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Friday, July 19, 2013

The "Barefoot Community"

I've been bare footing most of my life.  Not exclusively, mind you.  The Marine Corps would have frowned upon that, I think.  I also work in a profession that requires certain dress codes, but when I'm home, I NEVER have shoes on inside, and frequently am barefoot outside, as well.

I have had, through various social media, a lot of interaction with the "barefoot" community, from purists to minimalists to dabblers.  One thing I notice is how cohesive this group is.  Not that there aren't disagreements, of course.  Maybe it's the relative numbers that give a "small town" atmosphere to the barefoot community.  It seems to be comprised of a small (compared to the shod group) group of people who really believe, based upon THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE, that reducing the amount of stuff surrounding your feet is a good thing.  Nearly all of us used to run in over-priced name brand running shoes, and have the injuries to prove it.  I have a bunion (I really hate that word, by the way) and the related adjoining toe problems on one foot from "running shoes" and boots, all of which I left permanently over 3 years ago.  The other foot seems to have miraculously escaped permanent damage.

I believe it's like the camaraderie of a group of strangers taking shelter under an overhang in the rain.  That may be the only thing they have in common, but it's enough at the moment.  If you post a legitimate question on virtually any site, page, forum, etc., you will have, almost instantly, dozens of answers from people who have had it before.  Everyone just wants to help.  I never will go back to "real" shoes as some put it.  The reasons?  Better for my feet, legs, back, you name it.  Plus, I like the company here too much.

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