A Guide to Being Barefoot in the Meadows

02/22/2019

So…it’s been about a week of continuous rain, it’s a friday afternoon, I’ve slept far less than I would care to, and what I want most in this world is to sink into the comfort of my warm home. Sadly the bitterness of this post being an actual homework assignment started to overpower the sweetness of a solo trip to the Meadows. Despite all that, I brushed off my shoulders, bundled up, grabbed my umbrella, and took off. The slipping and sliding around in the mud was kind of annoying to me at first. I wore my Crocs without any holes (I call them Winter Crocs) to stay waterproof, but sacrificed any hope for traction in doing so. Quickly and impulsively I decided I would be better off with no shoes at all. I stashed my shoes and socks in a frisbee golf…net? Is it a net? Basket maybe? I’m going to come back to frisbee golf in a future post, so I’ll figure it out by then.

Anyway, what came of that is this! A somewhat comprehensive guide to being barefoot in the Meadows. In this extra special edition, we’ll be talking about the ins and outs of being barefoot in the cold, rainy, oversaturated, squishiest-ever Meadows. How to find a moment of warmth and regain the feeling in your toes. I am also a very tactile person, so part of this is me just wanting to feel all the textures between my toes, but I think it will serve as informative for those in a very specific jam.

Content warning: Turn back if you hate feet!

  1. Plain old mud

I do not recommend that you walk in this mud. As you can tell from my very visceral foot reaction, this is not the place to be. It is the wrong type of squish, the little puddles are extremely cold, and I slid all sorts of ways in this mud.

2. Grass

Should you find yourself in a pinch, this grass will do the trick. Stay still in your footing for a few minutes and your body heat will warm it right up. The overall sensation is not the greatest, but when you stop being able to bend your toes, you can’t be too picky about that sort of thing.

3. Moss


Now you might think that since moss looks like an actual rug, this would be amazing, as I did. I was very wrong. The carpet-like quality of moss soaks up water so much so that it feels like you’re walking on a cold, dirty sponge.

4. Pine needles

I have some mixed emotions about pine needles here. If you are looking for heat on your feet, this definitely works. The sort of insulation that the layers of pine needles gives is quite nice, but you have to get past the rigidity of the needles to begin with. Personally, the feeling of walking on uncooked pasta outweighed any comfort or warmth the pine needles had to offer.

5. Puddles

Yeah, don’t stand in puddles. They are fun for splashing around and cleaning mud off your feet, but that’s about all you’re gonna get from this.

6. Funky wooden bridge

Maybe I was just extremely cold and slightly delusional but this felt absolutely fantastic. The wood totally warmed up my feet and got my toes wiggling and feeling good. 10/10 would recommend in an ideal world with these sorts of accommodations.

7. Plastic traction mats

No. Just don’t do it. These little holes suction to the bottom of your feet and it feels like you’re walking on an octopus tentacle. Plus, the open spaces between your foot and the ground is like a tiny, freezing wind tunnel.

8. Bathmat

This is a one way ticket to a fungal infection. I did it so you never ever have to.

9. Surrendering to the mud

You run around barefoot long enough in the muddy Meadows and eventually you get tired of fighting the slips and slides. When the moment’s right, let go of your inhibitions, and slide on!

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