www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Hiking Barefoot:
A lifetime without shoes!
"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle.
But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin
air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle
which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green
leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes.
All is a miracle."
                            - Thich Nhat Hanh

 

"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."
Exodus 3:5
Bible (New International Version)

 

 

Roger J. Wendell on top Devils Tower without shoes - 07-16-1994
Me, at age 38 (1994) on top of Devils Tower, Wyoming
Well, okay, for clarification I do wear shoes when necessary! I have donned footwear at the office when working for others, doing construction projects, climbing to 6,000 metres, or anywhere else that shoes, sandals, or boots make sense. However, at all those other times in my life, throughout my entire life, I've gone without shoes - at home, a walk through my town, shopping, sightseeing, cycling, driving a car, and even some hiking and climbing. In the spring of 2014 I applied for membership in the Society of Barefoot living. Here's part of what I wrote during the application process:
I'm writing this self-introduction as an elder, in his early retirement years, having gone barefoot (whenever possible) since my earliest memories. Not because I wanted to be different, "cool," or anything else but, simply, because it's always felt good, natural and "right." Long ago my wife and I banned all footwear in our home - believing that bare feet are not only more gentle on our floors but that they also provide a sensitivity and intimacy to living that can't be realized with footwear. The same applies to the outdoors (and even in the cold and snow at times) - bare feet better connect us with our surroundings, the natural world, and our existence here on this precious little planet we call home. It's a small thing, but bare feet really do bring us one step closer to caring for ourselves, those around us, and the Earth.

A few days later, and after some follow-up questions, I received the following:

Welcome to the Society for Barefoot Living (SBL), the group for
cool barefooted people. We'd officially like to welcome you to
the SBL, as your application has now been approved by our
Membership Committee. We are always happy to welcome other
like-minded souls to the group and look forward to hearing from
you. Soon you should begin receiving SBL posts via email.

Decades before I interviewed barefoot activists on my radio show (Sandler, in the video further below, and the aforementioned SBL) I was instinctivly shedding my shoes whenever
possible. Those constrictive, sweaty (and smelly!), expensive, clunky, awkward, and horrible looking boots, shoes, sandles, and other footwear never held my attention for long...

 

Reasons:
 
We all have a variety of reasons for most of the things we do in life. The following is
a kind of checklist as to why I go without shoes whenever possible. I know, some of this
hasn't been substantiated by science or medicine but, nevertheless, it's how I feel!

 

 

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Links:

  1. 12ers
  2. 13ers
  3. 14ers
  4. Aconcagua (Argentina)
  5. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  6. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  7. AIARE - The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education
  8. Alpine Resuce Team - Evergreen, Colorado
  9. Amazonia and Ecuador
  10. American Avalanche Association
  11. Antarctica
  12. Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  13. Barr trail and Pikes Peak
  14. BRCS
  15. Camping
  16. China
  17. Climbing
  18. Climbing Photos
  19. CMC
  20. Colorado Avalanche Information center
  21. Colorado Trail
  22. CORSAR - Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card
  23. Cycling
  24. Ecuador
  25. Exercise
  26. Gear - Stuff for the Backcountry...
  1. Grand Canyon
  2. High Altitude Medicine Guide
  3. Hiking
  4. Hiking Trails - Summit County
  5. Highpoints
  6. Japan
  7. Knots for hikers (animated by Grog)
  8. Leave No trace - Center for Outdoor Ethics
  9. Lightning Safety
  10. LOJ - Lists of John
  11. Low Impact Techniques
  12. ORV - the Off-road Vehicle menace
  13. Peakbagger.com
  14. PCTA - Pacific Crest Trail Association
  15. Russia
  16. Sierra Club
  17. Silk Road
  18. Snow Caves
  19. Summitpost.org
  20. Survival in the backcountry
  21. Ten Essentials - Don't leave home without 'em!
  22. Tibet
  23. Trail Journals
  24. Travel and Travel Two
  25. Waypoints
  26. Wilderness Defense!

 

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