A great story of a german barefoot woman. It sounds like a lot of barefooters will recognize their own experience.
I started barefooting about three years ago. I’d done it pretty freely as a child; my parents didn’t care too much if I played barefoot around the house and street as long as the weather was decent. I rediscovered that pleasure as a teenager when I took solitary walks in the nearby forest and tried to toughen my soles. But when I moved to a small town in my early 20s, it never occured to me that I could maintain the habit. Although I sometimes tiptoed down the stairs to the letter box or to haul the bin out in front of the building, it didn’t extend very far into the public realm. I thought the city was dirty and dangerous. Worse than that: what would people think?
In May 2012 I stumbled upon the online world of barefooting and realised that there were others doing this full-time, even in urban environments. They learned to survive the stares and occasional comments thrown their way by passersby. I immediately took my shoes off, went out for a short walk, and soon started to experiment with various surfaces, areas of town, and a range of establishments. My favourite activity is hiking; given a chance I’ll be traipsing around moss and mud and smooth mountain stone. But I’ve now discovered that although city streets are dirty, I can wash my feet when I get home, and the town is nowhere near as hazardous as I believed. Since the city is where I live, the city is also where I go barefoot.
I’ve worn cowboy boots over the winter and my poor toes are all cramped together and weak. It’s time to free my soles for the warmer season! I’ve made this pledge: no closed shoe until the next frost. Anyone care to join me?