View Full Version : Barefoot hiking

squirrel bait
07-01-2004, 16:40
I've read about the Barefoot Sisters and expanded my knowledge of boots, of how feet grow (swell) and the benefits of trail runners, the drawbacks of high tops and the advantages of quick drying. Still I would like to know does anybody hike barefoot (occasionally) (in a certain area/conditions) for the fun of it, if it is, or does it have to many inherent dangers/potential injuries to outwiegh the cost. Us beach bums are scared of :eek: shoes.

Hammock Hanger
07-01-2004, 17:36
I have hiked barefoot at times. WHen in the forest it can hurt and there is the possiblility of cutting the bottom of your feet, which I have done. A lot of trail in FL is on sand terrain and that is actually quite nice, till you step on a pricker!!! I hiked with the sisters but at that time had just graduated to sandals and was too afraid to go barefoot. I must admit I have only done small sections of the AT barefoot. It is a bit too rocky, rooty and uneven terrain for me. But it can and is done. Sue/HH

07-02-2004, 10:17
I ran into two brothers from New Yawk City hiking barefoot in Georgia last April. They said that it wasn't so bad after a few days for breaking in, but they were also walking on a relatively smooth trailbed and going a lot slower.

I hiked the first 3 days with another guy attempting to thru-hike (Raven, who is now in Pennsylvania). He started out with trail runners but his feet kept getting bruised. He got off the trail for a week, but the bruising and pain returned in less than a week. He was also tired of wet feet and has now switched to a heavier boot. This has been my concern all along, so I think I'll stick to the Vasque Clarions that fit my feet so well.

07-02-2004, 10:36
I hiked barefoot about 5-6 miles in Joyce Kilmer once. The trail along Slickrock Creek repeatedly crosses the stream. Finally I got tired of taking my shoes on & off, and left them off.

Out in the middle of Slickrock Creek that thick moss sure felt good on my dogs! Crossing the deadfall on bare feet over the creek was alot off fun too. It reminded me of my childhood. At least the part of my childhood BEFORE I stepped on my first (and unfortunately, not my last) broken beer bottle. Ouch!

07-02-2004, 12:06
I saw a young woman hiking the L/T in Vermont a few years ago with her mother...Ran into them on Camel's Hump, apparently had made it that far north sans footwear! An example of the free-living Vermonter!

07-02-2004, 15:03
I have hiked up to 4 or 5 miles bare foot, but mostly I wear breathable running shoes. I also go bare foot around the house and the yard all the time and try to walk at least a short distance from time to time when out hiking with no shoes. It seems to toughen up the feet and I havenít had a single blister in several years.

07-11-2004, 05:17
i've done several miles in the ellicott rock wilderness

i can be rough if your feet aren't prepared

but one has to worry about getting hookworm , or other things that may get ya through cuts or abrassions

07-11-2004, 10:33
One word...Ouch!!!!

07-12-2004, 16:20
I (day)hike barefoot in NH/ME -- always bring something to wear with me (usually Tevas, now Keens). Well-duffed forest trails are a lot kinder than rock ledges, but gravel is the worst. On one hike in particular I found the point at which I could not will myself to take another step without putting sandals on. Still, it's a fun endeavor. For me, muscle soreness (from lack of a stiffer sole) is actually a bigger problem than pokes/bruises. YMMV!

DMA, 2000
07-13-2004, 02:01
This cat hiked the last day of Pennsylvania barefoot after his shoes blew out. He recommends urinating on your feet to avoid blisters.

Oddly enough, baseball star Moises Alou is well done for using the same treatment on his hands for the same reason.

Anyone know what ever happened to him? The Screamer, I mean, not Alou.

07-13-2004, 12:43
On a serious note ...given the likelihood of injury why would you want to hike barefoot (at least for any great distance) ??

I'm just curious ...