This old adage also holds true for yourself if you take your shoes off.
I've recently been walking barefoot in order to toughen my feet and train more naturally. I walked home from work tonight in my bare feet; around two miles. One thing I have noticed so far is that when I read about muscles being worked that hadn't been worked properly in years, it was all true. I thought I would be a bit better off since I walk about in barefoot in the house often and I have to go barefoot for Muay Thai. My Achilles has been supported well in shoes and is now aching from actually being used for a prolonged period of time. The blisters are unreal! I also burnt my foot walking on the tarmac earlier today when I went to college for some books... Another thing I have noticed is that most people don't actually comment on your bare feet.
Since it is a Friday night I thought I may get a lot of comments but I didn't. A car drove past really fast and the driver shouted out the window to put my shoes on (I was carrying them). Later on, woman asked what I was doing.
"But you have no shoes on!" as if I hadn't realised yet.
This continued for a minute or so until she warned me that I may step in dog poop, so I told her that I would be careful and we parted ways at that. Finally I had a discussion with a few older women coming home from a night out.
"Have you sore feet?" they asked me. I replied that I actually did, and showed them my swollen and bruised ankle and foot.
"I have sore feet too, but I am wearing heels" one informed me. They made sure I would be OK and that I didn't have far to go, which was nice of them.
It sounds like a really obvious thing to say but I really enjoy walking barefoot because I can feel with my feet! I forgot how it felt to feel different things with my feet and different surfaces give different sensations. I noticed a real difference in temperature between shade and light with my feet. Different types of pavement are making me walk differently; I will hop over parts so that I can walk on tarmac for example.
In addition to different types of pavement, kerbs are surprisingly varied with some feeling really gritty and other feeling really velvety. Walking on grass is obviously much nicer but unfortunately the threat of dog poop is all too real. A nice surprise was walking over rubber, where the pavement has been raised at a bus stop with a rubber ramp. I didn't have any type of memory of walking over this type of surface barefoot so it was nice to feel something I don't think I've felt before, which must be a rare experience for most adults in our "advanced" civilization.
I think I will give barefoot a rest for a few days to let my blisters calm down. I have noticed however, my swollen ankle hurts less when I can use the natural motion of my foot rather than the motion my shoes think I should make. I will wait a few weeks before I try any parkour in my bare feet so that my body can become fully accustomed to walking naturally again!
1 week ago