Saturday, May 30, 2009

A mile in someone elses shoes...

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.

"Going home"

"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!



Anonymous said...

Hey Keiran, I'm surprised you've not taken to barefoot-ness a little quicker. I've been walking nearly everywhere barefoot for about a week now and have no blisters or pain at all. I still carry my trainers with me so that if my feet start to feel tender or sore I can put them back on. I did notice yesterday after an 8hr shift at work wearing shoes that walking home was more difficult than usual. I think the heat/sweat had softened my feet and made it more difficult to walk barefoot. Maybe you have the same problem?

Also, I'm surprised too that nobody has yet commented on my bare feet. I think being barefoot I'm more aware of it than anybody else. Also, I have an answer prepared for the dog poop question- I'll simply reply "when was the last time you stepped in dog poop?", then ask them "what did you do, clean it off? coz that's what I'm planning on doing!"

Train hard, stay safe

kieraninmotion said...

Hi David

Nice to see the dog poo argument is more common than others - practical rather than taboo based arguments are better.

My blisters calmed down surprisingly fast actually. they are gone now. I think it was just the blisteringly hot tarmac to be honest.

Also, Edinburgh being bigger than Arbroath is probably one cause for you having not many comments. Arbroath is really insular and people seem to have a gloating "emperors new clothes" type attitude.

I think the work thing is probably correct too dude.

Cheers for reading and commenting.


Anonymous said...

Blistering hot tarmac? I hear that! Walked to coaching today and now have a couple of nasty blisters on my feet from the heat of the pavement! Totally gutted since my feet have been strong and resiliant so far. It's incredible how hot the ground was- figured I'd be fine so long as I moved quick enough.... I was wrong :(


kieraninmotion said...

Man, I think that's where my blisters came from, I have two on my heel, one just under my big toe and one on it!