Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Barefoot Prodigy

Tonight Elli and I went for a walk in the rain.  Because it was a nice summer evening I let her go in bare feet and we wandered around the streets of Toronto together, each with an umbrella, playing in the puddles and wandering aimlessly.  We followed rivers of water around and tried to block them off with our feet to make dams.  I wonder if the people watching us had a greater or lesser reaction to the barefoot duo in the rain as opposed to a sunny day.  At least Elli has settled in to the idea that Daddy can walk barefoot when it is sunny out but she cannot.  She insisted on trying it a few times but she can't take the heat of the sidewalk at all and now has decided that only people with huge feet can walk barefoot when the sun is out.

I found it amusing that the only effective way to clean my feet after weeks of barefoot is walking around in the rain barefoot.  Even after throughly scrubbing my feet in the shower I maintain a very brown/grey colour on the surfaces that touch the ground and that vanished when I walked around in the rain.  I don't know if it was the extended timeframe of soaking, abrasion + water or something else entirely but for the first time in weeks my feet are pink again instead of dirty coloured.

I tried going into a variety of different stores this week operating under the assumption that people would accost me and ask me to put on shoes, or leave, or some other such unfortunate reaction.  No such confrontation occurred.  All my consternation, planning and posting was for naught as apparently random passerby care enough about bare feet to stare and random old ladies care enough to hassle me but store owners simply aren't concerned.  It does make sense for them though since hassling a customer who has every intention of buying and isn't causing any trouble is something you want to avoid at all costs but it does make my life less interesting than I had anticipated.  I figured I would have some people to roast here on the blog for their foolishness but no one seems to want to volunteer.

Wendy also pointed out to me a type of shoe I could buy to mimic walking barefoot all the time.  Link Here.  It is good to know, but since this project is at least in part to investigate the reactions of people to barefooting and not just the experience I think I will pass for the moment.  I was considering getting myself some moccasins for the winter though to see what the closest thing to winter barefooting is like.


  1. Elli is learning science! (although she hasn't worked out that correlation/causation thing yet.. ie. big feet correlate with being able to walk barefoot)

    Our friend Chris wore a pair of those toe-shoes on the Appalachian Trail as his camp shoes and even hiked in them for a couple of days. He really liked them. Speaking of the AT, there were actually several people whom we met on the hike who elected to hike barefoot. They (generally) found it difficult (sharp rocks, slower downhills) but rewarding.

  2. I can imagine a multi day (or multi month!) hike would be a rough place to break in bare feet. My feet aren't actually exposed to that much more wear than most people since I spend my time on sidewalks. Rocks, roots and trails would toughen me up much better I sure.