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Author Topic: Barefoot hiking.  (Read 3195 times)
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thehumanrunner
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« on: November 06, 2011, 10:01:44 PM »

 It feels so good to be barefoot in nature. Some hikes are just to rocky so I always carry my VFF treksports in my back pack. The best part of BFH is walking through nice cool mud(very orgasmic). Anyone here barefoot hike?
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« on: November 06, 2011, 10:01:44 PM »

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Shiraz-mataz
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2011, 10:05:31 PM »

I love barefoot hiking!  I recently did about 15 miles through the Dolly Sods Wilderness in WV.  There were some very nice grassy portions - my favorite!  We also had some rocky terrain but I did those barefoot and actually wore my Vibrams on the muddy areas.  The mud was deep (sometimes up to my knee) and I had no idea what was in it so I opted for a little protection...  How about yourself?
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thehumanrunner
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2011, 10:30:36 PM »

I do all my BFH in central new york. My first and favorite place is bald mountain at old forge, ny. It's mostly smooth bedrock. I go straight for the mud hoping nothing in there will hurt me. After a barefoot hike I always feel relaxed and happy almost like a runners high.
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BlackFoxSees
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 08:28:41 PM »

I recently hiked up a desert canyon where a river has been cutting through bedrock for ages. Aside from a few sandy patches I spent the whole day on smooth, river-worn boulders and slabs of every stone color imaginable. Right at the beginning I decided to slosh through a pool and hang my KSO's from my belt loop to dry. I'm glad I took them off early. Before I had gone a mile my feet felt INCREDIBLE. "Orgasmic" is right. I'm trying to get my brother into VFF's, and that's just the word I used to describe how awesome my feet were doing. I've never experienced a runner's high, but if part of it is a feeling that your muscles are simultaneously aching and moaning in ecstasy, then I might have a vague idea.
There isn't really a path, per se, you have to just pick a route through the rocks that you think won't get you killed. Balancing, climbing, and jumping took a toll on my feet, and on our way back, after about 4 miles I guess, they started telling me they needed some help. I put my VFF's back on, which was also wise because the sun was going down and we needed to cover ground quickly.
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 08:28:41 PM »

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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 08:25:07 PM »

Yes, I barefoot hike. The first time I did it was for practical reasons because my shoes got wet.  I loved the sense of direct contact with the ground so I kept it up, just carrying sneakers or FVVs in my pack in case the ground gets too cold or, rarely, too hot.  I live in northern New England but have barefoot hiked in the western US as well, in Calif., Oregon and Colorado.

It evokes a lot of curious stares from any passing hikers who look like this:



and I look like this:


« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 08:26:41 PM by comment » Logged
koffeekev
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2012, 05:00:25 PM »

As a matter of fact......................Any Connecticut barefoot hikers on the boards?

http://www.meetup.com/ct-barefooters/events/59670732/

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koffeekev
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2012, 05:02:54 PM »

Yes, I barefoot hike. The first time I did it was for practical reasons because my shoes got wet.  I loved the sense of direct contact with the ground so I kept it up, just carrying sneakers or FVVs in my pack in case the ground gets too cold or, rarely, too hot.  I live in northern New England but have barefoot hiked in the western US as well, in Calif., Oregon and Colorado.

It evokes a lot of curious stares from any passing hikers who look like this:



and I look like this:





Have you tried Mt Kersage in central New Hampshire? The Winslow trail is a barefooters paradise.
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*I'm barefoot for skeletel correctness*
kso black x 4
kso gray x1
kso flow black x1
kso treksport black x1
kso trek black x 2
kso trek brown x 3
classic tan x1
seeya's black neon x1
vivo aqueous black x1
vivo aqueous grey x1
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Shiraz-mataz
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2012, 12:05:14 PM »

Here's a larger version of my profile photo.  It was taken after hiking about six miles along the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park with a full load on my back.  The AT is a little challenging and as I recall, I slapped my sandals on not long after this photo was taken - but still, barefoot hiking is probably one of the most enjoyable aspects of getting out into nature...

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koffeekev
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2012, 07:43:31 PM »

The large back pack must be hard on your heels after a while. That or you have super calves that allow you to toe-heel it.

Here's a larger version of my profile photo.  It was taken after hiking about six miles along the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park with a full load on my back.  The AT is a little challenging and as I recall, I slapped my sandals on not long after this photo was taken - but still, barefoot hiking is probably one of the most enjoyable aspects of getting out into nature...


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*I'm barefoot for skeletel correctness*
kso black x 4
kso gray x1
kso flow black x1
kso treksport black x1
kso trek black x 2
kso trek brown x 3
classic tan x1
seeya's black neon x1
vivo aqueous black x1
vivo aqueous grey x1
vivo dharma black x1
vivo aqua brown x1
merrill radius glove b
Shiraz-mataz
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 06:23:39 AM »

The large back pack must be hard on your heels after a while. That or you have super calves that allow you to toe-heel it.

I do tend to keep a forefoot landing while hiking but I wouldn't say my calves are all that strong.  In a few weeks I'm heading back the Shenandoah to do some circuit hikes from a campsite which means I'll just be carrying a lightweight day pack.  It'll be interesting to see if that makes any difference but I suspect the overall rough terrain will get to me after awhile - with or without weight on my back.
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Larry
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2012, 07:39:17 AM »

A little while back I took off down a few bush tracks barefoot for fun.  I really enjoyed it, but I'd have to say that the Australian bush tends to be a bit on the twiggy side.  Quite a few spiky plants too.  Don't even mention the snakes.  More of a good laugh than a foot orgasm I'd have to say.

I'm seriously considering doing my next overnight hiking trip in some sort of minimalist footwear - just not sure about the dynamics when you throw a 20kg pack into the equation.  I've never tried adjusting my walking stride to land on the forefoot - that would take some practice, wouldn't it?
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koffeekev
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 05:27:44 PM »

In my opinion the best way to start to learn a forefoot strike is by learning to land almost flat footed. You'll have to reduce your gait and it does take some time so patience is needed. Once your comfortable with it then try to slowly incorporate the fore strike on trails. I walk the streets and always heel/flat strike but when i'm going uphill or on trails i can adjust pretty easily. Your calf and arch muscles will thank you for the workout. I also excercise with a 15 pound weight in each hand hanging at my sides. I do 5 reps of 15 heel lifts without touching them to the ground. It's great for balance, stretch and strength. Hope this helps.
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*I'm barefoot for skeletel correctness*
kso black x 4
kso gray x1
kso flow black x1
kso treksport black x1
kso trek black x 2
kso trek brown x 3
classic tan x1
seeya's black neon x1
vivo aqueous black x1
vivo aqueous grey x1
vivo dharma black x1
vivo aqua brown x1
merrill radius glove b
The Yeti
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2012, 09:16:24 PM »

Last summer I did two 50k hikes in the Rockies with a 40lb pack on in my treks and bikilas. It was great, and my feet felt amazing the whole time. I reccomend doing some warm up hikes just to get used to longer walks in minimalist footwear while weighted down. I threw everything in my pack and tackled some tough hills here before going off to the mountains. My feet thanked me for it. Biggest downfall is that if you encounter damp ground or rain, guaranteed you'll have wet, cold feet. For that reason I'm now breaking in my vivobarefoot off road hi's for this summer's hike around Mt. Robson. We're doing a 20k hike into camp, two days of dayhikes, then 20k back out. For the dayhikes I'll sport my Luna Leadcat sandals.

I strongly suggest hiking downhill and working on technique. I wrecked my knee on one of the more challenging hikes you can do in the Canadian Rockies, the Rockwall. It was steep climb followed by steep descents. Going down I tried to slow myself down and by using braking forces all the way down, I did some damage it took me almost a month to be able to run again. When practicing, try to keep a midfoot landing with short paces, but don't try to slow yourself down too much. Keep your momentum up.

As for going uphill and for flat sections, I find it no problem at all. Uphill is good since you are wearing light footwear. I really prefer minimal footwear over my old hiking boots, or even worse, my combat boots when I was in the army reserves. Those things always mangled my feet. Being from Alberta, where it's waaay too cold to be barefoot for half of the year, I'd have to start over every spring with barefoot re-toughening. I will hang out around camp barefoot, but I'm not anywhere near ready to backpack sans shoes, especially on those rocky, gravelly trails.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 09:32:53 PM by The Yeti » Logged

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