This Man Is Walking Across The USA Barefoot

This Man Is Walking Across The USA Barefoot!

Meet Anton Nootenboom, also known as “The Barefoot Dutchman.” His incredible feat of walking barefoot across the United States has a profound mission to spotlight men’s mental health. This Dutch Army veteran is no stranger to long journeys. He has previously set a Guinness World Record by walking 1,875 miles along Australia’s East Coast without shoes.

Now, Anton’s ambition has taken him to the roads and deserts of America. He is on a 3,100-mile journey destined for New York, aiming to break his previous record and to raise awareness around men’s mental health.  Let’s dive into the details of his iconic journey and the challenges it poses. 

Challenging Journey: ‘Dutch Forrest Gump’

Known affectionately as the ‘Dutch Forrest Gump,’ he began his journey in Santa Monica, California, in February 2024. By choosing to undertake this journey barefoot, Anton represents the often silent and unseen struggles men face with mental health. This 37-year-old expects to go across 13 states, from L.A to New York City over the next 8 months.

Anton’s previous military service deeply influences his advocacy. He has served in the Dutch Army for 10 years and experienced significant mental health challenges post-service. Anton is driven by a commitment to help others. Through his #BraveMenTalk campaign, in partnership with Movember and Barebarics, he provides a platform to change the narrative around male vulnerability and strength.

This Man Is Walking Across The USA Barefoot
Image source: Daily Telegraph / Gotch4Life Foundation

“The roads are tough and every day is full of surprises. 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.”

Anton Nootenboom
This Man Is Walking Across The USA Barefoot
Image source: Townsville Bulletin

Challenges Along the Way

Every step Anton takes is a mixture of agony and determination. He still has over 7.5 Million steps to complete his journey. Walking barefoot has exposed him to brutal weather and road conditions. He has to go through the scorching heat of Nevada deserts to the brutal landscapes of the Rockies. Each rock and each mile represent the mental and physical battles Anton has faced and continues to defeat. 

“The pain is worth it for me. I want this challenge to speak to men, and say, Whatever life throws at you, physically and mentally, you can get through it.”

Anton Nootenboom

Feet Are Taking A Serious Damage!

Anton’s feet have already taken a toll. He has even walked through snow which he says feels like walking over a Lego. He will soon have to bear through the Midwestern summer heat, which is expected to reach over 100 degrees. Anton’s feet are so bruised from walking on rocks and the nerve endings have taken serious damage. He is not resting his feet well enough as he wishes to make it to New York before the winter.

Impact and Community Engagement

Anton’s journey is more than just a personal challenge; it’s a movement. It started with over thirty people joining him for the first mile in Santa Monica. He anticipates more will follow, drawing parallels with Forrest Gump’s own epic run. 

Anton isn’t just walking; he’s engaging with communities along the way. Despite his serious efforts, Anton only has 139 followers on TikTok and only 412 on YouTube. Considering his great cause, Anton surely deserves more attention.

The Road Ahead

As Anton prepares to tackle the various landscapes from the dry deserts to the Rocky Mountains, his journey is far from over. With each step, he’s not just moving closer to New York and his purpose. 

Anton’s message is clear: “Whatever life throws at you, physically and mentally, you can get through it.”


Anton Nootenboom’s journey across the United States is a testament to human resilience and the power of vulnerability. His steps are more than just a record-breaking attempt; they are a beacon of hope and a call to action for all of us to engage more openly in discussions about mental health, especially for men. Let’s follow his journey, support his cause, and spread the message of #BraveMenTalk.

Also read,

Similar Posts