Barefoot: Good? Bad?

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What do you do in bare feet?

I enjoy sitting around in no shoes, but I wouldn't consider walking that way.
21
16%
I enjoy sitting around in no shoes, and the idea of walking barefoot interests me.
8
6%
I walk around barefoot sometimes, but I wouldn't consider doing so regularly
36
27%
I walk around barefoot sometimes, and the idea of doing so regularly interests me.
28
21%
I walk or run regularly without shoes.
35
26%
My shoes are glued to my feet, and they will stay that way.
1
1%
My shoes are glued to my feet, but I find your proposition intriguing.
4
3%
 
Total votes: 133

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zombie_monkey
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Postby zombie_monkey » Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:36 pm UTC

In Bulgaria they're called джапанки /'ʤɑpənki/, although in Bulgarian Japan is Япония /jʌ'pɔnijə/, probably a loan from English reanalyzed as coming from джапам which means wade. Although I would think most people recognize it comes from the English word for Japan, it's just better than *японки both because of the similarity to джапам and it also rolls off the tongue better.

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Postby Jesse » Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:58 pm UTC

Tried it today, and it was bad. While I walk perfectly normally in my boots it turns out that I walk flat-footed when not wearing them, which causes considerable pain.

I shan't be doing that again.

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noouch
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Postby noouch » Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:12 pm UTC

It's way too cold here to do anything of the sort :?

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Postby Hoshi no Kabii » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:24 am UTC

Whenever I'm in the house, I /must/ have some sort of footwear. If I'm outside, I'll go barefoot, but only if I have no intention of going back inside for a while.

I absolutely can not stand it when people wear socks/go barefoot in the house.

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Postby Shro » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:46 am UTC

I'm Indian, so we have that whole eastern culture thing of not wearing shoes in the house. I love being barefoot. Whenever I can. I wear flip-flops until it's too unbearably cold to do otherwise. I like my feet to have room to breathe. I only wear these one pair of shoes that are like seven years old and are coming apart and are pretty much molded to my feet.

I like taking my shoes off whenever I can, and walking in the grass. My sole is connecting with nature! (Most horrid pun ever)

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Postby Pebbles » Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC

barefeet always. Its so much more comfortable and free. I wear covered shoes to work and run. Thats about it. Thongs and open sandal type shoes everywhere else. Barefoot when ever possible.
I dont think people should go shoeless to public places though, if only for their own safety. I have stood on so much glass and sticks and such that I can see the sense in wearing shoes in public places if only to save myself the embarresment of limping around on pierced feet.
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Postby Number3Pencils » Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:52 pm UTC

Not only am I a member of xkcd, I'm also a member of the Society for Barefoot Living, at http://www.barefooters.org. I get mocked a bit for being almost militantly barefoot, but I don't let it get to me. I'm in college in a pretty liberal college right now, so the only times I wear shoes are when I'm in the dining hall, where they require shoes. I'm going to talk to the head of Dining Services soon and see if I can, through my well-read arguments with their basis in the SBL knowledge base, get him to repeal the rule. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever be able to get them to repeal the rule that we have to wea shoes while working in the dining hall. But anyway, I think I am willing to put on shoes while working on the dish line, so disgusting crap doesn't drip on them. The SBL website is pretty informative as concerns barefooting-related issues. I learned from it that athlete's foot isn't a valid concern for barefooters, because it needs a dark, warm environment to grow, which is denied it if you don't wear shoes. Hookworm is also pretty much a non-issue; you only pick it up if you're in a place where hookworm-infected feces are regularly disposed of on the ground, such as the more desolated parts of Africa. As for why I don't wear shoes, I just like going barefoot. I haven't yet tried doing it through a winter, but pretty soon here I will be trying that out, and seeing how far I can tolerate it. My goal is to get all the way through winter only wearing shoes/boots when I'm going outside to play in the snow; when I'm just in transit, I'll hoof it bare, or so the plan goes. I know one SBL member has said he's walked through snow and over ice barefoot, and it's possible if you know the right technique (I think it involves curling your toes after each step to improve circulation, or something like that). America, from what I've seen on their message board, seems to be the least barefoot-friendly country in the world. It's kind of puzzling, considering how much liberty we try to say we give to everyone. But I still manage pretty well. I've been doing it a while, so I've developed a pretty thick sole, and I can walk pretty much anywhere, inside, outside, wilderness, or whatever. I have encountered little to no broken glass, but I doubt it would be a problem for me with soles this thick. In fact, I understand it's not as much an issue as people make it even for those who aren't seasoned like I am; the sole generally deforms around the glass, or around whatever else you step on. This is probably getting too long. I tend to write a lot when it's something I can really get into, though.

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Postby Alpha Omicron » Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:15 am UTC

Hoshi no Kabii wrote:Whenever I'm in the house, I /must/ have some sort of footwear. If I'm outside, I'll go barefoot, but only if I have no intention of going back inside for a while.

I absolutely can not stand it when people wear socks/go barefoot in the house.

Shoes in the house? Somewhat rude around here.
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Postby Hoshi no Kabii » Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:00 pm UTC

Alpha Omicron wrote:Shoes in the house? Somewhat rude around here.
I'll take my shoes off when in other people's houses- not a problem. Just not my house. I consider it somewhat rude when people wear socks/go barefoot in my house. It's some odd psychological thing, I suppose. I view houses as a sort of clean, sterilized environment, and see feet/socks as dirty. Except in my room, where only I usually go. I won't wear shoes in my own room. Because my feet, no matter dirty, are my feet.

After reading what Number3Pencils had to say/clicking the link, I am starting to like the idea of walking barefoot. I walked barefoot to and from my Saturday classes, and absolutely loved it. Somewhat uncomfortable (first time. Uncomfortableness mostly due to walking like I do with shoes, heel crashing down first), but I love feeling what I'm walking on.

But I still expect people to wear footwear in my house. That might change over time, though. Who knows.

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Postby Number3Pencils » Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:35 pm UTC

Hoshi no Kabii wrote:After reading what Number3Pencils had to say/clicking the link, I am starting to like the idea of walking barefoot. I walked barefoot to and from my Saturday classes, and absolutely loved it. Somewhat uncomfortable (first time. Uncomfortableness mostly due to walking like I do with shoes, heel crashing down first), but I love feeling what I'm walking on.
I still expect people to wear footwear in my house. That might change over time, though. Who knows.

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Postby bbctol » Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:11 pm UTC

Hoshi no Kabii wrote:
Alpha Omicron wrote:Shoes in the house? Somewhat rude around here.
I'll take my shoes off when in other people's houses- not a problem. Just not my house. I consider it somewhat rude when people wear socks/go barefoot in my house. It's some odd psychological thing, I suppose. I view houses as a sort of clean, sterilized environment, and see feet/socks as dirty. Except in my room, where only I usually go. I won't wear shoes in my own room. Because my feet, no matter dirty, are my feet.


Your shoes spend all day walking around on the filthy ground. Your socks touch nothing. How is this logical? I can't abide shoes in the house, because they're so dirty, so everyone wears socks.

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Postby Number3Pencils » Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:18 pm UTC

bbctol's good point ftw

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Postby Green9090 » Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:36 pm UTC

bbctol wrote:
Hoshi no Kabii wrote:
Alpha Omicron wrote:Shoes in the house? Somewhat rude around here.
I'll take my shoes off when in other people's houses- not a problem. Just not my house. I consider it somewhat rude when people wear socks/go barefoot in my house. It's some odd psychological thing, I suppose. I view houses as a sort of clean, sterilized environment, and see feet/socks as dirty. Except in my room, where only I usually go. I won't wear shoes in my own room. Because my feet, no matter dirty, are my feet.


Your shoes spend all day walking around on the filthy ground. Your socks touch nothing. How is this logical? I can't abide shoes in the house, because they're so dirty, so everyone wears socks.


My thoughts exactly. Also, shoes are more damaging to carpet than socks; this is why some cultures don't ever wear shoes on carpet.

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Postby Hoshi no Kabii » Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:51 pm UTC

I never said it was logical (and my house has mostly wooden floors- I'm aware shoes damage carpets more).

If it looks and smells like a rose...

Edit: I have a question. The skin on the bottom of my feet is currently peeling (most likely from wearing shoes- I need to wear them when working). Does this matter when walking barefoot?

Edit2: You know what I have noticed that kinda creeps me out? The bottom of my feet become blacker (more black?) when walking in my house barefoot than walking outside barefoot.

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Postby celandine » Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:42 am UTC

I have just spent all day standing up with blisters on my feet in very pointy shoes. Barefoot is a good thing. But I'm inclined to believe fuzzy slippers are even better.

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Postby yelly » Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:15 pm UTC

What everyone is forgetting about is the whole spiritual/relaxation bit of not wearing shoes. Ever seen anyone doing yoga/martial arts/extreme religious activity with shoes on? I just remembered this because yesterday was Yum Kipur (for us Jews) and one of the traditions relating to this day is not wearing shoes when praying. It completely changes the experience. (BTW, IIRC, Muslims never wear shoes when praying...)
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Postby Aeltar » Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:17 am UTC

I have been brought up to always wear shoes, and getting yelled at for not doing such. I still enjoy the feel of bare feet, and I wear no shoes whenever I can. I'm considering getting a pair of flip-flops to easily take off and put on whenever I get outdoors - not that I care about wearing shoes indoors, but some people do. In houses, I never wear shoes or socks. A few months ago, I developed a case of athlete's foot, so I started walking barefoot and applying Tea Tree Oil/Olive Oil mixture to my feet every night. It cleared up in about a week and a half, and gave me some of the best feeling I've had. It really does improve your sense of touch, balance, and overall awareness of the ground around you. I don't look down anymore at anything, merely step out of the way. In Gym, whenever we have to do running (especially on the track) I take off my shoes and place them by my backpack. Teacher looks at me funny, but that's ok.

I'm considering joining the barefooters, but I'm not really that active about it. I go shoeless whenever possible, but I don't actively inform people. If they ask, I do, but not if they just look at me funny.
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Postby MikeBabaguh » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:27 am UTC

Barefoot at home nearly always (winter is an exception). Shoed when going anywhere nearly always (summer is an exception).
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Postby notallama » Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:19 am UTC

sometimes i go shoeless, sometimes i go sandal'd.

i recently started doing parkour. i bring my shoes when practicing, but i avoid wearing them unless whatever i intend to run on is sharp. (sometimes there's glass around, and some walls are fairly jagged)

it's already getting kinda cold for bare feet, though. :(

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Postby lorenith » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:48 pm UTC

Rippy wrote:That's one thing I don't get: what are the health issues?


Foot fungus's come to mind, I love walking around barefooted but it seems a lot of public showers require feet covers of *some* sort because of this. I suppose if no one wore shoes ever foot fungus's wouldn't be so much of a problem that they are.

Anyway I only wear shoes when I have to, I hate how restrictive and awkward they feel in general.

My feet used to be really tough/heat resistant. But they aren't anymore since I hardly go outside now. Also, glass splinters=ow.

I can't find a walking configuration that doesn't cause me pain one way or another, doesn't matter if I'm running around on my toes or some other way, either random joints hurt, or my back does, or both. Bleh.

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Postby Number3Pencils » Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:40 pm UTC

Aeltar wrote:I'm considering joining the barefooters, but I'm not really that active about it. I go shoeless whenever possible, but I don't actively inform people. If they ask, I do, but not if they just look at me funny.

That type of evangelism isn't required for membership. All you have to do is like going barefoot. The group basically consists of a message board where people talk about barefoot-type stuff.

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Postby Nimz » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:58 pm UTC

reishka wrote:
EvanED wrote:Socks to bed I do during the summer when it's too warm to wear sheets, otherwise my feet dry out.


See, that I could understand, but he sleeps with a sheet all summer and a blanket all winter. He'll go to bed in boxers and socks!

I can understand sleeping with socks on. My feet sometimes get cold at night, especially in the winter, despite having enough blankets for the rest of me to stay warm. In those cases I have found that socks are just enough to keep my feet warm.
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