Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Look Ma! No Shoes!

I've recently buckled down against my shoe-wearing habit. Part of it was that Margaret herself hates shoes and I felt like a hypocrite putting them on her when I really don't think she or I need them. And part of it was "What will other people would think if I don't wear shoes?"

Except for exercise, I've been shoe-free for over a week and a half, including at church. Margaret has similarly been shoe-free except at parks because when her feet sink into the sand, she gets scared that she's sinking and cries. I usually keep shoes in our bag for her for instances like that.

I say "except for exercise" because barefoot running requires attention to and learning the correct form to prevent injuries. With my current weak ankle and the fact that I'm running up and down hills and over gravel, I just don't want to bother learning a new form at the moment. I might invest in some barefoot running shoes in the future if I like this barefoot thing.

At church it's a little weird and feels slightly disrespectful even though not wearing shoes is a sign of respect. I think I will knit some slippers for church. I like these.

I have gotten a few comments about my bare feet. The first one was someone telling me my toes will get stepped on. I smiled and replied, "Oh, I have small feet. I doubt they'll find their way under someone else's foot!" Then the commenter kind of muttered something and told me to forget it. While that seems weird, I got the impression that maybe she was embarrassed to point out my bare feet because maybe my feet were bare because I can't afford shoes.

Another person just outright asked me, "Where's your shoes?" She was an older, grandmother type lady, so it sounded like of like a mom asking a child. I just said that I'm going barefoot and it's something I'd like to try. She kept pressing the matter. She really couldn't fathom someone choosing to go without shoes. On purpose. Oh, and apparently the soles of my feet will get tough. I'm trying to figure out how that is "bad" or undesirable. Maybe it's not ladylike?

I've gone barefoot in stores and no one's said a thing. I do wonder about the safety of bare feet on an escalator, but I did it anyway. No one's tried to refuse my money because of "No shirt, no shoes, no service" policies. At least not yet anyway.

I really like it. It's very freeing, not only physcially, but also financially and time-wise. I go through a lot of non-fitting shoes before I find ones that work. Even wide shoes are too tight on me and feet always hurt and get blisters. Now I no longer have to spend time at stores looking for a comfortable shoe! And I don't have to buy extra shoes for matching different skirts and pants and dresses. My feet match everything! And never buying any more shoes for the rest of my lifetime- what a savings! Though, I think I might invest in some anklets since I don't have shoes adorning my feet anymore.


  1. Are you also sock free? I guess you don't have to worry about snow anymore, but what will you do if your feet are cold? Just curious, my feet are often freezing!

    BTW, I recently started nursing my 15 month old out the top of my shirt (she demanded it), and your posts helped me not feel too weird about doing it at church. So far, I haven't had a single negative comment!

  2. you are a brave woman! although I love to be barefoot I also just love shoes. always have. what will you do in winter? if my feet are cold, then the rest of me is too.

  3. I couldn't do it. I wear socks pretty much always. Inside, outside. I can't stand my feet bare! I totally want some vibram five fingers though. A relative of mine was wearing a pair at our family reunion this summer. She says they are fantastic and last forever.

    Those knitted slippers are so pretty, I'm all for you making them. I'm in awe of Margaret's stocking right now. I didn't know real people could knit like that!

  4. I agree with you, I hate shoes. At home I never wear shoes, even when going outside. I'm too afraid to be barefoot in public though, I don't want to step on things or have the ground burn my feet.

    p.s. What are you going to do when it rains? lol..

  5. Hey! I just went barefoot a few months ago weird!

    Where are you getting your info on barefoot running? All the research I have done says running barefoot PREVENTS injuries. You don't have to pay attention; it's a subconcious thing. I've been running barefoot for a few months now and things are going great! I LOVE barefoot running! I'm training for my first barefoot marathon!

  6. Yep, good thing you're not in Utah anymore. Cuz you know, frostbite wouldn't look so good on your toes ;)

    I prefer wearing socks too. I like to get black socks and then nobody even blinks when you go semi-barefoot into stores, because they look like shoes. Except my socks, because they say "No nonsense" across the toes. Which I love. NO NONSENSE.

  7. You are brave. I used to go barefoot in the house, but when I moved to a house with wood floors it was too cold in the winter and I took to wearing slippers. Now I wear slippers/sandals in the house almost all the time and I would never go barefoot in public. I'm a wuss who doesn't want her feet to get dirty. :)

  8. It's starting to get too cold here to go completely shoe free...but I really want to try this. Maybe when spring rolls around. I love how when you want to do something that is against the societal grain, you just do it! I find it very inspiring!

  9. I've been barefoot for maybe two or three weeks. The main comments I get are about toe fungus (which requires you to actually wear shoes to grow in the first place!) and how disgusting it is to go into a bathroom barefoot...

    To which I must reply, whatever is in the bathroom gets tracked out by shoes and it's one of the most cleaned places on campus. I haven't had to use a bathroom other than at school and home so far.

    I wore my vibram five fingers yesterday because I took the bus to school and it requires shoes... I actually prefer not to wear them because they build up quite a scent.

    Kudos on the bare feet and good luck! I haven't figured out what to do for winter but I'll handle it when I get there.

  10. For the cold in the house, I wear socks. I have suck pretty socks that I've knit that it would be a waste not to wear them. In general, I'm a very warm-blooded person though.

    I used to have moccasins and I think those would be good for chilly days and for protection against gravel. I remember them not being protective enough to not cut your feet on things, but not protective enough to not feel the rocks underneath you.

    Yes, I'm lucky to not be in Utah any more. Yay for Mediterranean weather! I might make felted slippers for very cold days. Not sure. We'll jump that hurdle when it comes. I might just let my feet get wet and have a towel for wiping them off when I go inside. Hmm.

    K La- please blog about the barefoot running. I'm just so worried I'd mess up my feet!

  11. I can't get over the going into stores and other places without shoes. I, for one, would not be brave enough to attempt it. And I'm just amazed no one has said anything to you! The second my son started walking, store employees were telling me to put shoes on him. It's just too embarrassing for me to be "corrected" like that.

    Both my son and I do try to go barefoot as much as possible, though. I'm so sensitive, though, that little rocks outside and crumbs on our hard floors really bug me. I am trying to kick the habit of putting on my shoes every time I step out the door, though.

  12. I'm just way too OCD to think about keeping the floor clean if I go outside barefoot. I do love being shoe and sockless at home though, and we have a "no shoe" policy in our home (I've thought about getting slippers to have by the door for guests - like in China or Russia).

    How do you plan to manage keeping them clean?

  13. I read this post and then saw the picture of your feet and thought of this: http://www.katysays.com/2010/09/28/detective/

    Katy says is quickly becoming my favorite blogger and she has great information about being barefoot and running and posture and alignment. It is awesome and I am sure you will love her.

  14. Ha! This is great! I was a barefooter before I moved to CA, but it's too dirty here. My feet got amazingly dirty walking around Oakland and Berkeley, so I wear shoes at all times, now. Even my flip flops get hecka dirty here. I wear full-on shoes now.

    Good luck! Have fun! No one ever said anything to me, but then I usually wore long skirts.

  15. Cool! I've been wanting to get Vibram Five Fingers shoes. I've read some great things about barefoot walking/running too.

  16. I love barefoot running! I have only done it a few times though. I agree with K La in that barefoot running prevents injuries, but I disagree that it's all subconscious -- most of us have learned harmful ways of walking/running from wearing shoes, so I think it is worthwhile to read up on barefoot running before you do it.

    It's funny that you're doing it opposite of most -- most people start with barefoot running and then move on to being barefoot in other areas. :-D

    I like this site:
    Beginning: http://therunningbarefoot.com/?page_id=455
    How to Run: http://therunningbarefoot.com/?page_id=525

    I also wanted to show you these -- quite a bit cheaper and a lot more minimalistic than VFFs, and you can even make them look like regular shoes to some extent.

    However, I do want some VFFs for myself!

  17. Katie- I do a lot of things opposite. :) I jumped into unassisted birth before I did anything else crunchy at all. lol. I'm just fumbling around and doing everything wrong. :)

  18. The parasite danger is what I'm curious about. I don't think I could handle my feet being black or dirty on the bottom and then being in church, especially since we are to look our best.

  19. As long as there aren't open wounds on your foot, I don't think there is an issue. And at Church- as well as anywhere else- no one's looking at the bottom of your foot, so as long as my feet are relatively clean (thanks for grass- it's a wonderful foot cleaner as you walk through it!), they don't look bad.


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