I went for a bit of a walk this afternoon. There’s a track a few blocks from my house, so I walked over there and started going around. After a couple laps, I slipped off my shoes. The track is a rubbery surface that’s in pretty good shape, and the day is warm enough that it’s softened up a bit. I’ve had some tightness in my lower legs and feet that seems to respond well to being barefoot, so I typically try to do a lap or two barefoot when I walk the track. I’d also like to toughen up my feet a bit, they’re a little soft and smooth from spending a lot of time in shoes. So I’m walking along and the first barefoot lap is really comfortable, so I decide to do another. The second is still good so I kept on going. After 6 laps, I did a final lap on the grass inside the track, put my sandals back on and headed home. My feet felt OK, definitely felt like I had been walking a bit, but I didn’t think too much of it until I got home. When I kicked off my sandals inside the house and put my foot down, it was a little tender. I gave it a look and oh my. The lateral plantar portion of my foot was just shredded, possibly started out as a blister (or series of blisters) that opened up. Why do I think it was a blister? Because there’s another blister on the center of the pad.

Shredded skin and a cute little blister in the middle

Then I looked at the other foot. There are blisters, and then there are blisters. Ay caramba, this is the largest blister I’ve ever had. OK, I know, LOTS of people have had LOTS of blisters in their lives, and some have been truly epic, but this is my biggest. When I saw it, I assumed that there was a red leaf stuck to my foot and I tried to flick it off.

Not quite as obviously shredded, but that blister is neither “cute” nor “little”

It wasn’t a leaf. This is going to be uber ugly in a few days when everything dries up. I guess the lesson I learned was that walking barefoot on the track is OK for 1 lap, probably OK for 2 laps, but 6 laps barefoot is a bit too much until I toughen up the soles of my feet a bit more. I imagine that this episode will help to build up a little callous. Maybe if I didn’t have such tender little desk-worker feet, I’d already have tougher soles.