I called my very good friend Amanda last week, owner of the new and exciting WANDER and also my main motivator and go-to person for all things outdoor. I had set out to hike in the mountains twice last week but ended up in stores looking for hiking boots instead. From the parking lot of Sports Replay, I phoned her up to ask an all important question:
“Hiking boots or hiking shoes?”
Her response, with a laugh, was, “well, I have hiking boots, hiking shoes, hiking sandals, river shoes…” The list went on and then she said, “I thought you would be going barefoot.”
We continued our conversation for a while — parenting, boys, sleeping in our cars every weekend until winter… Throughout the conversation, the question lingered, “why don’t I go barefoot?” There is no mountain terrain that requires shoes. There is no other place my feet would rather be. I sat with this question for the next few days.
I stopped looking for hiking boots — as any form of footwear on the mountains now seemed redundant — when would I use hiking boots? Where would I need them? So, I spent a couple of days without shoes. I even went on a late night walk and found a path that could resemble mountain-like terrain (in Willoughby). Sitting at the base of a section of trees-still-standing, with frogs singing and the stars above — my decision became clear…
I am going to hike in my barefeet… And with that, I had just mentally and spiritually just bought my new hiking boots. They were perfect. I immediately felt the post-checkout euphoria one receives after purchasing something awesome and for a very good deal. Happily, I headed home — visualizing the journeys my feet would take me on, the places we would go — and the money that would remain in my bank account.