Following the advice of the author of The Complete Walker IV, and the example of Huck Finn, I took to the spring pathways barefoot; ostensibly to "toughen" the feet for more (booted) walking, I was soon enamoured with walking sans shoes.
The natural approach brings soft flesh into contact with the varying surface of the earth: that we normally don't feel the ground we walk on is odd, if you think about it.
Did we evolve with our toes curling over stones, our soles printing tracks through sand, those numerous small bones and joints carrying our bodies over grasslands and through forests, only to be bound by laces, cushioned by inflexible soles, and then only to walk on paved surfaces most of our days?
Fitting for an earth day ramble through Dundas Valley, it occurred to me later.
Why not let your toes get in touch with Terra firma? The mud squish between your toes?