Soles in Touch with Nature is their moto, and getting out on the trail to do some barefoot hiking is what this group is all about.  The Barefoot Hikers of Minnesota take the concept of minimalist hiking to the extreme – they actually hit the trails 100% barefoot.  That’s right, they are a hiking group that wears absolutely no shoes whatsoever.

Soles in Touch with Nature (visit their website), currently have 43 members where about 25% of them show up each month for their 3 mile hikes.  And the group seems to pride themselves on the fact that they aren’t wearing any shoes, not even the hot new minimalist hiking boots.

“People usually have one of two reactions when they hear about us,” said coordinator Jim Guttmann, an engineering manager from Lakeville. “That sounds cool, or that sounds weird. But being able to feel the ground beneath you adds another sensory dimension to the hike.”

What if you’re a literal tenderfoot? “Folks have been skeptical, but the natural trails we stay on aren’t too rough on the feet, and as soon as they try it, it feels great. Like with any activity it’s possible to overdo it, but you can always bring a pair of shoes if you’re concerned your first time.” [via StarTribune]

Aside from the enjoyment of barefoot hiking that the group experiences, the trend in minimalist hiking boots is on the rise.  Those who are avid users of the minimalist hiking boot report that because of the super thin soles, they re-develop a habit of getting back to a more natural state of body posture and balance.

If you are interested in getting involved with The Barefoot Hikers of Minnesota, their website says they have a hike coming up on July 14, 2012 at Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Lake MN, 1:00 PM.

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