Yes, you read the title right. I hiked barefoot. It may have only been for 1.5 miles, but I did it. More like, I survived it. Now, you may think that hiking barefoot is absolutely crazy or even gross, and I once was right there with you, too.
About 6 months to a year ago, I saw from someone I follow that they liked to hike barefoot from time to time. Without even thinking long about it, I had already come to the conclusion that they had fallen off of their rocker. I mean, who does that? There’s so many nasty things you can step in, or there’s sharp objects that could seriously injure you. Every negative thing I could think of came to mind and made me very turned off to the idea.
So, like most, I scrolled to the next picture and forgot about it. However, last week it came into my mind again. I was sitting outside, and all I could think about was hiking barefoot. What does it feel like? Is it really that bad? Will I actually feel the earth’s energy running through me like people say? My curiosity got the best of me, and I decided that I had to try it. With that being said, here’s my experience.
How I Prepared
Now, y’all, I’ve got the most sensitive feet in the entire world. Like, even the grass hurts my feet, so I knew I wouldn’t last long. I decided to bring a backpack to carry some baby wipes, that way I could wipe my feet off before putting my shoes back on to finish up the hike, because putting socks on dirty feet is the grossest feeling in the world. I’m so glad I did this because you don’t realize how much stuff can actually get caught on your feet., and it was soothing to my poor, aching feet. Plus, it gave me somewhere to put my shoes, so I could have both hands to grab onto things easier when my feet would forget how to work while being poked. So, my advice is to carry a backpack and some wipes if you plan to put your shoes back on.
What It Was Like
I didn’t do the entire hike barefoot. I didn’t even start off barefoot either. I had to work myself up to do it. I told myself that I would take my socks and shoes off at mile 1. Once that time came, I took them off and stored them in my backpack. At first, it honestly felt kind of cool. My feet had gotten super hot from being in my shoes, so it felt refreshing, but that didn’t last long. The trail I went on was full of twigs, pine needles, and gumdrops. It also hadn’t rained in a while so the delightful, red Carolina clay was hard and sharp. In some areas, it wasn’t as bad, though. And in those areas, I actually enjoyed it. I did start to notice that, over time, my feet were actually getting used to the different terrain. I wanted to be able to hike for a while, but it was difficult. I told myself that I had to at least make it a mile, and I did. It was seriously the longest mile of my life. After that, I made myself go a half a mile more. After completing 1.5 miles, I decided to stop. I saw that the trail ahead of me was pretty woodsy, and I didn’t want to hurt my feet. For my first time, I felt like I did pretty good. It really is something that you have to work up to, in order to make your feet tougher.
My Takeaway on Hiking Barefoot
Honestly, it wasn’t a horrendous experience. Painful? Yes. However, it was another way to challenge myself, and I’m always down for that. Also, I noticed that it made me very conscientious of the things I walk on all the time without ever thinking about it. But when you no longer have an inch of sole protecting you, you can feel every little detail. I now know the difference between what pine needles, twigs, sand, and clay feel like. I could sense the temperature change depending on what I was stepping on, and I would have to think of where to put my foot next to avoid stepping on something sharp. Hiking barefoot made me truly think about what was around me.
Now, would I go back and do it again? I’m not sure. I’m kind of 50/50. It’s one of those things where you don’t really want to ever do it again, but I also have this desire to become good at it. It was such a cool feeling, I almost can’t not try it again. The only thing stopping me is my sensitive feet.
Have you ever hiked barefoot? Even if you haven’t, what are your thoughts on barefoot hiking?
Subscribe to Stay Updated!
* indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name