Leading by Example - A barefoot hike

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by hikerdana, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. hikerdana

    hikerdana Administrator
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    Leading by Example - A barefoot hike
    By Hikerdana


    On a hike in the not so distant past I showed for my son's boys group hike barefoot. This hike was to be two nights and they were hoping to do at least 25 miles, so the boys could earn a 25 mile hiking patch. As I was fairly well known as a hiker and barefooter I didn't get much comments on my barefeet, besides the usual polite and friendly banter. The first day I huffed and puffed up the incline to the pass and then back down. It was a lot more difficult finding a suitable place for my foot, then when I hike with a solid hiking boot, but I managed to keep up. By the time we set up camp I was ready to set up my hammock and had a wonderful night's sleep.

    The next morning I woke up and my feet were a little sore along with some major muscle groups. I'm so out of shape for hiking barefoot or shod. I was thinking of putting on my minimalist sneakers and finishing the hike shod, not just because my feet were sore, but my whole body and mind was fatigued. Then I notice one of the boys starting to head out to the main trail and he was barefoot. What's this I asked gesturing to his barefeet. He explained that his boots got wet and he didn't want to hike in wet boots. Now how could I put my sneakers on, no matter how thin the soles were when another was going to head out on the trail barefoot.

    Later that day several other kids joined us to hike a portion of the trail barefoot. They all eventually put their shoes back on. When I politely inquired the reason for not finishing barefoot they all said their ankles were the reason. This got me thinking. The trail wasn't that tough on the soles, but you still had many occasions to flex the ankle to avoid something underfoot. My theory was that it was this constant flexing that caused the ankles of these kids to give them trouble.

    By the time all the other kids had their shoes back on, I was well on my way to having hiked the 25 miles barefoot, so I decided to just tough it out. I have gone on another hike with the same group but didn't have anyone join me hiking barefoot, even though the trail was probably even easier on the feet then the prior trip. The second trip I had no thoughts of putting my shoes on for the second day.

    Happy Barefoot Hiking!
     
    Tedlet, Janne and Barefoot TJ like this.
  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    An excellent example you are, Dana! :barefoot:

    Thanks for sharing. I have mirrored your report to the Home Page.
     
  3. hikerdana

    hikerdana Administrator
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    I think the boys were leading by example as much as I was. I started it, but they encouraged me to continue.
     
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  4. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I like that, especially since you were thinking of putting your shoes on. I bet your feet were rejuvenated just from their example.
     

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