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Barefoot Hiking – Top 11 Videos
Throughout ancient history — from the Egyptians to the Romans — people donned little to no footwear. The Barefoot Hiker, a guide book published in the early ’90s, outlines this bootless culture in 12 winding chapters. In chapter 5, the book even gives advice on how to hike barefoot IN. THE. SNOW. Our feet get numb just by thinking about it!
It turns out barefoot people are a very passionate group that even have a society dedicated to kicking off their boots. According to its website, barefooters “are a group of people who love going barefoot pretty much everywhere, all the time (not just around the house or at the beach), as a lifestyle choice, including out and about on streets, stores, in the country and hiking.”
Due to our natural footwear predilection, we can’t stop gawking at barefoot hiker videos on all kinds of surfaces — jagged rocks, slimy mud and subzero snow. Don’t get us wrong, we truly appreciate this sans shoes group, but we’ll be keeping our hiking boot technology like Thinsulate and Gore-Tex, thankyouverymuch. (By the way, we’re still trying to confirm whether this movement inspired that Britney Spears’ public-bathroom trek.)
In honor of this sole-ful bunch, here are the best of the best barefoot hikers on YouTube.
1. UPDATE: We have a new No. 1 video that comes from Barefoot Ted (BFT). He writes, “Maybe it is just my ego, but I can’t imagine a top 10 barefoot hiking videos that didn’t include a barefoot summit of the tallest mountain in the Continental USA…or am I missing something.” Nope! But apparently we were. BFT said he’s climbed it three times barefoot. Without further ado…
2. “My feet are kind of hurting,” John Sifferman, the man in this video, confesses. “But it’s too late, I don’t even have shoes … it’s just great to get out, exploring nature, going barefoot — that’s just a little perk. The real joy is just being out here, getting some good quality exercise.”
3. The hikers in this CNN report carry advanced hiking tools, yet deem shoes unnecessary. “When we first started out, we’d get a lot of astonishment like ‘did you forget your shoes?!” says one of the barefooters. Gotta love the new guy who tries to hike barefoot but puts his boots right back on. We’re right there with you, buddy!
4. It appears this hiker found a nice carpet of crunchy leaves to stroll upon. Let’s just hope there’s no critters napping beneath them.
5. Titled “Barefoot Hiking Proof,” this video serves as evidence of seasoned hiker going barefoot and is proud of it.
6. This barefoot video shows a man strolling barefoot up a mountainside. However, his trail is paved at first. He promptly replaces his sandals when the trail gets rough. And then the sandals go off again. “How do the little Ethiopian children do it? It hurts!”
7. Filmed by a hyper young boy, there’s a bit of icy barefooting going on in this shaky footage. “She’s bare FOOT. Man, she’s brave!” he calls to his mother.
8. More like a circus act, this barefoot stroller crosses a ravine via tree trunk successfully.
9. Just when you thought the last wintry video was bad, here’s two minutes of snow-crunching bootless hiking. How do his feet not fall off?
10. But is roaming without shoes on a rocky surface any better? This guy seems to think so.
11. Lastly, the “Barefoot Samurai” takes us on a strange (yet artistic?) adventure through a grassy forest.
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)