My mind goes immediately to feet when I think of summer. When you start walking around barefoot or put on sandals, summer is here.

When Mama sent me to the mailbox to mail a letter, I had to cross Lincoln Avenue. Now this was no trouble during cooler months when I was shod in my Keds, but barefoot in summer it was a challenge. The concrete sidewalk was cool enough to walk on, but the black asphalt road burned. My solution was to walk on the white-painted crosswalk lines. They felt smooth and cool under my bare feet, even cooler than the sidewalk.

If I wasn’t barefoot, I was slapping along in thongs. My cousins called them zories, and nowadays they are called flip-flops. (Thongs are something else). Mama bought us a new pair of zories at the start of summer each year, usually one or more sizes bigger than the year before. The new ones felt funny for the first week or so, until they got stretched, squished and worn, in just the right places to fit your feet perfectly.

Do you have a memory of summer feet?

One thought on “Summer Feet

  1. Great post! Do you still go barefoot? If not, why not? I never wear shoes, year round. There are many reasons to go unshod. Of course there will always be those who think I will step on glass, or some other sharp and hazardous object, but it hasn’t happened yet and will not as long as caution is exercised. I have been running barefoot for 10 years, and rarely on sand or grass. Running unshod enables proper form by allowing the feet to land under our center of gravity with a slightly bent knee, which acts as a spring. So many injuries often occur because of the ultra padded heal characteristic of most running shoes. This encourages the heal to strike the ground with a straight leg, extending well beyond the center of gravity, which is a force that can lead to problems over time, all the way up the chain. This would never happen unshod, as it would hurt like hell to land on our heals. Instead of a heal “strike”, barefooter runners kiss the ground with the mid foot and where the feet are meant to land. Not everyone who wears shoes runs incorrectly, but the majority do. Our feet are our greatest proprioceptors. Why would we want to block such wonderful sensations by stuffing our feet into shoes that do not allow the foot to move as it was designed to move. There are so many divine textures to enjoy. And what an incredible sense of freedom! The strength gains are quite significant as well. Arch support, in most cases, does not need to be provided by footwear if our internal structures are maintained. Artificial arch support only weakens our arches, as they quit doing the work necessary to stay strong. I could go on… Being barefoot is the only way for me to be.


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