Tuesday, September 19, 2006

No shoes

It's not the right season to try this yourself, but maybe next summer? We're talking barefoot hiking. Yeah, it's a thing, although it's not as big in places called the Rocky Mountains (emphasis on the word "Rocky") as it is in, say, parts of the less-rocky East Coast.

A guy out there is testing the theory that hiking barefoot is the best way to hike. Ron Zaleski is hiking the Appalachian Trail isans shoes. His goal, he says, is to bring attention to the need for combat veterans to receive counseling.

"In the beginning I thought, 'I gotta do this to show how tough I am. I want to be famous,'" he told the Associated Press. "Now I just want to help these kids."

Zaleski says his aversion to wearing shoes began after he left the Marine Corps in the 1970s. At first, going barefoot was his way to protest the Vietnam War, but he didn't make his stance public for 33 years. No word on the connection between a war protest, military counseling and hiking barefoot.
Check out his Web site at www.thelongwalkhome.org

1 comment:

Zen said...

I don't know about barefoot hiking, although rare indeed is the hike or backpack that I wear anything other than my tried and true Chacos. Add a pair of Solsocks (www.solsocks.com) for those chilly camp eves. Boots stay on the shelf until the snows fall.

Years ago I worked at a youth camp with a pair of brothers who spent most of the Marin County summer sans shoes. By late August they had built callouses some 1/4" thick. But it took a whole lot of cuts, scrapes, gashes and blood to get there. I say ouch.