March 28 – I’ve just returned from a business trip to the Netherlands where my client introduced me to the concept of Barefoot Paths. I hadn’t come across these before but must say that I love the idea. For those of you who aren’t familiar with these, if you hadn’t guessed already, they are paths designed with the specific aim that you shed your footwear and walk them barefoot. As you progress along the route you encounter a variety materials and textures. You may also find obstacles, balance boards, and streams that you must navigate. I think what I like most about these is that they transform the nature of walking a path. Most of the time, paths are designed just to get you from A to B; a good path might travel through scenery and provide a position from which to view the surroundings. However, the simple act of removing one’s shoes connects one with the earth. Now the path and the sensation of walking along it, becomes everything.
For those that are interested in giving this a go, this website lists the barefoot parks that can be found in Europe.