I’ve Got Mountain Climbing Monkey Feet!

What a conversation opener! Actually, it’s true. A couple of years ago, I was reading an article that the main reasons that most folks end up in a nursing home later in life is that they can’t haul their hiney up off the commode and/or they lose their balance and break a hip. I’m wholly committed to neither happening to me.

A couple of years ago, I changed up my footwear (not that my shoes were ever narrow). I got rid of my corporate pumps a few decades back, thank goddess! I still felt confined in my running shoes. A good friend of mine had a pair of ‘barefoot’ shoes and I got curious enough to try them.

Hiitave water/barefoot shoes

Over the last two years of wearing these shoes constantly to walk the dog, hike in the mountains, do an hour of Qigong three times a week. My walking app says that I do about 10 – 12,000 steps per day, around 10 kms (6 days a week), my feet are noticeably widening and my toes are spreading like a little monkey’s. There is about a cm space, now, between my big toe and the next one beside it, and the next toes have also widened considerably as well. I’ve lived on this seriously uneven cobblestoned street in Mexico for some time and, thankfully, never fallen.

Next fall, I plan to do the Camino de Santiago across southern France and northern Spain in celebration of my 61st birthday. It will take about thirty-five days, averaging 15 – 25 kms a day. I plan to do these kms in my barefoot shoes. Another friend of mine completed this extensive hike in her all-leather bare-foots called Muskishoes from Portugal and loved them, and she never suffered blisters. The advantage of mine are that they’re light enough to throw an extra pair in my knapsack given that I’m bound to wear through a pair of them over a month.

The only time I find my barefoot shoes to be a disadvantage is when I’m walking over very sharp gravel. I have bruised the bottom of my feet several times. Arnica, Arnica Arnica! But otherwise, I’m gripping some of the mountain passes where we live in central Mexico, on 3,000 foot ascensions, like a blond-headed orangutan. My toes literally wrap around steep rock and rough terrain in the most surprising and adroit way. I won’t be seeing the inside of a nursing home anytime soon, except to visit my 100 year old Nan. I’ve got way to many places to go and people to see.

Your author, Allyson McQuinn, in her 60th year barefoot and pregnant with a ton of ideas and adventures left to have. Photo credit goes to my beloved husband, Jeff Korentayer.
  • Yes, I’m old enough to switch from imperial to international measures on a dime. Sorry for this. No, I won’t be changing to conform to just one format anytime soon.

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