This weekend was the 2022 Front Range Yoga Festival! I had the most incredible time teaching and learning from other yogis from all over the state and around the country. It was such a joy to share my Freeing Your Feet Workshop and see the lightbulbs go on in so many faces.
After the festival I stopped in at Two Medicine on my way home and took a quick hike to Aster Falls. I spent about 85% of the hike barefoot and the rest of the time in my Bedrock Sandals. It was hilarious to watch people notice my bare feet and the array of reactions that followed their realization. Some folks said something, and some wouldn’t even make eye contact with me afterwards 😹
The first ten minutes without shoes on is always the toughest. The nerve endings on the soles of my feet were absolutely fizzing with information. My whole body got warm and I even had a prickly sweat going on a hike that is so easy I normally wouldn’t even bat an eyelash. About 10 minutes in my body seemed to settle in. My feet started feeling so good and my movement and gait pattern shifted to adjust.
Even now as I write this the following morning I can feel every bit of the skin of my feet. They feel vibrant and awake. I do this sort of thing a lot, so I have a tolerance built up from experience. I don’t recommend everyone goes out and hikes multiple barefoot miles right away. I suggest you start small. Walking around your yard or an outdoor place with soft soil, flat rocks, grass or mud. Spend at least 10 minutes standing and moving gently on a variety of surfaces to get that neural feedback going. Build up to walking distances over varied terrain.
When you aren’t actually barefoot - there are so many great hiking footwear options that won’t elevate your risk of injury. I spend a ton of time hiking in my Bedrock Sandals, which are a Montana brand! When sandals aren’t practical, I wear my Vivobarefoot hiking boots.
Given that we all have differently shaped feet, I recommend you trace, measure and study your feet, then look for a brand that will fit your particular foot shape. Anya’s Reviews page on hiking boots is a great place to start and her website in general is an amazing resource for all things foot-shaped shoe related.