Man is walking barefoot across US for his mental health

Anton Nootenboom, widely known on social media as “The Barefoot Dutchman,” isn’t your typical record holder. In 2019, he became the first person to complete the 80-mile round-trip hike to Mount Everest Base Camp barefoot.

Two years later, he set a Guinness World Record for the longest barefoot journey, trekking 1,875 miles along the Australian coast. Now, he’s aiming to break his own record by walking 3,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York City, entirely barefoot.

“It sounds crazy,” Nootenboom told Yahoo News on day six of his eight-month journey, which began on Feb. 17. He even called himself the ‘Dutch Forrest Gump’ when over 30 people joined him for the first mile of his trek in Santa Monica, Calif.

The walk is part of the #BraveMenTalk campaign, in partnership with Barebarics barefoot shoes, aiming to raise awareness of male mental health and funds for related charities.


For Nootenboom, who served in the Dutch army for 10 years and completed three tours in the Middle East, the journey symbolizes the psychological battles many men face in silence.

“The roads are tough and every day is full of surprises,” he said. “I tell myself, ‘It’s just a phase. This road will end, and someday the road will be a little better.’ It’s the same in life: When things get tough, it’s never the end. It’s just a bit of a stretch, and eventually you come out of it. I have wounds on my feet, and they hurt, but I know the skin will grow back tougher than it was before. That’s what gives me hope.”

Written by Telha

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