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What do you think about walking around outside barefoot?

From all the benefits I've heard about walking outside barefoot, it really seems great and I'd love to do it.

But there's one thing I'm worried about - All the parasites. In NH around 90% of all deer ticks carry Lyme disease ... That's a really scary number, it's the highest it's ever been. I'm worried I'd get ticks all over my legs & feet if I ran around in the woods with no shoes... Or some sort of parasitic worm burrowing into my sole.

 

I really hate parasites. I've had some awful encounters with them when I was little - They scare the hell out of me.

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Thanks for the link, Alyxandra :). I've heard about these before & They seem awesome. But they're a bit expensive. Maybe in the future but for now, I wanna know about running barefoot :P!

Last year's christmas present and I have worn them for probably 75% of the year and still going strong. That's about how much use I have gotten out of tennis shoes in the past. They are comparable in price, too.

you could try vibram five fingers shoes.      

 

 

What is this model called?  I don't see it on their site...
hookworm?

Hey I just watched that last night :)! & That's where I learned it too. I wonder if you can get B12 by walking around barefoot.

 

Hopefully some people will chime in and inform us about the parasite/tick issue.

Yes, you can get parasites walking in bare feet. 

 

I just learned tonight that walking barefoot helps you absorb minerals from the earth.

 

No.  Sorry, but this is just basic anatomy.  This recent study is as close as you will come to researchers taking this idea seriously.

 

http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c6812.full
Walk on concrete sidewalks if you want a 'clean' surface. I don't personally do much walking on natural surfaces barefoot. I don't think the benefits outweigh the risks. I walk around on the sidewalks in my neighborhood with barefoot sometimes though just for the experience.

As an alternative to Vibram FF's you could try huarache running sandals. They feel more like being barefoot than FF's in my opinion. You can get a pre-maid pair for $50 or a make-your-own kit for $25. This is truely the most minimalist footwear I've found. I got mine from Barefoot Ted but Invisible Shoes is another company that makes them. They are ok for walking but heal striking in them can be a bit awkward. For running they are superb though.

A great (and cheaper) alternative to Vibram FF's is Sockwa Amphibian's. I've had my pair since they were released in May and they are still holding up great! This is my favorite shoe for casual walking and everyday wear. I do a little running and training in them too. I like Sockwa's more than Vibram's unless the terrain is really technical (like a steep rocky trail) and requires the tactile qualities the Vibram's offer. With Sockwa's you can still wear normal socks underneath so they don't get stinky inside. Vibram's with socks underneath has never been very comfortable for me. Sockwa's are super simple to slip on, have a wide toebox, are very light weight, and have an ultra thin sole for nice ground feel. They only cost $55. Downside is if the surface is really wet it will soak through. This is only a problem for me with socks on underneath otherwise it's just like wearing Vibram FF's without socks - your feet just get wet.

Have you ever read the book Earthing? It talks about the benefits of being barefoot on the earth's surface with some great reasearch and experiements to back up the claims. Try this website for some info: www.earthinginstitute.net In the book it recommends being in contact with dirt but there is apparently some benefit of also being in contact with unsealed contrete or stone.

By using the earthing products promoted in the book you can supposedly get the benefits of being barefoot on the earth without actually doing so. This may help in your fear of parasites as a safe alternative. Here is the website that sells earthing products: www.shop.earthing.net Personally I've been sleeping on a grounding sheet for the past few months and have felt some amazing improvements in my sleep. I also use a grounding pad for my feet sometimes when I'm on the computer at work and when meditating at home. I find the the sensation very calming. The products are expensive but that's because there was so much money put into the reasearch. Sleeping on the sheet is espically worth it to me.

Thanks Nate,

 

Do any of these footwears work in my conditions -30-40's?

 

 

Did I read that right -30 degrees? Holy crap! I've never even felt temperates that cold.

 

I did a 2.5 hour run in huaraches today with bare feet and the temp was mid 40's and I did not get cold. It gets too cold for me to wear huaraches at around 40 degrees and I either wear toe socks underneath or Vibram FF's.

 

Sockwa's may be ok if you have thick socks on but they are still very thin.

 

Another option you could consider for colder temps is shoes made by Soft Star. Flat thin soles with wide toebox for natural foot movement. Most of their shoes are leather but they have a pair called Vegan Rambler's which are really light and exceptionally comfortable. They offer a little more protection without feeling too constraining. I've been wear the same pair almost everyday to work for the past year or so. I jog/walk during my commute. They just seem to get more comfortable the more I wear them. Temperatures where I live are pretty much always above freezing though.

Thanks Nate,

 

Yup -38 now.

 

I will have to check soft star.  I have size 14 feet.  Smart move to live in above freezing areas.

 

I appreciate your feedback on the different options.

 

Take Care,

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