Here’s a cute little article called 14 Reasons I Don’t Wear Shoes.
I think I can help her out in one area.
As I said, it’s a nice article. The author pretty much gave up on shoes a few years ago, and, with help from Daniel Howell’s Fact Sheet from his Barefoot Book, made her own list of the reasons she doesn’t wear shoes.
Her list includes things like
I like being connected to my environment. Going barefoot requires me to be more alert to my surroundings, and being able to feel the surfaces under my feet naturally encourages an enhanced awareness of my surroundings.
As a result, I’m actually less clumsy without shoes. I trip and stub my toes much less often.
I never have to worry about the weather or getting my shoes soaked. I can walk through puddles without concern. (It’s quite fun, actually.)
It’s a nice list, and I encourage you to click through and take a look at it.
But there was one area she mentioned she didn’t see going barefoot.
Every year I become more convinced that shoes are completely unnecessary in most circumstances (except, I think, in sub-freezing temperatures and while performing certain kinds of labour. Like, say, using a shovel. I haven’t managed to do either without shoes).
I can help her on the shovel thing.
There’s a product out there with the unfortunate name of “TrenchFoot”. [For those of you who don't know, Trench Foot is a medical condition, really prevalent during World War I because of all the time spent in cold, wet trenches, caused by long exposure of the feet to cold, wet conditions.]
Here it is.
Actually, they did decide to change the name to ToolStep, which is much better. Their web page has a link to where you can get one.
But . . . but . . . but there is something wrong with that picture. Of course. When you’ve got a boot like that, who the heck needs the ToolStep???
I have one, given to me by Greg Morgan, lead hiker of the Ohio Barefoot Hikers. So, here is what it looks like when being used by a barefooter.
It actually works pretty well. Occasionally it tries to twist around the handle of the shovel, so it does take a bit more care than just stomping down on the shovel. However, of course, the extra care is more than worth it to be able to continue to be barefoot.
Here is one more photo from the other direction.
So, the problem of barefoot shoveling: solved.