I've been walking barefoot for a while now and am loving it. I used Vibrams for a while and then transitioned to fully barefoot. While walking on trails with small sticks and rocks I built up some relatively thick callouses. Recently I've been walking in a new city (Albuquerque) and am experiencing a very new kind of discomfort, it feels like my feet are being sanded down. This has stopped me from walking distance in town.
I didn't actually measure my callouses or anything before and after so I can't tell for sure if this is what's going on. My feet just feel bad and "raspy."
Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions?
FWIW - I have found that damp conditions make my feet more sensitive on concrete than when it is drier.
Barefoot walking shouldn't really result in calluses if you are picking your feet up rather than scuffing slightly like a lot of people tend to do. Over the last 4 months of 90% barefootin', my soles have just gotten thicker and more "leathery" (except for one slight callus over an area that I think has a minor bone spur from arthritis). I use a soft nailbrush when I wash my feet before bed and a pumice stone in the shower when any rough areas appear so that may be what has helped with keeping the calluses at bay.
My guess would be that it's just your feet getting used to a new surface texture after the trails and that - as long as you don't overdo it at first - you will get used to sidewalks pretty quickly. And even though this sounds counter-intuitive, you might try using a light moisturizing lotion for a while to help with the irritation while you adapt.
My problem is I DON'T have calluses. I live in the southern tip of Nevada and everywhere you go you're walking on gravel or sharp pebbles.
I can stride out nicely on sand, but that's actually a minority of the ground.
Also, we have so many days above 100 and you can literally burn your feet.
I wear a compromise shoe from Merrell with no elevation but a little bit more sole than a barefoot shoe; I must say, my feet have never-ever been this happy!