Back in October, I was driving back home from Kanab, UT. As the crow flies, I don’t live that far away but because of a national park and rugged mountains, you can’t just drive straight between the two places. We usually drive north and then up and over the mountain range. However, I had a little time, and I have an annual parks pass so I decided to drive through Zion National Park on my way home. I stopped on the east side of the park (not in the main park area) and decided to drop down into a canyon and go for a little stroll. I was by myself and I don’t advocate venturing into canyons alone so I made sure to stay very close to the road and not let myself get too deep. This particular canyon is very, very mild. As I walked down into the canyon on the slickrock, I thought that maybe I would take off my sandals and just go barefoot. It had actually been a really long time since I’ve just gone on a barefoot hike!
I took my sandals off and strolled through the amazing canyon by myself. I was able to feel a variety of surfaces including sandstone, smooth river rocks, pine needles, and of course, the cool sand. I walked for about an hour and it was extremely therapeutic!
As the owner of a footwear company, I have this strange, self-imposed expectation that I should always be wearing Unshoes. Even during times when I would rather go barefoot, I feel like I should be “showcasing” our product everywhere I go. On top of that, I’m usually testing some new prototype or trying some new material to see how it holds up so I try to put some abuse on the sandals when I have the chance. The funny thing is that as a company, we really advocate going barefoot as much as possible! Yes, there are times when you need some kind footwear. That’s life. There are also times when you don’t. Most people just keep on wearing footwear because it is a habit, or because of fear.
Don’t get me wrong, I spend way more time barefoot than the average person but I realized as I walked along in that canyon, that I don’t go barefoot enough. I don’t connect to the earth enough. My challenge to you today is to let go of any fear that may be adhering your shoes (or Unshoes) to your feet, and let your feet take you. It doesn’t matter where, just let them take you there.
Tried barefoot hiking as an experiment this year. Fell in love and hiked 450 barefoot miles.
I totally agree. I ran a mile barefoot on the treadmill earlier this week, and it was so nice that I did it again the next day. (It’s a bit too cold to run barefoot outside right now.) If I could go barefoot at work I totally would. Thanks for your post!