Explore the rush of walking barefoot in the snow

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 12, 2009 11:38 am


I was researching this in jest, not really thinking it was a popular past time. I thought, hey, people water ski barefoot, maybe some people out there snow ski barefoot. I didn’t think I’d find anything of substance, seeing as how that seems pretty impossible, but then I found the Barefoot Walkers Tribe. A forum devoted to people who love to go for walks in the snow…without any foot protection at all. OK, not that weird if you do it for, like, 5 minutes at a time (which many do), but some of these people are out there for 45 minutes or more!

Archie said, “I walk barefoot everyday including the winter. I have suffered frostbite and frost nip when out in temps below 12f. I am now more careful when walking and keep an eye on the color of my toes, red and pink are good colors, as they show circulation. When your toes turn white you need to rewarm them as they’ll soon begin to freeze. I will return to a warm place or slide some shoes on and continue walking. When my toes warm up I start snowfooting again. Wet slush is the hardest to stay warm on because of it’s conductivity. My circulation can’t keep up with the rate of heat loss. 30 minutes on the snow can be comfortable if the conditions are right – sunny skies – packed snow – and good aerobic activity. Circulation is the key and controling the rate of heat loss. I expand my limits safely so I can barefoot 12 months a year.” 

OK, dude knows what he’s doing. 

Scott explains the rush and the joy of trekking barefoot, “the intensity of the cold is very appealing, and I find the cool vibrations refreshing for hours afterward, especially on these afternoons of sunny mid-40s when I would normally be out barefoot anyway.”

At first a skeptic, I now am dying to try this. I’ll keep an eye on the color of my toes though. And for goodness sake, don’t tell my mother.