I have a couple of other pics of me barefooting for some of the hike on Saturday. It turned out to be a very strenuous hike and I've come to think that barefooting along with use of the Xeros for the rest of it led to an effect I did not quite anticipate -- my quads got trashed. Badly enough I'm still quite sore this morning, and have to take steps rather gingerly. Mostly, I was very happy with how things went. I can walk pretty comfortably over stuff now that makes others wince to think about it. Much of what I hiked was like the pic at the top of this post, rock-strewn hillside paths. There's a reason that hikers sometimes call this state Rocksylvania and that's because of all the rocks the glaciers from the last ice age deposited here. But if there's one thing I've been learning about barefoot hiking, it's the downhills which are the most stressful. Psychologically you really have to work to scan and choose where the foot lands, but I also wonder now if it can have another accentuated physical effect. Many people already know how prolonged downhill running can trash a runner's quads, the repeated eccentric contractions tear up the quad muscles some and if there's enough of that, you get plenty of inflammation. I believe that's what put the number on me Saturday. I think when barefooting or going minimalist, you will likely bend your knees even more when making the descent. A person in shoes can brace more strongly against the foot and shoe, while we are more likely to let the knee bend further, and that increases the length of the eccentric contraction. That's my hypothesis and it could be wrong or false, or it could be my own peculiarity of gait while going downhill barefoot, or not. Maybe my thighs just got trashed because I wasn't ready for it. I'll post the other two pics taken of me later on when I have time this evening.