed up and jog along as it is more comfortable than just walking.
As I understand it shoes are actually to blame for shin splints and other knee ailments that affect humans these days. Walking with the feet landing heel first causes impact issues that don't appear until in the short term but long term are a real problem and walking barefoot necessitates a style of movement that does not create these same issues.
In addition to long term leg health I also anticipate having huge calves! Whether this is actually any sort of benefit is left as an exercise for the reader.