The Living Barefoot site has done a wonderful interview with Cody Lundin (of recent Dual Survival fame) that I think everybody will enjoy. It was a bit different than many of the interviews he has done about the show simply because he is being asked the questions (that address the interests) of real barefooters.
It is Episode 19 of their Living Barefoot Show.
What he talks about will be pretty familiar with a wide range of barefooters. For one thing, he talks about whether he goes barefoot all of the time. His answer is basically, “Don’t be a jackass.” There are times he will wear shoes, such as when he is out on a date, or when he is with others who he does not want to be embarrassed if challenged. On the other hand (or is that “on the other foot”?), sometimes he’s just not in the mood to put up with being restricted. So in those instances, he’ll challenge things. I find I do something similar myself. This discussion is around the 6:00 mark.
He also mentions that he carries sandals in a fanny pack when conducting his survival course. This only makes good sense. As he puts it, he is out there responsible for his clients’ safety. If one of them gets hurt, he needs to be able to run to get help, and in that situation, sandals are the tools to get the job done.
I have done something similar. The physical environment around here in Central Ohio is much more benign than the Arizona that Cody lives in. When I go hiking by myself, I no longer carry any sort of backup footwear (unless it is winter). I am quite familiar with the possible dangers I might run into (walk over), and none of them would really be solved by backup footwear. (In wintertime, my concern is more that if I broke a leg or did something else that prevented me from walking, I would not want to freeze my feet—that would prevent future barefooting. So then I carry a pair of moccasins, and if I really need to I could stuff them with leaves as the Native Americans used to do.)
However, when I was leading Boy Scouts on a hike, I did carry a pair of moccasins even in the summer. Again, as for with Cody, I had a heightened responsibility. I actually did use them one time, not for an emergency, but just because some of the Scouts needed to be somewhere at a given time. So a few of us dashed ahead to get them home. In that case, I could go a lot faster in the moccasins.
One other comment: early on in the interview (around 4:10) Cody mentions that the Natives in Arizona wore moccasins or sandals. That is probably true, but they also did go barefoot, too, depending on conditions. Here is a picture from The National Archives of some Mojave in Arizona:
No footwear in sight.