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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 06-13-14, 08:14 AM   #376
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Still really busy and just doing the basic to and fro commute the past 2 weeks. No progress on "colouring in the map" by varying my route. Usually the "crunch' at work settles down by late June and into July as a lot of extra stuff like various committee meetings gets suspended for the summer.
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Old 06-13-14, 08:20 AM   #377
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Cooker - I went out today and got another pair of the 5 fingers. These are better for getting wet and the soles are thinner. I don't like the ones with much tread as much because tread is thicker and hits right on the ball of my foot, plus the grooves collect dirt and then redeposit back into my house!

BTW - my wife and one kids really want a pair too!

Just got back from a few miles with the dog. Nice feeling shoes. Way better than regular shoes. I still prefer nothing on them though.
Thanks - I think I will probably get some. Although I run a bit, I am overweight and thus not a good runner, and I will have to see if they are better or worse for that. In theory they might be better as you rely on natural and instinctive cushioning of your footstrike impact by your musculoskeletal structures and stride, rather than relying on passive cushioning in the heel of the shoe, but I imagine you have to "relearn" or build up that natural mechanism gradually.
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Old 06-13-14, 04:51 PM   #378
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That could be. Increasing exercise levels too quickly can cause aches and pains. But personally, I wouldn't stop. I would back off a little for a week, then start increasing intensity/duration again, but at a slower rate of increase than before. (I'm not a doctor or trainer--just a random guy on the Internet.)
I don't think that walking per se is the root cause- I think that my poor vision/depth perception was a bigger factor. I've been doing my walks for more than a year (mostly fair weather regardless of temps) on various surfaces- I've 'rolled' my ankles a time or two, so I think it is plausible something comparable to that happened with my knee. And I am listening to my body- I think I pushed it too hard, too fast initially, so I dialed it down for bit, and now I'm ramping it back up.
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Daily walk report time, but with a slight twist. My normal route, but I used two different apps at the same time- Google's My Tracks and another called Sports Tracker.

My Tracks says it was 2.16 miles @ 3.57 mph avg moving, 269 calories.
Sports Tracker has it at 2.09 miles @ 3.4 mph avg, 253 kcal.
I have noticed that my gait has been affected, though. I'm coming down really hard towards the heel on the right foot while my left is coming down with less force in a more neutral position., mid- to forefoot.
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Old 06-13-14, 08:26 PM   #379
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I have noticed that my gait has been affected, though. I'm coming down really hard towards the heel on the right foot while my left is coming down with less force in a more neutral position., mid- to forefoot.
Have you been to physiotherapy? When I burned my left foot, I went to physio to relearn to walk properly. It didn't take long, but it was good to have someone watching the way I walked and making suggestions for correction.
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Old 06-14-14, 12:47 PM   #380
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Thanks - I think I will probably get some. Although I run a bit, I am overweight and thus not a good runner, and I will have to see if they are better or worse for that. In theory they might be better as you rely on natural and instinctive cushioning of your footstrike impact by your musculoskeletal structures and stride, rather than relying on passive cushioning in the heel of the shoe, but I imagine you have to "relearn" or build up that natural mechanism gradually.
Relearning for sure. It was funny watching my wife walk around in my new pair. She was expecting some sort of heel (since she had "shoes" on) and was cloning on the ground.

Give yourself plenty of time to get used to them. Many walks of very short distance, then slowly work your way up (the journey right). I am barefoot almost 100% of my life (except in the office and the January/February) so my feet are used to it.
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Old 06-14-14, 01:01 PM   #381
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Relearning for sure. It was funny watching my wife walk around in my new pair. She was expecting some sort of heel (since she had "shoes" on) and was cloning on the ground.

Give yourself plenty of time to get used to them. Many walks of very short distance, then slowly work your way up (the journey right). I am barefoot almost 100% of my life (except in the office and the January/February) so my feet are used to it.
Thanks, I'm always barefoot or in socks around the house, so that's a minor start, I guess.
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Old 06-14-14, 06:46 PM   #382
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First ever 30 mile route today . Highest before this on a single ride was around 13 miles. Took the train back though after a very heavy meal . All the same - pretty pumped that I got to 30. This was all the way from Jamaica Plain in South Boston up to Lowell right at the border of NH. Was super super hungry midway through the ride and the last 6 miles were pretty brutal - but I managed to get through. Definitely carry some food with me next time and eat a bit more.
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Old 06-16-14, 07:53 PM   #383
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1.5 km mixed surfaces walk to try out new footwear.

Inspired in part by Ridefreemc I went out and treated myself to a pair of Vibram 5 fingers "barefoot" running shoes.

Okay, maybe they're just gimmicky, but the argument for them make sense - we evolved to walk barefoot, and we can speculate that we may have a more efficient and perhaps healthier and more sustainable gait, if we recondtion our feet to function as they are designed to.

On the other hand, perhaps you could argue that shoes are like bicycles - a kind of artificial exoskeleton that we use because it gives us some biomechanical advantage - and of course in the modern world that they offer protection against man-made hazards like broken glass and roof tacks.

In a roundabout way I might also have partly been infuenced by watching Frodo et al. scooting around the Shire or even into Mordor without footwear. I don't recall if they wore boots crossing the mountain passes. Plus, before I got summer jobs I spent weeks barefoot at the family cottage in chidhood summers, on dirt paths and beaches, although we did usually wear shoes if we went into the untrammelled woods. And I always kick off my shoes as soon as I get home and walk around the house barefoot or in socks as it feels more comfortable.

Anyway tonight I walked a 1.5 km loop on concrete, an asphalt path, some crushed rocks, loose gravel, sand, packed dirt, and grass.

It felt weirdly familiar. One heel felt a little tender right from the start but I don't think it got any worse. I only stepped on one acorn-sized rock that hurt a bit, and I realized that if I were actually barefoot I would have been scanning more closely for stuff like that, and need to learn to do so a bit more in these "shoes" than in conventional shoes.

I probably won't try running in them until the coming weekend.

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Old 06-16-14, 07:58 PM   #384
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First ever 30 mile route today . Highest before this on a single ride was around 13 miles. Took the train back though after a very heavy meal . All the same - pretty pumped that I got to 30. This was all the way from Jamaica Plain in South Boston up to Lowell right at the border of NH. Was super super hungry midway through the ride and the last 6 miles were pretty brutal - but I managed to get through. Definitely carry some food with me next time and eat a bit more.
Good work!
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Old 06-16-14, 08:40 PM   #385
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A lot of people here in Australia walk around barefoot everywhere ... down the street, grocery shopping, to cafes. Even at work people will wear shoes to work, but a little later in the day you'll see them padding around the office barefoot.

Coming from Canada, it's a bit unusual to me, but then the weather there wasn't really conducive to that sort of thing much of the time. Nevertheless, I've gone from a shoe-wearing Canadian to someone who will walk around barefoot much more frequently. I just can't quite get used to the idea of walking barefoot on the sidewalks on the main street or downtown ... or to the public toilets.

I took a physical education course as part of my Bachelor of Education degree in Canada ... how to teach physical education to children ... and the instructor emphasised the importance of having the children run around barefoot during the physical education classes. She said Canadians end up with particularly bad walking styles because we clomp around in boots for half the year, and we don't really use our feet.

So, in that course, we all ran around barefoot learning the activities we would teach the children. The first class was all right, although many felt a little strange running around barefoot ... it's not a particularly Canadian prairie thing to do. At the next class our instructor asked us if we had experienced DOMS in our feet ... and most of us had. I was quite surprised how sore my feet were. But by the end of the course, my feet were fine. And not long after that I moved to Australia where bare feet are the norm.

I especially like walking on the beach, in the sand and water, in bare feet ... good for the feet and good for the calves.
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Old 06-16-14, 09:32 PM   #386
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Daily walk report: 2.1 miles in 35:43 moving (37:52 total), avg 3.53 mph moving speed, 239 calories- according to My Tracks (Google).
I've been wanting to try out a pair of those Vibram Five Fingers for a couple of years, but they have usually been more than what my wife prefer I spend.
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Old 06-17-14, 12:46 PM   #387
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I tried a pair, but it's too much trouble trying to work my hammer toes into them. Too small of shoes for too long, growing up. I go barefoot most of the time at home.
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Old 06-17-14, 10:37 PM   #388
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My workload lightened up a little bit, so I took the bike trail home from work (it adds a couple of miles). There was lots of mud and a tree blocking part of the path, thanks to last night's storm. I also walked about three miles catching up on various errands.
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Old 06-17-14, 10:48 PM   #389
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... and then a wander through shops looking for ideas for 1930s style formal wear. I've got a costume party coming up.
Lots of walking at lunches this week on the hunt for 1930s style bits and pieces. I have the shoes. I have a dress that will do. I got the jewellery and a faux fur stole, and I've found long gloves ... I just have to decide on colour.
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Old 06-17-14, 11:11 PM   #390
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Though I went for my walk and did record it, I'm not sharing today because the data is a bit off- I failed to pause it while perusing a local car lot (not for me- stepdaughter is in the market for one and we traded our Pacifica off a month ago for an Altima last month- went from ~18 mpg to 29.7 mpg [and climbing]).
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Old 06-18-14, 06:02 AM   #391
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A lot of people here in Australia walk around barefoot everywhere ... down the street, grocery shopping, to cafes. Even at work people will wear shoes to work, but a little later in the day you'll see them padding around the office barefoot.

Coming from Canada, it's a bit unusual to me, but then the weather there wasn't really conducive to that sort of thing much of the time. Nevertheless, I've gone from a shoe-wearing Canadian to someone who will walk around barefoot much more frequently. I just can't quite get used to the idea of walking barefoot on the sidewalks on the main street or downtown ... or to the public toilets.
Did your feet need time to adapt?
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Old 06-18-14, 07:54 AM   #392
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Did your feet need time to adapt?
Yes ... they had to toughen up and become a bit more muscular.


Also ... I have arthritis in my right foot, and it is really hard finding comfortable shoes. However, when I walk barefoot more often, and especially when we do beach walks, the arthritis feels better.
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Old 06-18-14, 08:17 AM   #393
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Yes ... they had to toughen up and become a bit more muscular.


Also ... I have arthritis in my right foot, and it is really hard finding comfortable shoes. However, when I walk barefoot more often, and especially when we do beach walks, the arthritis feels better.
Do you know if aussies get a lot of injuries from broken glass, metal debris etc.? Or do they simply get more attentive about avoiding it? (and less vulnerable due to calluses).
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Old 06-18-14, 08:32 AM   #394
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Do you know if aussies get a lot of injuries from broken glass, metal debris etc.? Or do they simply get more attentive about avoiding it? (and less vulnerable due to calluses).
I couldn't give you statistics, but from my observations, they don't seem to get injuries from walking around barefoot. I've seen some of them walking up gravel roads and across hot sand without flinching. And actually, toward the end of a summer of walking around barefoot most of the time, I've been able to do that fairly well too.

When it comes to broken glass and stuff like that, I suspect they make an effort to avoid it ... I do, when I walk around barefoot. But I don't recall there being much in the way of broken glass and other debris on the footpaths of the little town we lived in north of Melbourne. I don't recall seeing much of that on the footpaths I've observed in Hobart either.
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Old 06-18-14, 09:59 AM   #395
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I couldn't give you statistics, but from my observations, they don't seem to get injuries from walking around barefoot. I've seen some of them walking up gravel roads and across hot sand without flinching. And actually, toward the end of a summer of walking around barefoot most of the time, I've been able to do that fairly well too.

When it comes to broken glass and stuff like that, I suspect they make an effort to avoid it ... I do, when I walk around barefoot. But I don't recall there being much in the way of broken glass and other debris on the footpaths of the little town we lived in north of Melbourne. I don't recall seeing much of that on the footpaths I've observed in Hobart either.
Yeah, I guess it would be more of a problem on paved and busy streets. Anyway I'll report on my experience as it develops

Meanwhile we had a violent storm last night in rush hour and a tornado did some damage just north of us, in Southern Ontario's usual and fortunately very minimal "tornado alley". It was my late night and I rode home later in clear and beautiful nighttime conditions. This outdoor hockey rink (no ice right now) was flooded in the storm, so you see the boards reflected in the water.
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Old 06-18-14, 05:32 PM   #396
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Yeah, I guess it would be more of a problem on paved and busy streets. Anyway I'll report on my experience as it develops

Meanwhile we had a violent storm last night in rush hour and a tornado did some damage just north of us, in Southern Ontario's usual and fortunately very minimal "tornado alley". It was my late night and I rode home later in clear and beautiful nighttime conditions. This outdoor hockey rink (no ice right now) was flooded in the storm, so you see the boards reflected in the water.
BTW, by "footpath" I mean everything from the dirt or gravel paths on the sides of streets which are there for walking purposes to wide paved sidewalks. From what I've observed, they are fairly clean here, although you do have to pay attention.

The worst problem areas I've encountered are parking lots ... especially parking lots at parks and beaches. Unfortunately there are usually broken bottles somewhere in the parking lot, often near the rubbish containers ... as though someone tried to throw a bottle into the rubbish container and missed.

Many people have flip flops on hand to negotiate the "prickly" areas.

And as a somewhat related aside, throughout the US and sometimes in Canada, shops have signs up that say: "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" ... I don't recall ever seeing a sign like that here.


I heard about that storm!! I have cousins in that area who posted some info about it. Good thing you missed it.
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Old 06-19-14, 07:47 AM   #397
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Nice long stroll through Salamanca at lunch today ... hoping to find hats and gloves, but didn't.
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Old 06-19-14, 08:00 AM   #398
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3.5 km last night in the Vibrams - partly just for exercise and partly to continue to assess them. I actually think the separate toe sleeves may detract a bit from the "natural" aspect as they hold your toes artifiicially slightly apart. They might actually be more natural if they were moccasins with a very thin sole - your feet would still make intimate contact with the ground and your toes could do what they wanted.

My legs got a bit sore, and I think it is because you are "putting on the brakes" with each stride, to place your foot gently on the ground rather than just plunk it down, as you would with cushioned or stiff soles, but presumably over time you get smoother at that. In fact walking the last bit home across a damp school field my legs felt much more relaxed.

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Old 06-19-14, 03:58 PM   #399
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Were you running? If you are used to landing on your heel like normal, thick running shoes encourage, then toe/forefoot landing will definitely need some getting used to. You could easily get tendonitis or shin splints if you over do it. But supposedly it's better for your feet in the long run (pun only noticed after I typed it). I'm still a heel lander.
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Old 06-19-14, 04:03 PM   #400
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Were you running? If you are used to landing on your heel like normal, thick running shoes encourage, then toe/forefoot landing will definitely need some getting used to. You could easily get tendonitis or shin splints if you over do it. But supposedly it's better for your feet in the long run (pun only noticed after I typed it). I'm still a heel lander.
So far just walking. In conventional running shoes I vary among striking with the heel, outside edge of the foot, or ball, depending on speed, fatigue, mood, etc.
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