Barefoot Walking

I decided to start doing some walks barefoot with our family dog towards the end of May. Since then I’ve logged just over 30 miles; not quite as much as I’d hoped but it has been an extremely rainy couple of months.

When I started I remember even a soft heal strike sending an upwards jolt, even though I wear minimalist shoes for work and weekends. I thought this might be resolved either with a change of gait, or with the pads around the heal thickening. My gait has definitely changed to a forefoot landing when walking at speed, but it’s probably a bit soon to notice any physiological change.

Another change I noticed recently was when I stepped on sharp stones. I now do not tense up, and try to shift my weight to bear on another part of the foot. I had read previously how feet can ‘flow’ around an object, and I believe this is the same process. With over a year of barefoot running, I hadn’t achieved this, but I think the foot landing phase for running is too short to ‘learn’ the method.

This wasn’t the intention when I started barefoot walking, but I’m pleased it’s happened. And with the warmer, drier weather, I’m enjoying walking Fergus barefoot more and more.

THE Barefoot Walk

This Saturday we visited Conkers in AshbydelaZouch.

Conkers is a hands on nature experience including an indoor adventure playground and learning zone, a pretty tough outdoor assault course, fairy labyrinth and a barefoot walk!

The whole site is fun and educational, but what I look forward to most is the unique barefoot walk. A sign at the start of the walk describes that going barefoot can alleviate many musculo-skeletal disorders, but almost everyone skips that, rips off their shoes and jumps straight in!

The first three sections of the 450m attraction are pools with different floor textures. Other areas include; rocks, pebbles, coal, wooden logs, straw, cobbles, railway rails, rubber shards, slate, wet clay, and finally, deep gloopy mud!





I love going round with my daughters and hearing them describe the different textures, feelings, temperatures, and pain levels! Sadly I haven’t seen many grown ups attempting the intriguing experiencing, just because it involves a bit of dirt (or getting their feet out in public)

Conkers also has a campsite which we used last year, as well as a Park Run every Saturday morning. I didn’t realise this until I got caught up in the event on the return leg of my early morning run – running barefoot! I think I surprised a few of the runners, and I would love to return and run officially one day!


I received a comment from Chris on my last post regarding the podcasts I listen to, so I thought I’d post a list of my current favourites.


A podcast about two self-proclaimed geeks who have decided to take up running. Join Jason and Ray each week as they discuss all things running.


 JBST helps you train for Triathlon, Duathlon, Ironman, Sportive, Time-trial and running events. Multisport coach Joe Beer of and guests give training, nutrition and technology advice to improve your triathlon, duathlon, Ironman, running and cycling performances. Each “SMARTcast”  reveals cutting edge tips, research findings and insider news. Ideal for multisport athletes, Ironman racers, time triallists, sportive riders and runners.


The Living Barefoot Show is an exciting podcast exploring the world of, you guessed it, living barefoot. The show hosts, Al Gauthier and Tina Dubois, are dedicated barefooters excited about sharing the multitude of health benefits that can be achieved by experiencing the ground with as little as possible, or nothing at all, between your feet and the ground. The show includes a wide range of topics and personalities: from interviews with businesses that are dedicated to creating healthy products for our feet to exceptional members of the barefooting community, book authors, and other influential members of the community. The Living Barefoot Show includes tips and advice for those just starting out on their unshod journeys or the seasoned veteran barefooter.


All about running. A weekly podcast dedicated to keeping you on the inside track to successful running. Presented by Martin Yelling and Tom Williams.


Marathon Training Academy exists to inspire and empower everyday people to live healthier lives, achieve fitness goals, and reach new milestones by tapping into their marathon potential.


Running From The Reaper

I record this podcast as I run through the Staffordshire countryside here in the UK, mainly along the tow-paths of the canal system we have around here. I guess you could think of it more as an audio blog, where I share my training, races and a few other bits and pieces about my life. I try to share a few laughs along the way and hopefully act a bit if a friendly virtual running buddy for you as you undertake your own training runs or races.



The podcast for runners, wannabe runners and mid-packers of all shapes and sizes who just want to strap on their favorite pair of shoes and get out there!


Caity McCardell introduces listeners to the barefoot runner-next-door as well as authors and researchers in an effort to promote the value of barefoot running. Her goal is to encourage more women to try out the sport while educating everyone about the joys of ditching shoes.


Listen to my podcast at SPIKES

A podcast for those who enjoy a lifestyle with a significant exercise component. The central theme will be around running but the entertainment factor is a little broader than that.


An ultra running podcast bringing you news, reviews and interviews from around the ultra world.


We are a team of intermediate runners who love technology, always hitting the road while plugged in.  iPod, iPhone, Android, whatever…



Trail Runner Nation

Trail Runner Nation is devoted to sharing knowledge and advice to the trail running community – from beginners to the pros! We offer tips and discussion regarding race nutrition, pacing strategy, mental focus and much more from well-respected members of the trail community.


We are passionate about ultra running. Our podcast was created for runners who feel the same about our sport. Reaching your running potential requires access to sport specific information. Our podcast features a variety of qualified experts to discuss nutrition, training, sport psychology, race strategy, injury management, trail gear and many more topics. Now, go out and run.


Please let me know if any of the links or RSS feeds are incorrect and I will update them.

Charity Miles

Listening to last weeks The Geek Runner podcast, I heard about an iPhone & Android app called Charity Miles that will generate corporate sponsorship for several charities based on a walk, run or biking activity.

I immediately registered and tried the app on my lunchtime walk. All went well, earning a few ‘minutes of education’ for Pencils of Promise, or so I thought. The app seemed to have an issue syncing over my phone network.

Syncing over wi-fi worked the next morning after finishing my 1 mile barefoot dog walk, earning 2.5 minutes of education, and another 5.5 minutes on my lunchtime 2 mile barefoot run.

The app uses Facebook to authenticate users, and will post each activity on your timeline. This can be turned off within Facebook but I am leaving active for a couple of days to raise awareness, as well as posting on twitter.

The corporate sponsorship initially stands at $1 million for the first 12 months.

Good Mornin’ Feet

Part of my barefoot routine now includes walking the family dog unshod. My share of the weekly dog walking quota involves a couple of early morning and evening walks, and hopefully a run at the weekend..
I’ve recently noticed the evening walks feel much easier on the feet than the early morning ones.
Or to put it another way, the morning walks feel less pleasant.

I don’t know if this is down to form, skin sensitivity or even surface temperature..

Thinking about this, I remembered a post I made about a year ago on dailymile regarding an early morning barefoot run with a similar observation: Local Loop

Going out for a barefoot lunchtime run my soles feel ‘normal’ again. My limited internet searching hasn’t revealed any clues; most results point to foot pain and plantar fasciitis whereas this is more of a sensory filter not kicking in.

Maybe a permanent barefooter has some insight?