Please, take 5 minutes to read the following advice if you are a beginner.
Advice 1: Watch the ground (but not only!)
Watch where you put your feet! It may seem obvious but at the beginning, you don’t pay enough attention especially if you talk to someone at the same time !
Avoid walking at night or in dark places where you can’t see the ground well.
Before touching the ground, you have to decide where to put your foot. Avoid stepping in dark water or on dead leaves hiding potential danger.
Advice 2: Do not slide your feet
Respect the following rule (especially when you become more confident): Do not clear away the ground with your feet. The first part of your foot that must be in contact with the ground is the ball. Indeed, in this case the suspension mechanism is very effective: if you feel a particular difficulty on the ground it will avoid you to put down all your weight at the same time.
Actually, it is a good way to prevent you from putting your feet on glass or burning cigarette. The avoidance skills of your ball and toes keep you away from most dangers. Moreover, this also prevents you from slipping on banana skins or dog poop ! From my own experience, I’ve never walked on dog poop while barefooting whereas it happens to me with shoes… So, train yourself to move your weight from the ball to the heel (from the front to the back) and to walk on your ball only (useful to break through gravels). It is a very natural way of walking for people who have never been shod (look at children running in a park, they do it naturally).
Advice 3: Do not underestimate the outdoor temperature
Before going out, check the outdoor temperature.
About the cold:
As soon as the feeling with the ground vanishes (nervous reaction), stop! This is necessary to prevent frostbite. Wear more clothes than usual on other parts of your body to compensate the additional loss of energy due to ground contact. Human thermoregulation is very effective: trained bare feet can stand without problems in temperatures around 0°C, if you cover the other parts of your body well to limit energy loss.
Avoid to put your feet in a hot environment after a walk in the cold because the fast temperature change may cause blisters. Similar to what happens with hands, the return to a normal temperature leads to an intense hot feeling for a few minutes, so do not take a hot shower just after walking in the cold.
For information, some people can walk without problem in the snow for a few minutes but nobody can last too long.
Wet ground increases the effects of cold. If you can stand 5°C on a dry day, maybe you will not on a rainy day. The usual temperature of a temperate climate of western Europe is not a strain if you wear warm clothes.
About the heat:
In the heat burns and blisters may occur. Use the shadows and for safety keep your flip flops at reach. It is useless to endanger your feet on a parking lot during the summer afternoon; instead go shopping early in the morning or in the evening.
Fire walk is possible only because the contact with the ground is fleeting and skin contact with coals limited. Nothing is magical- it’s just a matter of rhythm. But, believe me, parking lots can be tougher ! The asphalt of a parking lot is a much better conductor of heat than coal. Actually, coals do not get very hot at all !
Human limits towards the cold are easier to handle than towards the hot.
We are more sensitive to high temperatures(>35°C) and the wearing of flip flops is advised on artificial ground to prevent burns. Artificial grounds are extremely misleading because of that. Grass and ground never warm up as much as a parking lot !
Advice 4: Take breaks as often as necessary
To avoid burns and blisters on your sole, it is highly recommended to take breaks.
Do not wait to feel pain before stopping walking.
Advice 5: Enjoy !
This is the most important advice.