When I was a kid, I used to run around barefoot all the time. It was a summer ritual to come inside once it got dark and pull thorns out of my feet. I guess you could say I was a country bumpkin. But it was something I loved. I loved the freedom of it. There is a mystical power to being natural (perhaps going barefoot as a child was the beginning to my natural/crunchy/hippie style). I have sentimental childhood memories of feeling like I could run through a field and then jump into the sky and fly away, with my clothes dirt smudged and grass stained, and my feet bare.
Bug hardly ever wears shoes. I always knew I wanted to be a mom that would let her kids run around barefoot. I couldn't imagine being a mom that required her kids to wear shoes. And I must admit, I still think moms that do require that are too strict! After Bug was born, we just put little socks on his feet. Then, in the summer, he went barefoot. When winter came around again, we were back to nice, warm socks. Once Bug started walking, it was warm enough again for him to go barefoot. Every now and then, I will put some shoes on his feet. But, more often than not, the shoes get pulled off and Bug is barefoot again!
Babies actually learn to walk better when they are able to walk without shoes. It helps them learn better balance, and helps improve the muscle control in their feet. Plus, shoes are a hassle. They are a pain to get on, and they always come back off.
I often get questions and comments about why Bug doesn't wear shoes. (Usually at church, for reasons unknown.) I just smile and say, "He doesn't need them". Because it is true. Right now, he doesn't need them. Of course, once it starts to get cold again, I will have to get him some shoes. But, I think I will try to get some soft soled shoes, so he will still feel like he is almost barefoot. And, you better believe it, as soon as it warms up again, he will probably be running around barefoot!