There was an interesting article at the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies: Nudity is Healthy for Brains and Bodies (possibly NSFW).
In many ways, “nudity” is being “barefoot all over“.
As barefooters, I think we’re all pretty much aware of the importance of proprioception, the awareness of our body position which comes from our sense of touch and our perceived motions. It is sometimes called our “sixth sense”.
Unsurprisingly, shoes limit our proprioceptive sense and that can lead to falls and other difficulties.
And you might just bite off your foot.
Poison ivy is a real annoyance. For the barefooted its generally not more of a pain than it is for the shod, since the plant needs to be bruised to release its urushiol, which is the chemical that produces an enhanced allergic reaction in the body, and if you are barefoot you are less likely to bruise it. But it is still an annoyance.
Isn’t there anything that can be done about poison ivy?
I think that, within the barefooting community, we are all aware of the term “shoddie”. There are some who don’t like it, saying that it can be insulting to habitual shoe-wearers, but I do use it, and I think it aptly describes what’s going on.
I thought I’d start by tossing out a few definitions.
I haven’t been doing much hiking lately—I’ve just had other things to do and I haven’t made it as much of a priority. But I made it to Hocking Hills last week to do about 8½ miles, and then yesterday I went to Great Seal State Park and did about 5 miles.
And at Great Seal I had something happen that hasn’t happened in along time: I sliced the sole of my foot.
Dr. Lieberman of Harvard University has yet another new study out, Strike type variation among Tarahumara Indians in minimal sandals versus conventional running shoes. As you can see from the study title, he visited the Tarahumara Indians, who were featured in Born to Run.
What he found is that conventional running shoes really do weird stuff to feet.