When I was a child I enjoyed going barefoot but my feet were soft and sensitive. Unfortunately this meant I would wear shoes more than I wanted. I found that I would sometimes get sores just from rough surfaces in the early summer but by the fall my feet were tougher, just in time to be wearing shoes permanently again. It seemed like a never ending cycle. As I got older I realized that I would have to go barefoot more in order to be more comfortable when barefoot. I started by being barefoot in the house all of the time and then as much as possible in the summer. I found that I was becoming more comfortable without shoes and my feet were getting tougher. A few years ago I searched the internet for information on the benefits of being barefoot. I found a few good sites (more are popping up now that more people are discovering the benefits).
One site I found promoted a book about barefoot hiking (http://www.barefooters.org/hikers). I bought the book and decided to try that. There are a few rules to barefooting safely and you either learn them the easy way or the hard way. RULE #
1. Start with a few steps on a soft surface then build up from there, walking further and on rougher surfaces gradually.
2. Always look where you are going to step.
3. Step straight down, don’t scuff or drag your feet.
I was enjoying the hiking and the muscles in my feet were getting stronger. I noticed that my feet seemed more aware. The changing surface textures and obstacles were not only thickening my soles, but also awakening a part of my brain that had been suppressed by wearing shoes. I also started to feel the spiritual Earth connection I had read about.