What is the longest you have gone barefoot?
I recently took a vacation road trip to Daytona Beach. Intentionally, I didn't bring shoes or sandals, & was completely barefoot for 17 days straight.
In answering, indicate where you live, whether you're a student or what your job is, & whether you were on vacation, etc.
Asked By: Ryan S - 8/26/2008
I've been barefoot almost full time for more than eleven years. Only the first few years I wore shoes a handful of times, the first year for two formal occasions (I long stopped doing that since), and the first few winters I got cold toes a few times so I put on shoes just long enough until I got to where I was going. I still carry footwear in my bag when it is freezing, just in case I get stranded somewhere for a really long time, but I've since learned to keep my feet warm by keeping the rest of my body warm & having very good circulation, so the last time I needed to wear it -very briefly- was December 2003, I believe.
Contrary to what many people believe, going barefoot is not dangerous, unhealthy or gross. Feet get very tough very quickly; in all those years, I get a tiny splinter maybe once a year, I have NEVER had a cut. That's walking everywhere, indoors and outdoors, in nature and cities, and often enough in littered places like the recycling center, near the bottle bank, running at the train station to catch my morning train, etc, etc.
As for germs, our skin is made to keep pathogens out and feet are fully washable. For others, germs will not 'jump' off our soles any more than off the soles of a shoe or off the bare skin that is exposed when someone is wearing sandals or flipflops.
There are NO laws against going barefoot in stores or restaurants; unfortunately in the US many stores will set dress codes of their own, but those who claim their policy is based on Health Department laws are misinformed or plainly lying. Nor do insurance companies require or even recommend footwear for customers. In other countries -not just third world countries where health and safety rules are often ignored, but also Canada, Western Europe, Australia- signs and dress codes prohibiting bare feet are rare. I've never even seen a 'no shoes, no shirts, no service' sign here in the Netherlands, nor on my trips to Belgium and Scotland.
The only real reason for not going barefoot is social; unfortunately many people equate an alternative habit or way of dress with lack of respect. I think our differences make life more interesting and colorful, and as far as bare feet in particular are concerned, I find the gentle, soft step a much *more* respectful way of walking than stomping around in a heavy shoe. It makes us aware of our surroundings and of Mother Earth, even on man-made surfaces.
I live in the Netherlands, am 40 years old, I go barefoot at work and at home and everywhere else. I work at a history theme park, where bare feet are not out of place since we wear period (prehistory, for me) clothing, but I'm also barefoot when we do maintenance in winter, and I've also been barefoot at my previous job at an internet helpdesk and at some temp jobs in winter season when there is less work at the theme park. It's rarely a problem here, of course jobs that require a uniform or safety footwear would require shoes but in other places I rarely get any complaints or even negative comments. Only teens in groups like to call me names or tell me to put shoes on, but they'll comment on anything out of the ordinary, when I had bright red hair they'd call 'lighthouse' and ask if I were on fire, too. Bare feet aren't seen as something dangerous or gross, in fact many folks know it's quite a healthy practice, although it's also not considered very fashionable and few people do it.
Answered By: Sheriam - 8/27/2008