Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

Winter Barefooting – Tackling the cold months while keeping our feet happy

I’m probably the least qualified person to ask about going barefoot (at least completely barefooted) in the winter, as I am not very accomplished at this as I see other barefooters are. However, with my somewhat limited experience, and for what I understand from other more accomplished winter bare and “snowfooters”, I have come to understand that successful barefooting in winter really boils down to a few key aspects:

  • Personal and natural ability to withstand (and enjoy) lower temperatures
    Let’s face it, some of us like winter more than others and some of us feel the cold more drastically than others. Therefore some people will be naturally more accomplished at barefooting in the winter. We can’t forget the “enjoyment” part: While some of us might actually wait and hope for a cold snap or a snow fall to go out and experience it “first-foot”, others might not want anything to do with that.
  • Conditioning
    As they say, practice makes perfect! The more we go out and push our limits, the more accomplished we can become at staying barefoot through the winter.
  • Opportunity
    This has to do mostly with geographical and weather conditions, as well as our physical environment. We have to take into account that winter conditions vary from place to place. Here in Toronto, for instance, we tend to have much less snow that other areas in Canada but we have a fair amount of dampness. Another aspect that makes winter barefooting challenging in cities like Toronto or Ottawa is the amount of salt and other chemicals used on the roads and sidewalks to help keeping the ice and snow at bay – I find these much more irritating than the actual cold temperatures or the snow.

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What do “they” think of “us”?

I always find it interesting to ponder about what non-barefooters think of us barefooter when they interact with us in public. A prevalent subject during these interactions is the warnings about the (apparently imminent) dangers I will encounter while not having any foot protection in the outdoors. After giving it a thought, I’ve come to the realization that the great majority of shoe-wearing people, in their over-dependence on footwear, think we don’t weigh the consequences before we make our decision to step anywhere in bare feet.

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A Barefoot Conversation with Dale Blacker, RMT

Dale Blacker is a Registered Massage Therapist from Toronto, Canada who enjoys the benefits from walking and spending a good amount of time in bare feet – even at work for most part!

Dale and I became friends after he started a barefooting “experiment” some three years ago by trying barefooting in the streets of Toronto.

In this unedited conversation, Dale shares with us some of his motivations, experiences and discoveries around his decision to minimize the use of traditional footwear from his lifestyle.

Get to know Dale a bit better via his own blog: Life, Massage and Everything…

Listen via YouTube

Or listen/download the audio stream here:

Spring is here! Let’s get Hiking!

Yes! Although it doesn’t really feel like spring in a lot of areas in Ontario – or Canada for that matter, the new season has sprung and it’s time to get out of our hibernation mode and start exploring the different areas around the city. What best way to start our barefooting season this year!?

Where to Hike in Toronto and Surrounding Areas

Despite Toronto is Canada’s biggest urban centre, it is a very “green” city; which offers many areas for outings and exploration. Among the most popular spots for exploration within the city we have:

  • High Park
  • Toronto Islands
  • Don River Valley
  • Humber River
  • Central Ravines
  • Scarborough Bluffs

Beyond the core of the city, there are also many, many areas and parks to explore around the GTA and the rest of the province.

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Barefooting in the First Snow Fall in Toronto this Season

I can’t really say I am an accomplished “winter barefooter” by any account since I’m very much a summer type of guy through and through. However, living in Toronto, Canada, I must endure long and cold winters every year. And, every year, I do at least a minimum amount of barefooting outside to keep both my sanity and my feet in some sort of a decent shape for when the warmer weather comes.

We had our first significant snow fall last night and throughout the day today so I decided I had to go out for a few minutes and enjoy some of the white stuff before it gets all hard, slippery and dirty.

I took two videos with my cellphone and I thought I’d share them here – please excuse the poor lighting on the first video, since it was taken last night at about 1 am. The Sound is not the greatest either – I’m still figuring things out with this new phone.

In both cases the temperature was about -5°C with a windchill factor of about -12°C. Overall, the experience felt good; my only wish is that I could do longer barefoot outings in the winter. I guess, like anything else, I need to get used to it and build some tolerance as I go.

Here are the videos, I hope you enjoy them:

Dec. 6, 2010 – 1:30 am

Dec. 6, 2010 – 2:45 pm

Keep ‘em bare, keep ‘em happy.

Barefoot Moe

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