Boots vs shoes
Hello Fr Marc,
The boots vs shoes debate is the most prolific, recurring subject on all of the camino Forums with as many opinions as there are pilgrims!
One would think that a foot-is-a-foot-is-a-foot, but some pilgrims can walk in hiking sandals, others in trainers, some in hiking shoes, yet others in lightweight boots and the rest need high, ankle grabbing, army supply leather clod-hoppers!
The most amazing pilgrim story I've read is that of a wonderful doctor who walks everywhere barefoot and walked the camino barefoot as well.
You can read his story here:
http://www.barefooters.org/gallery/pilg ... index.html
This is what he said about walking barefoot.
"Dear Sil, dear fellow pilgrim;
For a barefooter, El Camino is "the great experience" plus one. Touching the earth, feeling the ground - literally - at each step, is magnifiying a sensorial realm - the touch - to dimensions usually developed by other senses like sight or hearing. Day after day of that richly changing path, it was inebriating, overloading all fuses! I made the last day singing and dancing.
If I should not have been a devoted barefooter before the pilgrimage, I sure should have been one by now; I cannot imagine me with my feet encased into a rigid envelope, unable to touch, more than I can see me living with permanent earplugs.
Not touching the earth is sensorial deprivation, in neurogical sense; and for me, equally important, sensual deprivation also, not touching her, not caressing, not kissing her, the female par excellence. I shall never cease to be her lover steadfast and true, her knight in shining armour, and only to her I surrender all my defences, to her I offer my vulnerability! and get my pleasure, obviously
In short, dear Sil, I live barefoot, not only at airports and restaurants. I never cover my feet, not even in the hospital where I work, nor in my political and social activities. Dear Sil, I wish you the best aimed yellow arrows."