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.