Ok, right now some of you are probably saying but Chris... you just stay on the sand right? Isn't sand a durable surface to travel on when hiking? Well yes indeed, a sandy beach is a durable surface. But let's think deep for a minute. For me an undeveloped stretch of beach is a precious resource to preserve and protect. An even more precious resource to me is finding solitude in nature in areas unspoiled by man. Anyone starting to see how footprints can damage the resource of a "virgin" beach? Ever wanted at least the feeling that you were the only person to hike a stretch of beach in a while??
Am I too strict?? Maybe, but I prefer the term passionate. Anyways... footprints on a beach when you are tying to escape the jungle of city life contribute to a crowded feeling. The worst part is that there can be nobody around for miles yet the footprints can remain for days until either the wind slowly moves the sand around or it rains or large waves jump further ashore.
Here's another photo... less room to walk here because of the sand structure but that's what waterproof boots are for. Dancing with the waves is fun!