Winnipeg man walking barefoot for 13 years
Published Monday, October 17, 2016 1:15PM CST
Last Updated Monday, October 17, 2016 6:23PM CST
People have been wearing shoes for thousands of years.
What a person wears on their feet is often part fashion statement and part necessity.
Simon Jardine, 25, took off his shoes in the summer after sixth grade, 13 years ago. He's been going barefoot ever since.
The Russell, Manitoba native came to Winnipeg in 2009 to study at the University of Winnipeg.
"Not wearing shoes is comfortable and wearing shoes is physically painful," said Jardine.
On top of comfort, Jardine said walking without shoes is healthier and connects him to his surroundings.
"Like right now I'm actually getting to feel all of the textures and temperatures under my left foot as well as the wind caressing over my right foot," said Jardine.
Jardine doesn't just walk to the grocery store barefoot, he shops barefoot.
He walks around downtown, in parks, and goes to work without shoes. But at the office he wears sandals to follow his employer’s dress code.
He said most people don't notice he's not wearing shoes, but when they do -- some are shocked, others are concerned for his safety, but for the most part he said he gets a positive reaction.
Winnipeg podiatrist Dr. Landen Kulczycki said there's nothing wrong with walking barefoot, but a person could risk getting an infection or experience other physical complications.
“People can definitely try it out, but they might start develop lower back issues or a little pain,” said Kulczycki. “We as human are not used to concrete," he added.
On the way to the grocery store with CTV News, Jardine stubbed his toe.
He said stepping on little pieces of glass happens from time to time.
"It probably averages out to like once a year since moved to the city. Not big deal. Easy to just fish them out and go on with your day.”
Jardine said the benefits to going barefoot are worthwhile and said if people want to give it a try they shouldn't be worried or afraid.
Jardine said he wouldn't trade walking barefoot for a pair of shoes any day.