Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

Barefoot walk for good cause

Music therapist Kate Boom is getting set for what might be one of New Zealand's quirkiest fundraising efforts yet: walking 33km without shoes. Photo / Supplied
Music therapist Kate Boom is getting set for what might be one of New Zealand's quirkiest fundraising efforts yet: walking 33km without shoes. Photo / Supplied

Music therapist Kate Boom is getting set for what might be one of New Zealand's quirkiest fundraising efforts yet: walking 33km without shoes.

Ms Boom, 25, has spent the past three years getting around on the soles of her feet, all to raise awareness and funds for the thousands of children in Cambodia whose lack of footwear remains a barrier to education.

Seeing their plight while living there for five months in 2012, she founded Kiwi-based Shoeless and has since raised thousands of dollars through partner charity Care for Cambodia.

All the while, she's put her hardy feet up against countless kilometres of Wellington pavement, along with some challenging back-country tracks.

Last year, she covered all 19.4km of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing without the warmth and comfort of tramping boots. "That was pretty horrendous and extremely cold - my feet were numb right through."

She's hoping that won't be the case when she takes the first step of her Shoeless Walk on May 15, which aims to raise $15,000.

She plans to complete the walk, winding along the banks of the Hutt River and then down the cycleway into Wellington, in under nine hours.

"It'll be hard, but I'm hoping my feet aren't going to bleed," she says. "Bruising will be the worst thing. The gravel just kills your feet and the pavement isn't too different."

Support Ms Boom through her Givealittle page: givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/shoelesswalk

- NZ Herald

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