Pros and Cons of Barefoot Hiking

It's Like Having a Pedicure

Stones will massage your feet, soil or sand will smooth your skin.?

It's Less Expensive

You won't need to drop cash on new footwear every few months.

CONS

Germaphobes Beware

Hiking barefoot may not be for the squeamish or faint of heart. Some may find it utterly disgusting to roam the wild unshod and will worry about picking up germs, dirt or worse. Barefoot hikers just accept the fact that your feet will get "dirty."

People will Call You a Hippie

You might be alright with that?but it gets annoying after a while.

More: Reasons to Take a Hike

Less Protection/More Exposure

A stubbed toe or a careless misstep can more easily lead to a broken digit or small wound. And if you haven't brought backup footwear with you, it may make hiking back to the trailhead difficult.
So if you cut or injure your foot, you should be extra prepared?you don't want an open wound exposed for too long and you'll have to get back safely.

More: Hiking Gear

Soreness

Your feet—the tendons and the bottom of your feet—as well as the muscles in your calves may become unusually sore after your first few times until you get used to hiking barefoot. However, some interpret this "con" as a "pro."

Seasons Are Difficult

Extreme weather, very icy and cold (or very hot) ground does make hiking barefoot difficult (but not impossible). You can invest in a pair of minimalist trail shoes when the weather goes south, though.

More: Barefoot Running?Shoes?

Active logoFind a different hike and go barefoot.

PREV
  • 2
  • of
  • 2

About the Author

Christina Scannapiego

Christina Scannapiego is the Outdoors editor for Active.com. She?loves yoga?and is fanatical about getting her?endorphins pumping outside.
Christina Scannapiego is the Outdoors editor for Active.com. She?loves yoga?and is fanatical about getting her?endorphins pumping outside.

Discuss This Article