Going Barefoot: a Naturist Guide
Perhaps unsurprisingly, since
I call myself Captain Barefoot, I'm often asked if I like going
barefoot. As a practising naturist, if I'm somewhere where I
don't have to wear anything at all I'm in my element. But if
that's not possible, once the weather gets warm I'm quickly relaxing in
shorts and bare feet. The Captain's Mate thinks I'm mad,
going everywhere in the garden barefoot - including the concrete
bits. Of course one has to be careful - avoiding thorns,
wasps and other hazards - and of course it would be utter stupidity to
use garden implements like lawnmowers whilst barefoot. But
the Captain has managed fine for years. And it feels
nice. But I'd stop short of going out barefoot.
Public transport and pavements are designed for the shod.
Even in a naturist
environment it isn't always possible to go barefoot - perhaps because
the paths are stony - and we sometimes have the bizarre spectacle of
otherwise naked people wearing trainers and socks.
The Captain prefers open sandals or flip flops. But the point
about naturism is to enjoy the lovely feeling of being entirely
naked. You aren't naked, strictly speaking, if you're wearing
shoes, and it doesn't feel quite as nice.
Many contributors to
Captain Barefoot's Naturist Guide have told me they enjoy long, nude
walks along some of Greece's deserted beaches. This can,
indeed, be blissful. And the nicest ones are where the beach
is sandy rather than stony, it's comfortable in bare feet and and it's
unnecessary to carry flip flops.
The Captain has been lucky
enough several times to visit Club
Orient, a well-established naturist resort in the
Caribbean. It's clothes optional everywhere, with the
majority of guests nude all the time - but the point of
mentioning it here is that roads and pathways were all treated with
soft sand, meaning it was possible to go barefoot everywhere in the
resort. It was pure delight.
reflections led the Captain to do a
Google search on "going barefoot". To my amazement
there's a huge Barefoot community out there, with enthusiasts talking
up the benefits of barefoot living. Some sites assure the
reader that it's perfectly legal to go
barefoot anywhere in the US (it had never occurred to me that
there might be a law against such things), and list barefoot-friendly
stores. Indeed, Wikipedia
assures us that bare feet are permitted in public parks in New York
There's even a Society for Barefoot
Living, once known as the Dirty Sole Society, with members in
many parts of the world. Their website includes just about
any justification you could think of for going barefoot as a lifestyle
choice. A site created by the self-styled Barefoot Kid
exhorts everyone to "Go
Barefoot and Enjoy Life". There's a site that
Parks and foot
sensation trails in Europe. And the Barefoot Hikers
page includes the full text of a book about barefoot hiking, including
lots of advice for beginners. If you are a beginner at
barefoot walking or running, some advice
can be found here.
running hit the news early in 2010, when a study reported that running
shoes may be doing more harm than good.