What does it feel like to Walk on Hot Coals?

by | Mar 12, 2018

It’s the same at nearly every Firewalk. As the expectant participants gather to watch the Fire, someone will ask, “What does it feel like to walk on hot coals?” As you would expect, it is one of the most popular questions asked by those firewalking experience. Long story short, it always feels a bit different and you can never truly know what to expect.

Here at Firewalking International, and in my own company in Latvia, we are always interested in the experience of our participants, so I love to ask, “How was your Firewalk?”


“What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire”
Charles Bukowski

When we ask people about their experience and what it felt like to walk on hot coals there are usually four similar answer given:

  • I felt nothing when I Firewalked
  • The embers were sharp and crunchy
  • It felt cold to walk on hot coals
  • It felt hot

Let’s explore these

I felt nothing when I Firewalked

The most common answer we hear is that the person felt nothing. I am sure you are wondering why someone could walk on hot coals and feel nothing! Well, very often the energy of the person has been raised to a very high level Adrenaline takes over and the inner desire to Firewalk is so strong that analytical thinking is switched off during the Firewalk. When the Firewalker has crossed the coal bed the only thing that she knows is that she has done it. She does not remember what happened as she walked on fire. What she does know is that she feel proud and amazing.

The embers were sharp and crunchy

In my experience, the next popular response from people that have just Firewalker is that the embers were sharp and crunchy. And indeed – the coals really are like that!

If you have ever held cool coals in your hand, you know they are not soft. The structure of the coals are the same at all temperatures. So, after Firewalking, some participants might feel their feet are sensitive. Much the same as it would be after a barefoot walk on an uneven road. This is normal and the feeling will be gone within next few hours, or sooner.

It felt cold to walk on hot coals

This response can raise a few eyebrows. How on earth could it feel cold when you walk on hot coals? Yet, it is very common for people to say that when they Firewalked it felt as if they were walking on snow.

Interestingly, our bodies are not very good at differentiating between extreme temperatures (hot and cold). The sensation on our skin is more or less the same. Think about it, you can get a burn from extreme cold as well as extreme heat. So, instead of feeling hot, some participants experience a feeling of cold and icy coals. The crunchiness of the embers makes it feel even more like walking on snow.

It felt hot

It felt hot is probably more like the answer you would expect. And yes, this is one of the answers we receive when we ask people what it felt like to walk on hot coals. Hot coals may feel hot when you walk on them. That does not mean that the skin is burnt. It just means that you feel things as they are. That is a very good thing!

It might also be that the energy level of the Firewalker has not been raised very high. Their thoughts and attention is focused on their feet and not on the intention to walk on fire. This isn’t wrong , it’s just a different way to experience Firewalking.

Firewalking with Intention

If a participant is not focused and they Firewalk with no proper intention, then it is possible to burn feet. Usually it is like a sharp pain or a nip or bite from the Fire. The more romantic among us will say it is a kiss from the Fire. To help you get your head around this, it is the same as when you accidentally burn yourself on a frying pan or oven.

The result can be red spots or even a water blister. More often it is just a feeling about getting burnt. The feet are okay and after a while the participant is ready for their next Firewalk and will focus on doing it with very pleasant feelings.

So to wrap up this topic, as said at the very beginning, you never know what it will be like to walk on hot coals. These are just the more popular accounts we have experienced and heard from participants at our events. If you really want to know what it feels like for you, then I guess you need to attend a Firewalk with a Professional Firewalk Instructor! 

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