This article is from the Living Barefoot FAQ, by Paul J. Lucas with numerous contributions by others.
[The following paragraph was contributed by Neil Kelley
Some background: The actual temperature of a surface depends on a
number of factors such as how dark or how efficiently the surface
absorbs the sun's UV and IR radiation. A surface that appears very
dark to the eye may not be as dark in the infrared. Also, the
surface temperature can be affected by how much the soil below
conducts heat away from the top layer. The better the conduction,
the lower the surface temperature. Therefore, you can't look for
what you might hope is a cooler surface based on its color.
In general, for me, most asphalt is either pleasantly warm or at or at
least tolerably hot _unless_ the ambient air temperature is 90F or
over _and_ it's mostly sunny. In such cases, there isn't much you can
[The following paragraph was contributed by Ross Thompson
On particularly hot days, I will go from shade patch to shade
patch, and hang out until the burning subsides before continuing.
One trick I've learned is that if you walk briskly, then the time
your foot is in the air is enough to dissipate a lot of the heat
absorbed during the previous step. Also, if you concentrate on the
foot that's in the air, you will be focusing on where the heat is
dissipating, not where it is accumulating. This gives you a
_Note:_ Prolonged exposure to hot surfaces can cause burns and
blistering; pain is an indicator that tissue damage is not far behind.
However, some barefooters report that, through gradual acclimation,
one can greatly increase one's resistance to hot surfaces.
_Tip:_ When you cross at intersections, the white stop-lines are
cooler; you can walk on those.