Whilst stretching 'tother day I happened to gaze upon my feet. And thought "my, what deformed toes you have, Grandma". My pinkie toe had a flat spot that precisely snugged against the side of my 2nd toe, which in turn snugged against the middle. Quite unlike my hand and fingers. It was as if my feet had been bound into some confining structure for years and years, deforming them into the monstrosities they are today. Something like ... shoes. Oh no!!!
After that realization I googled "feet of people who don't wear shoes". Yep, not all squishified. And then I read about people who voluntarily forego shoes all the time. They claim all sorts of goodness from the approach.
Well, that's enough for me! Kind of tough when it's all freezy wheezy outside but today it was in the mid forties and I decided to try. And ... wow! Isn't that interesting?
First off, it's easier than you'd think. One's first thought is "What about all the glass and stuff". But turns out it's far less than imagination makes it. Second observation is that asphalt and concrete are WAY different comfort-wise. Smooth concrete - nice! Asphalt ranges from nice to a bit more challenging.
However the third and most surprising realization was temperature. And this fact is one that 99.9% of the world is completely oblivious to, even though it's part of the environment we're in every single day. The temperature difference between early morning shaded and unshaded is intense. If ever you needed a demonstration of what radiation is - this is a good one. Even though the air temp wasn't high, the morning sun hitting and being absorbed by the concrete raised the concrete's temperature way above the shaded areas (which I suppose was pretty much equal to the ambient air of a couple of hourrs before).
It. was similar to what you experience during a drive in a convertible with the top down. You hear sounds and breathe in smells that you have no notion exist when traveling in a tin-top vehicle. Hugely different sensory experience.
Definitely a fun and eye-opening thing to try.