The Pennsylvania Barefoot Hikers Group is for those who are looking for a healthier way to experience the outdoors. Maybe you've read "The Barefoot Book", "Born to Run", or a fan of Cody Lundin on the show "Dual Survival". Maybe you've gotten injured running and are looking for a better solution, or maybe you'd like to experience hiking on a whole new level -- whatever your reason, this is the place.
When running barefoot, the body's natural stride is a healthier, more natural way to run, resulting in better running efficiency and fewer injuries. We follow a lot of Daniel Lieberman's work, whose research argues that humans are natural runners, and run best with a "toe-heel-toe" stride and use just the natural sole.
Hiking barefoot is truly rewarding as you "become one" with nature. When we hike barefoot we leave minimal impact on the environment. Instead of kicking things out of our way, we learn to explore all of the sensatory experiences the outdoors have to offer. We tend to hike slower and appreciate nature's beauty along the way. Hiking without shoes truly takes the experience up a few notches.
The barefoot running and hiking community is starting to become a power to be reckoned with thanks to social media websites such as You Tube, Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and others. It's a movement that stands for more than improved running times, or less injuries. It stands for a revolution against the social norms that say you can’t take off your shoes. It stands for breaking away from religiously buying the next greatest cushioned sole that never lives up to all the hype. It stands for running for running sake — the way mother nature intended. It stands for freedom of choice as much as anything.
Come join us for a some outdoor barefoot adventure!
Dating back to ancient times, shoes were rarely if ever worn. Walking barefoot, especially hiking on uneven surfaces causes the muscles to work harder, making them stronger and at the same time reducing body fat. If allowed to develop to their natural thickness, the pads of the feet develop into natural shock absorbers, which (unlike shoes) also protects the back, knee and hip joints. A barefoot lifestyle forces the body into a more erect, better-balanced posture that aligns the skelatal system properly, and takes the pressure off muscles and joints.
Our group is devoted to inspiring runners and hikers alike to run and walk barefoot for a better, healthier injury free lifestyle. Jaime has been living barefoot for the past 3 years and will be instructing and introducing members to the art of barefoot hiking. Wendy has been an avid barefoot runner for the past 2 years. She will give tips and introduce members to the art and technique of running barefoot. All activities will be done completely barefoot or wearing Vibram Five-Fingers (VFFs) ONLY. No minimalist shoes or sneakers, please.
This club was first organized as the "Lehigh Valley Travel & Outdoors Group" by Natasha. on May 06, 2008. It was the first and only meetup group dedicated to outdoor sports and activities. The group grew in popularity by leaps and bounds.
On July 20, 2009, we became the "Lehigh Valley Great Outdoors Club" and leadership was handed down to "Barefoot" Jaime. With membership at 700, it was the largest outdoor activities groups in the Lehigh Valley area. After 2009, group participation began to wane due to the appearance of countless of other outdoor activities groups based in the area. It was clear that things were moving toward "specialization"
December 01, 2011. We are proud to head in a bold new direction. As the "Lehigh Valley Barefoot Runners & Hikers" we are excited to introduce the Greater Lehigh Valley area and beyond to barefoot hiking and running as well as other adventures.
Spring 2012. We changed the name of the group to Pennsylvania Barefoot Hikers to signify "barefoot hiking" was our main activity focus and that we cover the greater Pennsylvania area.