Letter writer: Dogs’ rights supersede barefoot humans

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Apparently dogs have more rights than human beings in Asheville.

I walk around barefoot. I hike and eat and sleep and fish barefoot. From a very young age, I have been prone to infections if I ever wear shoes. A couple of years ago, I broke my L5 vertebra into pieces. The doctor told me it is better for my back if I do not wear shoes. I have found that not wearing shoes has greatly reduced my debilitating back pain. I did not really find this out until I finally followed my doctor’s advice while living in the heat down in southern Mexico. Nearly all my back pain is gone now that I do not wear shoes. In addition to this, I consider it absolutely part of my religious beliefs to remain shoeless in order to remain as close as possible to the earth and my creator as I understand him/her.

Going barefoot opens up a whole new world of experience. It is like opening up a sixth sense: the warmth of the earth or cool wetness of a muddy stream bank, the soft crunching of last year’s winter leaves underfoot — so many feelings shoe-wearers miss out on in their lifetimes. They have literally shut down one of their most important senses by entrapping their feet in animal and petroleum products.

I feel sorry for the people who have been programmed to pay tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime to wrap up their feet in something that harms the entire body and insulates a person from a fantastic and healthy tactile experience. Of course, this is only my opinion, and the opinion of nearly every podiatrist and doctor who has spent time out of country and seen the lack of foot problems in people who never wear shoes.

As I find myself walking downtown, most people glance fearfully at my barefoot stride as if I had suddenly become a threatening monstrosity. They hold their children closer while those children wonder why they are not allowed to go barefoot as their body and nature tells them they should. Unfeeling, senseless policy is why. Senseless, unthinking, unfeeling policy and political correctness is why we have lost so many of our freedoms in this country. U.S. policy and dogma dictates that if you see something foreign to you that you do not understand, fear it, and then come to develop hatred for it. This, I believe is the cause of the greatest erosion to our rights as a people in this country and across the globe.

I have been confronted by librarians at Pack Memorial and managers at stores regarding my barefoot lifestyle. I ask them why their policy allows a filthy animal such as a dog (and I love dogs, but they are filthy, poop-, carrion- and garbage- digging-and-eating creatures) into an establishment, whereas I, who shower and wash my feet every day, cannot. I do not track around feces or poop after digging it up to eat, yet the animals in Asheville who perform such activities apparently have more rights than I do.

Yes, yes, disabled people have a right to have service animals wherever they need to go. I have no problem with this, and welcome such animals into all places, and yes, I do love dogs. I have a problem with my rights as a human being infringed and not being able to relieve my back of pain because of some unfounded stigma against people who choose not to wear shoes for their own reasons. This not only violates my constitutionally guaranteed rights to happiness and religion, but it is also discriminates against me because of my disability.

I wash my feet every day. When was the last time you washed your shoes? I have people come up to me saying that I am in violation of North Carolina health codes by not wearing shoes. This is completely false. North Carolina health code does not ban bare feet from any establishment, and, in fact, protects myself and others from discrimination based on religion or disability. I wonder why the library and local businesses want to continue to violate my rights due to my disability and my religious preference.

— Michael Sheasly

Editor’s note: A shorter version of this letter appeared in the June 8 print issue of Xpress.


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64 thoughts on “Letter writer: Dogs’ rights supersede barefoot humans

  1. Kriss

    Mr. Sheasly makes some good points. As a full-time 24/7 barefooter myself for the last 14 years, I’ve done extensive research into any and all legal, medical, and health aspects of going barefoot, and in spite of the fact that this lifestyle choice is completely legal, healthy, and natural for human beings to do – causing absolutely no harm to anyone – a number of people still stubbornly hold on to old negative myths not based on fact.

    As Mr. Sheasly pointed out, North Carolina health codes do not ban bare feet by customers in any business establishment – including restaurants – or other public place. Nor does Buncombe or any other county, in fact, nor does ANY health department in any of the 50 states. What health departments require is that facilities meet certain minimum food and food handling safety and sanitary requirements. They have no control over or concern whatsoever with what a customer of a business is or isn’t wearing on his or her feet. I have letters from many local and state health departments that confirm that fact.

    It is a shame that in this day and age of “enlightenment” and unlimited educational opportunities for all, some people still cling to mindless prejudice based on ignorance, and attempt to control the personal choices of others that do no harm to anyone and should be of no concern to any other person.

    • Kriss

      Wow, Shelly. I guess you think shouting (typing all caps) will get your points across better than normal typing. I doesn’t actually, and has the opposite effect. As to what the “GENERAL PUBLIC” wants to see, I think you need to speak for yourself. When you go out into the “GENERAL PUBLIC,” you cannot control what you may see or how others dress just because it may not be what you would choose for yourself. If you see something that bothers you in some way, just look elsewhere. I’m assuming you’d have a problem as well with a mother breastfeeding her baby in public.

      Why are you going around looking at others’ feet anyway? What someone wears or doesn’t wear on his or her feet is none of your business and does no harm whatsoever to you, or anyone else.

      BTW, respect relates to how people treat one another, not how they choose to dress, and it sounds like your respect for others (who may choose to be different from you) is sadly lacking.

      • Kriss

        I guess this comment looks a little odd, referring to another comment that isn’t there. But there was a comment posted by someone yesterday – a very rude one – which is the one I’m responding to. Apparently Mountain Xpress has deleted that person’s comment.

  2. Stephen M.

    I agree with everything Mr. Sheasly said in this letter. Human generally fear what they don’t understand. People don’t understand why we want to go barefoot, despite the fact that when we were born, we were barefoot. Everyone knows the feeling of relief of kicking off the shoes after a long day in them. The feeling of relief is universal; everyone has experienced it. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been a private events and seen ladies taking off their high heels and walking barefoot to the car, I’d be a rich man. So why is it that when we decide to ditch the shoes altogether, we’re suddenly viewed as the alien? It’s not right.

    I’m a member of Barefoot Is Legal, a barefoot advocacy group on Facebook that seeks to spread awareness about barefoot living and remind ordinary people that it’s safe, healthy, and legal.


    • Kriss

      Thanks for the link, Stephen. Another great organization out there for promoting barefoot rights and providing accurate information is the Society for Barefoot Living, an organization that’s been in existence for 22 years. Their website is here: http://www.barefooters.org/

  3. Adam

    Excellent piece Mr Sheasly, I totally agree. Why can’t people respect the choices of others when they cause no harm? You are not forcing anyone else to go barefoot; why should they try to force you to wear shoes and endanger your health and well-being?

  4. Bob

    I completely agree with this article. I’ve been a full-time barefooter for about 35 years. Before that, I had extreme difficulty walking and standing due to knee problems. Getting rid of shoes and going barefoot has virtually stopped all pain, discomfort, and healed me. My doctor concurs. People that wear shoes don’t realize what they’re missing. People who wear shoes have weakened a body part to such a degree that it can no longer properly function and serve the purpose for which it was created. Going barefoot is “normal,” wearing shoes is not!

  5. Paul

    Mr. Sheasly writes a well-articulated letter making many great points. I too, am a life-style barefooter for the past 5 years, and have often encountered similar discrimination by those who, for some reason, feel either threatened by my feet, or that it is their duty as a “little dictator” of their immediate realm of authority, to protect the great masses from my “filthy feet”.

    Like Mr. Sheasly, I shower at least once a day, and often wash my feet several times per day. My feet are far cleaner than anyone’s shoes. Feet which are kept clean, dry, and exposed to sunlight do not smell, do not attract fungus like athlete’s foot (which prefer a dark, warm, moist environment, such as inside a shoe), and do not suffer from various foot maladies such as bunions, ingrown toe nails, or even toe nail fungus. Only feet kept inside the dark, dank confines of shoes and socks suffer these problems.

    Fortunately for me, many places I frequent accept me for who I am and allow me to enter barefoot without comment. I do often get questions from those who are curious at these places, but most people don’t even notice I’m barefoot. And, as both Mr. Sheasly and Kriss, above, point out, there is no law preventing a customer from entering a place of business barefoot. In fact, the health codes in place are to govern the business, not its clientele. And the various anti-discrimination laws protect our rights from discrimination against both religious beliefs and disabilities. In fact, the American’s with Disabilities Act not only protects an individual’s rights to be barefoot in public establishments if so for medical reasons, but also prohibits the establishment from discriminating against the individual either verbally, or in the form of a posted sign refusing service unless wearing shoes.

    Fortunately, the tide seems to be slowly changing in favor of being barefoot. As more and more people begin looking into their own health issues and researching medical conditions, they are discovering the benefits of being barefoot. And the younger generations seem to be far less discriminatory in general than those who preceded them. Hopefully this continues and more people realize that bare feet are not only no threat to them or public health, but that they too can enjoy all the marvelous textures and adventures out there for bare feet to experience year round!

  6. Gary Gene Friedly

    I am in my mid seventies. Six years ago, I had a hip replacement. On my follow-up visit with my surgeon regarding how to properly care for an artificial hip, I asked if there were certain features to look for in a shoe, and he responded, “You don’t need shoes. Go barefooted when you can. It’s better for your ankles and easier on hips and knees.”
    I have since found out that I do need to wear shoes — for other people. I now carry around ballerina slippers in case I need to comply with somebody else’s dress code.
    I hope that these will be legal and that this will show how ridiculous some requirements are.
    I regret that I didn’t find out decades ago that I I don’t need shoes.


    Thank you for this article. I enjoy walking around barefoot, but often have to consider if I am in the mood to stand up for myself or if I just want to blend in. In every state of the US, going into businesses barefoot is completely legal and not against health codes. A few townships and public areas (one boardwalk, one sporting center) have placed a requirement for footwear. It mainly seems to come down to 3 things. (1) people assume it is against the law, because people dont take the thing to think for themselves. Our parents told us to do it (maybe made up a reason) and we all went with it. We do this for many things. (2) some people think it must be dirty. When they take off their shoes, their feet stink from being sweaty all day. They see dirt on the ground and assume (somehow) that the foot is picking up more of it than a shoe is… (3) societal / personal issues. Some people actually still feel that barefoot people are trying to insult another by being barefoot. I guess in the anti-war Vietnam era this was actually true to a degree, but I am very certain that people today are barefoot just because they want to be.

    One interesting thing Id like to add. I walk around in the winter and summer barefoot. I know exactly how hot the pavement is. I also know how long I would have my dog tolerate it. When I am barefoot, I really enjoy life more. Thanks again for this article.

  8. Scott

    I was travelling on business in China a few years ago. In a restaurant with a group of locals at the table I reached for, picked up, and ate something with my left hand. To say that a hush fell over the crowd is an understatement. In many Asian countries eating with your left hand is something you do not do, EVER. Culturally, your left hand is reserved for wiping your derriere and your right is reserved for eating. Never the two shall be confused. America’s aversion to bare feet will change about the time China’s aversion to the left hand does. Sorry.

    • Kriss

      Actually, America in general does not have an “aversion to bare feet.” Lots of people went barefoot often in past generations, especially children – even in school – and it was not seen as anything negative, or at worst, an necessary economic alternative to expensive shoes. But unfortunately, some people in America (not everyone) have been victims of a kind of brainwashing that began in the early 1970s. And this “aversion,” if any, where it may exist, was created by signs banning bare feet that some businesses began to post as a reaction to the hippie movement and especially those that actively opposed the Vietnam War at the time. Conservative government supporting business owners couldn’t silence them, but they could ostracize them by attacking their mode of dress – which often was barefoot.

      The initial “reason” for the signs no longer exists, but the signs remained and took on a life of their own. People over the years have seen these signs over and over and just assume that being barefoot must be a “bad” thing, and probably illegal, otherwise, why would they put up signs to keep barefooters out?

      No other countries of the world have such an “aversion” to someone being barefoot. That’s because no other countries of the world started posting signs telling people how they must dress to be welcome in businesses. Only in America.

      • NFB

        “Lots of people went barefoot often in past generations, especially children – even in school – and it was not seen as anything negative, or at worst, an necessary economic alternative to expensive shoes. ”

        Yeah 19th century!

        • Kriss

          20th century as well. I went barefoot as a child, as did everyone in my neighborhood, except in the winter. This was in the Asheville area. And we could certainly afford shoes, so in that case, economics had nothing to do with it. It’s just what children did, and nobody had a problem with it. My father (also 20th century) attended school barefoot, except in the coldest winter temperatures, as did most other children where he lived (also WNC). I know that to be a fact, as I have seen numerous pictures taken of school classes in the early 20th century showing many, if not most, of the kids were indeed barefoot in class. In that case, there may have been an economic reason to some extent (as I mentioned), in that there was no point in spending money for shoes until they were *really* needed – and even in school they weren’t really needed unless the weather was frigid.

        • Mensasnem

          As a child during the 1950s and 1960s, I hardly ever wore shoes except to school and church. I grew up in the huge metropolitan area known as the San Francisco Bay Area. My parents grew up barefoot in the 1920s and 1930s. Sure, there were lots of barefoot people in the 19th century, but there certainly is no need to look that far back to find a prevalence of bare feet.

          Bare feet are healthier feet and belong to happier people.

  9. The Real World

    Unexpected, terrific letter and well-reasoned too.

    I love going barefoot but only do so at home. When out and about, I wouldn’t want to have to pay so much attention to what I may be stepping on…..glass, nails, dog poo splinters, etc. I utterly adore dogs (and own one) but, yea, they are definitely much dirtier than my feet. ;o)

    • Dan

      Why does the American public think that our streets are so full of glass, nails, needles, and so on? Yes there are some neighborhoods that may have more then most,
      but after walking barefoot for the past 3 years, in my city, and in New York city, I never stepped on any of the above. As for dog poo – while walking barefoot your awareness to your surroundings, will be greater then the shod people, and you would see that dog poo or anything else way before you step on it, and walk around it.

      • The Real World

        It seems like you and I experience the city differently. I spend time in many parks around town and, trust me, you cannot always easily spot what is in the grass.

        Also, I walk with my dog on many roads that have no sidewalks and there is sometimes debris so I would definitely need to pay closer attention in order to avoid injury (and that would distract from my walking zen). Lastly, there is a bone in one of my feet that does not appreciate being subjected to hard surfaces for too long. So, you won’t find me walking downtown barefoot but I don’t mind if others do.

      • Martin

        Going barefoot for many people highlights the issues of glass, needles and dog faeces on city streets. While I have rarely experienced such a place where it is actually difficult to walk safely, I would hope that promotes a desire to clean up the streets rather than discourage people from going barefoot. Wearing shoes IS unhealthy. So is discarding waste in the streets.

  10. luther blissett

    “Of course, this is only my opinion, and the opinion of nearly every podiatrist and doctor who has spent time out of country and seen the lack of foot problems in people who never wear shoes.”

    Perhaps those people die of sepsis and tetanus and godknowswhat else before they have a chance to see the podiatrist?

    • Kriss

      Such a negative suggestion has no basis in fact. Numerous studies have shown that people of remote tribes around the world who have never worn shoes in their lives have the healthiest feet on earth.

  11. Dan

    Thank you Mr. Sheasly, you have said it all. I have only been barefoot for 3 years now, as a result of back pain, but I will never go back to full time shoes.
    I also started a web site about 2 years ago regarding the life in bare feet http://www.barefootny.com.
    Living barefoot is now the joy of my life.

  12. Nick Deutschmann

    Living barefoot is so much better for you and has been confirmed with many medical articles! Society needs to quit being so uptight about rules and laws that just don’t exist!

  13. Katmir

    That “no shirt, no shoes, no service – by order of the health department” LIE was spread into the country by a few people who simply disagreed with the hippies of the 1960’s. The truth is that no US State Health Department has a mandate against their own feet, and that OSHA merely suggests some kind of foot protection for employees actively working in a particular condition. Period. A place of business is like your own home where if something falls to the floor, you pick it up so everyone there can move about easier; this is logic, not a lawsuit; you’ve been to a hotel (Think). Shoes are a tool of choice like sunglasses and helmets. Each human foot has almost 100 parts, 60 of which are active joints, with skin that adapts to the environment. People have access to this information about themselves but are purposely ignorant and really should just look it up and try it out. Most foot problems are caused by shoes – ask your local military and supermodel about it, for example. I invite you to check out http://www.BarefootIsLegal.org for more information. Chillax.

  14. boatrocker

    3 observations:

    1) I don’t care one way or another about ‘barefoot issues’ if that’s your thing, great. However I have noticed over the years that certain issues (PETA style vegetarians, alternative medicine with no scientific fact checking and now the barefooter ‘movement’) attracts for the most part letters from others from far away from this town. I know the Internets is a worldwide thing, but most of the opinions seem to be from those most likely on a mailing list flooding a local rag to make a point. Again, not that I care, I’m only pointing this out.

    2) The descriptions of ‘discrimination’ and ‘persecution’ here would make me mistake barefooters for a Holocaust survivor describing their plight. I guess this is easily the most important issue in the world today then. Attention barefooters, if you did not realize this, the local rag you are posting to is located in Asheville, NC if your mailing list buddies did not bother to include this info for a mass ‘make your voice heard’ campaign. Trust me, between voting laws and the imposing of a defacto religious theocracy in this state, yea we have some real problems with discrimination here. Maybe some letters could follow?

    3) What the hell breed of dogs are you people owning or describing that flood our sidewalks with poop, can’t control their bodily functions and produce the green goo from “Ghostbusters” that supposedly is a problem here? Please explain as that is sooooooo not one of this town’s major problems. If your dog does have this problem, get them to a vet ASAP!

    • Kriss

      Interesting observations, Boatrocker. I’ll try to respond to each one.

      1) Sure, many of the comments probably are from people who don’t happen to live in Asheville, NC. We are a tiny minority, but are generally well organized, and word spreads pretty fast through a number of sources. And, though this “rag” may be local, the Internet (which you mentioned) indeed makes it worldwide and opens up the opportunity for others who may have experienced the exact type of discrimination that Mr. Sheasly talks about and/or have unique experience and knowledge on the topic. I am happy though that you don’t care. ;)

      2) As to the Holocaust reference, nobody’s comparing going barefoot to other human attributes, conditions, choices (as in the case of religion), or historical atrocities towards certain groups that have resulted in oppression in the past (or presently) or even genocide and saying it’s the same in that respect. If something is wrong, it’s wrong. I see no point in saying something like, “This may be wrong, but it’s not nearly as wrong as this other thing, therefore it is not important.”

      And yes, I’m sure everyone knows where Mountain Xpress is located – which is pretty irrelevant. As I alluded to above, the issues expressed by Mr. Sheasly are fairly common problems that we, who have chosen this lifestyle, run into on a fairly regular basis all across this country. Probably much more so in other parts of the country than here. And notwithstanding the attempts by the state government here to restrict the voting rights of certain people or to impose bigoted religious standards on everyone, I do not believe these actions reflect the views of the majority of people of this state, and especially the majority of people in Asheville and Buncombe County. I have personally found Asheville and the surrounding areas in general to be very accepting of alternative lifestyles, which would include a choice to not wear shoes.

      3) I agree with what The Real World wrote.

  15. The Real World

    #3 – is a misinterpretation.

    Original letter writer is not speaking in absolute terms — that dogs are altogether filthy. No, he is making a relative statement. That generally — the coats, paws and mouths of dogs are dirtier than the feet of a human who washes them at least once a day. He’s right.

  16. Dan

    This article was linked to from an activist post in the Public Facebook page for the Society for Barefoot Living.

    As a barefooter myself, I grow tired of the “bare feet are cleaner than shoes” argument. Bare feet have pores. They can trap dirt. Shoe shoes are rubber or hard leather. They have no pores to trap dirt. The blackened sole effect so many barefooters are proud of is because their pores trapped that much asphalt dirt and/or particularly store dirty floors rubbed enough dirt on them to add to the blackened dirt already on the soles from crossing the asphalt parking lot. Some even make it a point not to wash their feet, they only let them get wet when they take a bath or shower, and that means leaving as much accumulated dirt as possible on the soles before they start the next barefoot day. If they’ve been particularly athletic the previous day, between the toes still sweats even in bare feet, and rinsing isn’t washing. These barefooters already disprove that bare feet are cleaner than shoes, because of the point I am going to make next…

    Take your favorite pair of shoes, use a wet soapy washcloth, wipe the shoe soles down (you just washed your shoes that’s all it took!), rinse the sole, dry them, done. Take your blackened dirty barefoot soles, use a wet soapy washcloth, wipe your soles, dry them, done. Or are you? Are you one of the barefooters with the ingrained blackened dirt? You might need a scrub brush. Or automotive hand cleaner. If it was almost painfully hot asphalt, some if it actually baked into the soles, it’s stained even after hand cleaner, so you need another day of no barefoot on anything other than sidewalk to scuff some of the stained dirt away, or a long walk along the shore of the beach to moisten the soles and let the sand gently buff away all stains. If you are walking on store floors dirty enough to get blackened soles, even if you tiptoe across the hot asphalt so none of it burns on the soles, you’ll just rub more dirt into already stained soles, right?

    As for the interior of closed shoes: most shoe wearers and more hygenic barefooters who have to wear shoes wear socks when they have to wear shoes, even if it feels hotter and more confining, because that way the socks absorb the sweat as they were intended to, they make for a better fit to prevent blisters against skin as they were intended to, and the sweat doesn’t absorb into the footbed. Some who get foot odor despite wearing socks either have a sweating problem, or it was a particularly bad quality of shoe that had no air circulation whatsoever.

    • Kriss

      Just a clarification. The Society for Barefoot Living Facebook group is not affiliated with the original and official Society for Barefoot Living, which is represented by its website http://www.barefooters.org/ . This site provides a wealth of factual information about going barefoot.

      As a barefooter myself, I grow tired of the ‘bare feet are cleaner than shoes’ argument. Bare feet have pores. They can trap dirt.

      This is really a distortion of the facts – in fact, not true at all. Whereas most of the skin on the body has two types of pores that serve very different functions, hair follicle pores containing oil (sebaceous) glands and sweat pores serving as the ducts for sweat glands, the soles of feet contain only sweat pores, whose purpose is to cool the body. Both types of pores have an exterior directed function. They do not absorb anything, nor do the “trap” anything.

      The blackened sole effect so many barefooters are proud of is…

      Some even make it a point not to wash their feet…

      This is just ridiculous. I find it very surprising as well as disappointing that someone who claims himself to be a barefooter would make such misleading statements and ascribe them to “so many” other fellow barefooters. Though it is true that if one were to search the Internet for “dirty feet fetish,” one would indeed find sites where there is interest in dirty feet – but it is a fetish interest, it does not represent the vast majority of barefooters who have chosen that lifestyle for health or medical reasons.

      His other point disputing the fact that bare feet in general are cleaner than shoe soles is wrong as well. Shoes walk on every surface and are never washed on the bottoms. Almost all shoes have soles that have ridges and little crevices, kind of like tire treads. All kinds of stuff that gets stepped on or in indeed gets “trapped” on shoe soles and stays there indefinitely. If someone barefoot accidentally steps in some undesirable substance, he or she will immediately know it (by the wonderful sense of touch that our bare feet allow us to utilize), and immediately do whatever it takes to clean it off. Sometimes bare feet may have the appearance of being dirtier than shoes because of the skin color of the soles compared to the color of most shoe soles. But that doesn’t mean they are actually dirtier.

      I do agree with Dan about foot odor being caused by feet being confined in shoes (I think that’s what he’s saying). That’s because the inside of shoes are a virtual Petri dish for bacteria and fungi growth as the feet sweat and dead skin cells are sloughed off while inside the hot, dark, and moist environment of shoes on a regular basis. Hands would smell as well if they were constantly enclosed in tight, airless, never washed mittens all day long. The feet of people who never wear shoes never have foot odor.

      • Dan

        I don’t associate myself with those barefooters proud to show off and maintain blackened dirty soles! But, it’s not just fetish sites that have dirty sole enthusiasts. Even if not associated with the actual Society for Barefoot Living, that Facebook page has ample foot selfies making sure to show sole, usually blackened from street, not grayed from concrete or dusty from sand.

        • Kriss

          I’ve seen such pictures on that site – even though they are explicitly against the posted rules of the site (which obviously aren’t enforced) – and I don’t believe such people are serious barefooters. It’s all really new to most of them, and they think they have to “prove” they actually went barefoot somewhere by snapping pictures of their newly dirtied up feet. It’s pretty pathetic, IMO. It’s like a young man that has his first beer – he thinks he needs to act really drunk around his friends to prove some point. Such pictures send a very misleading message to the world about what barefooting is all about – and it’s not about feet only with no other context. Being a barefooter means wearing no footwear at all in places and situations where almost anyone else would likely be wearing shoes or some other footwear. It does not mean just getting our feet dirty and showing pictures of that to the world. I really wish that site would enforce its own rules, which were set up in order to promote barefooting to the world in the best possible light.

  17. boatrocker

    Mon Jun 13, 2016 AD 5:12pm
    After reading comment after comment here, have fun charging at windmills. And as always, Mtn X, thanks for shining the bright light of investigative journalism on yet another non issue.

    Sorry to ‘step on your toes’, but trouble is not afoot.
    Walk barefoot, I don’t care. As I wrote in previous comments.

    But don’t paint your cause as some sort of March on Birmingham or Gandhi-esque march to the sea.

    Again, as the last paragraphs will be ignored, all you outta towner posters who heeded the call to post here from an online newsletter, please feel free to visit Asheville.

    Annnnnnnd, NC has some so much more serious problems with its’ systems of laws right now that I would invite you to plant ‘feet on the ground’, get a ‘leg up’ on reading up on our screwed up GOP/Tea Party controlled government, ‘put your foot down’ in resisting de facto corporatist/theocratic rule of law and go ‘toe to toe’ with the actual real issues affecting this town.

    Notice I did not ‘tap dance’ around real issues.

    • notrebellious

      Agree, it is not Ghandi march. Still these people try to defend a tiny bit of their freedom and it’s great.

      The freedom is not that you would lose all at once. Badasses will bite off small pieces bit by bit, you will not even notice. I know well, was living once in communist country, later liberated and then again badasses start to take our freedoms off.

      There is no piece of freedom too small to stand up for.

  18. Kriss

    Then, just for your further entertainment, Boatrocker, go to the Society for Barefoot Living website http://www.barefooters.org/ and look at the picture above “Joy of Barefooting.” You’ll see me with a group of barefoot friends standing right in the middle of Patton Avenue. I’m on the right in the black t-shirt.

    • boatrocker

      Again, that’s nice.
      Again, go barefoot all the time.
      Again, I do not care.
      Again, has a barefooter ever been lynched or sent to a gas chamber? Obviously not.
      Again, thanks for sharing.

  19. Bootrocker

    Well I , for one, love me some boots. And I gots me some boot-lovin friends who gonna come downtown and step on some toes…or maybe toss out some caltrops…

    Seriously though, whatever floats your boat, man, just keep your interweb shills off the local paper…its rude, and if anything, hurts your cause more than helps.

    • Dan

      Well said. The “I just went barefoot because I want to person” is negatively affected by these barefooters who make it a cause…

      No bare feet by law. Their response: “there is no law”. Business solution: No bare feet, or Shoes required in store. Now it’s posted policy and they owe no one any justification as to why. They can choose to enforce or not enforce, but it’s there as store policy with no loopholes

      No bare feet. Their response: “it’s my religion”. The business is private and not bound by Amendment I restrictions, take it up with the courts. Some write letters to corporate and threaten lawsuits.

      No bare feet. Their response: “it’s my disability requires it”/”I have a doctor’s note”. Some businesses still deny them… take it up with the courts. Some write letters to corporate and threaten lawsuits.

      Barefooters were around for decades before the Usenet newsgroup alt.barefoot and the start of the Dirty Sole Society. Society for Barefoot Living has its history from the Dirty Sole Society. The sight of a barefoot is starting to become sight of a nuisance customer because of them.

      • Kriss

        Dan, wow, you’ve really got the history of barefoot attitudes in this country all wrong. As I mentioned in a previous comment, negative attitudes and signs in businesses in this country started as a result of conservative business owners attempting to control the behavior of hippies during the Vietnam War. It was the negative signs they began posting (No shirt, No shoes, No service, for example) in order to keep hippies – especially war protesting hippies – out that started the problem and the attitude. The war, the protests, and the hippies went away, but the signs didn’t. To make matters worse, many of the signs included such statements as “by order of the health department,” a complete lie, as health departments have no “orders,” rules, or even interest in what customers of a business wear or don’t wear, so people began to believe being barefoot was something really bad and no doubt illegal as well.

        The Society for Barefoot Living was established in 1994, long after the attitudes, caused by the signs, had become somewhat common in the U.S., and was an attempt to counter the negative myths that a lot of people had started believing about going barefoot. To blame that organization for negative attitudes toward barefooters is a complete and total distortion of the facts.

        • Dan

          Then quit it with the “barefoot rights” nuisance. Is it really that important to go into a store barefoot? Convenient, yes. Comfortable, yes (but not always, some floors have a surface that annoyingly rubs the soles). Necessity? NO. In fact, some stores keep their floors buffed and polished clean: slippery to bare feet, and any trapped dirt in the sole makes dirty footprints if they walk on any wet spot in the store. You are a guest in their home, except their home is a business. Act like it.

          The one significant denial of entry I had at a Walmart ended up peacefully because I wasn’t a nuisance customer. Greeter denial: no bare feet. Me: no sign on door. Greeter: goes to show me a sign… no sign, still store policy. Me: okay, I’ll get shoes. No hassles entering the store with shoes, no retort from a greeter after the fact. Sign or no sign, a manager could have backed the greeter. I go the store occasionally enough I don’t need to be *that barefoot customer* nuisance. No greeter? I’ll enter barefoot, simple as that. I can tell at the door. I’m not writing Walmart corporate for that one location… keep it up and ALL Walmart stores will start no bare feet signs thanks to “barefoot rights” causes. Just go in where you can and don’t where you can’t. Just like any non-activist barefoot did since they were a kid. Problem solved.

          • Kriss

            Then quit it with the “barefoot rights” nuisance. Is it really that important to go into a store barefoot?

            I’m not sure how you see having a right to be barefoot is somehow a “nuisance.” Being barefoot does absolutely no harm to anyone, neither the barefooter nor anyone else, so how is it a “nuisance”? We have just as much right to be barefoot in public as we have the right to wear or not wear any other article of clothing, as long as it’s legal – such as a hat or no hat, for example – and being barefoot is perfectly legal everywhere in this country. If you feel it is somehow a “nuisance” to you or others, then by all means, don’t do it. But don’t presume to tell others they should dress only as you prefer to dress.

            You are a guest in their home, except their home is a business. Act like it.

            A business is not someone’s “home.” Businesses open to the public must always have some kind of business license and various other permits that allow them the privilege of operating a business to serve the public. It’s not like a private citizen who has a right to pick and choose who may enter his or her home. Someone who has been granted the right and privilege to have and operate a business open to the public should not be allowed to pick and choose what customers he or she will serve when that choice is based ONLY on how that customer is dressed – as long as that customer is otherwise in compliance with the law and is not being disruptive.

            But unfortunately, being able to discriminate against barefoot customers is indeed one of the few things most private business in fact can still do with virtual impunity. It is discrimination based on appearance. Still legal, just based on whim or personal preference, yet many still try to justify it by referring to phony health code regulations.

            Yes. They have a right to ban barefooters. But having a right to do something doesn’t always make it right to do it.

            As to the argument that businesses are “private property” (as opposed to government owned property), no business is really all that “private.” Businesses, whether on “private” property or not, do not in fact have the absolute right to say who comes into their establishment and who does not. They are subject to various laws against discrimination both in customers served or employees hired. They are also subject all kinds of laws and regulations related to how they do business, what food they can or cannot sell, if and when they can sell alcoholic beverages, how clean their premises are and many, many other regulations depending on what city or state they are located in.

            The one significant denial of entry I had at a Walmart ended up peacefully…

            Regardless of what some misinformed employee may have told you, Walmart does NOT have any official policy requiring customers to wear shoes. Nor do most other large chain stores. Sometimes a lower level employee of some business (such as the Walmart greeter in your story) may attempt to deny entry to a barefoot customer – but that’s usually based only on the one employee’s beliefs in popular myths he or she may have heard. (In your story, the example of the greeter claiming a “sign” on the door is another example of that ignorance.) Whenever such negative encounters occur, always ask for a manager in order to clarify the situation.

    • Kriss

      Bootrocker, I have no control over who chooses to comment on someone’s letter posted on the “world wide web.” If Mountain Xpress does not want comments from those outside the narrow confines of this little community, it should never post these letter on the Internet. Though the writer of this letter mentioned a couple of local facilities as examples, his issue is in fact a universal one – or at least national as applies to the U.S. – not just Asheville. Instead of complaining about comments from “outsiders,” if you don’t agree with certain comments, just address the comments themselves, instead of attacking the commenters (“shills”). Or better still, since you say you “don’t care one way or another,” then just stay out of the conversation. Speaking of “rude,” that’s certainly the way you’re coming across here. Others posting are just trying to help.

      • Bootrocker

        K, Krisssss. I apologize, you really did brighten my day and I didn’t mean to make you sad. To know its a national, no, international movement, well, that makes it even better! Speak your truth, it must be heard! Barefoot Akbar! Go get em! Take no prisoners!

        Yes, I’m being facecious. If people start targeting barefootarians with violence then maybe I’ll pay attention, but until then it’s a non-cause, it’s just an idiosyncrasy.

        I mean, what’s the point here? Do you not want people to gawk, or are up you being denied services or something? If it’s dress codes for private institutions I’m pretty sure you’re out of luck. If I try to go into a club that requires a tie and don’t wear one, well, they won’t let me in. That’s their prerogative. If you’re trying to claim it’s some sort of ADA-style discrimination, well, good luck with that.

        Also , have you tried to make your own moccasins using a thin hide like deer or sheepskin? It’s a good compromise.

        • The Real World

          “Barefoot Akbar!” — LOL, lulz and the whole canoodle! Too funny.

          Meanwhile Teddy is right below and, hopefully, Kriss won’t come in with, yet another, long preaching.
          Enough, Kriss — you’ve made your points….several times over now.

          • boatrocker

            I am boatrocker- hear me post-and post under 1 name only.
            They broke the mold.
            Do not impersonate me.
            Pun names off my name as a pun are weak.
            My name is an allusion to whitewater boating, as I have posted way too many times here.

            The Real World has strange issues here about trying to post once only after at least 10 posts have happened, and I don’t care. Way to French kiss your own echo chamber.

            But once in a blue moon The Real World tightens up and posts the real deal for ideas. Not often, but I’m willing to keep reading.

            This whole clusterfudge over people with no shoes is (again), hyperbole, whining, a persecution complex, and an attempt to garner readership for the X. Kriss is my new fav whiner. If he gave his fingers for typing about pertinent issues as much attention as his lil toes, maybe Asheville would not be the playground for the affluenza types.

            And yay, I looked up Kriss’ pic in the black t shirt. Do you want a medal for being in a picture? I can fashion you one, for knowing a few metal workers in town. They don’t mewl for for that by the way. How about a toe ring?

            I admit I check this thread just to see how well people express themselves. Sadly, on the X, whenever people take loopy new age causes to task:
            “you offended me”
            “You are rude”
            “I don’t want to read your posts, but I do and complain anyway”
            “1st Amendment”, for never taking a civics class,

            However nobody takes me to task for injecting common sense ideas into a discussion, only for hurting precious feewings.

            I have to agree with everyone else who calls the X a delicate lil ol flower.

            Yeah, I’ll be happy to be that guy.

            If it’s not foot fetish types,
            it is PETA anti animal/pro euthanasia types.
            If it is not that, it is New Age ‘medicine’ types who eschew scientific studies.
            If not that, it is ‘I almost died and I saw an angel’ types.
            If not that, it is CAPITAL LETTERS/lol/lulz types with Stormfront like sources that check out to be fact checked/bigoted and wrong.
            If not that, it is the ‘omnivores are evil’ types.
            If it is not that, it is the ‘yay, another write up of my favorite emo folk band’ types who skew opinions about music for loving their friends onstage but ignoring what is played for social media whoredom.

            In advance, if you don’t like my posts, do not read them. I, however read all posts here and post. Even for being moderated and my posts showing up to 4 days after they are written and submitted. Oh well.

            J- is for journalism- like the good ol days, Woodward and Bernstein.
            O- is for ‘Ohhhh, my precious little safe space is intruded upon!”
            U- is for until the X acts like a paper for lovers of hard news, it will be treated as candy.
            R -is for ‘resist the allure of appealing to easy advertising $’.
            N- is for LTEs about feet garner more views than about living wages, out of control hoteliers, education issues.
            A- is for always bow down to the least common denominator- beer, fluffy cat stuff.
            L- is for ‘let them eat cake’- feel free to move with all the money you make here kneeling to tourism
            I- is for ‘can I sleep at night knowing I enable rose colored visions of a town I live in?’
            S- is for ‘so much for objective coverage of what happens here’.
            M- is for true colors are revealed when there’s mmmmmmoney involved.

            If readers can’t guess from making it this far, gimme some news, not news lite!

            Trust me, when I finish my toe yoga class, I’ll be able to take a pic of my ‘this little piggy ate roast beef’ toe, aka the middle finger of toes for everyone to evaluate whether I walk barefoot or not.

  20. boatrocker

    Question- does anyone who lives close enough to grab a print version of the Mtn X ever roll their eyes when non news happens like this and it somehow, somehow passes as some sort of ‘social justice’ and deserves being featured as ‘news’ or even a LTE?

    Are we as a local populace so inured to real issues? Please tweet your responses to hashtag #vapadityforall.
    Gotcha, tweeters.

    Wearing no shoes does not equal social justice, sticking up for the underdog, making the world a better place, etc.
    It just makes you barefoot. The same way that baring female breasts in public, while legal in NC and perfectly acceptable, does not make one Susan B Anthony or Gloria Steinem.

    You don’t wear shoes. Great.

    Can a local child sleep with a full belly tonight?
    Can a poor local person afford college now?
    Can a starving local person afford rent in this town?
    Have you cured cancer?

    My lower case god, am I the only one who is tired of local rags ‘playing footsie’ with non issues for the sake of readership/advertising?
    If so, then please rescue me as I am trapped in a Kafka short story.

    While I’m frothing at the mouth, are there any other local news sources that don’t insult readers’ intelligence that aren’t bought and paid for by tourism, beer or news light that might carry Hanke’s movie reviews? I know, it is a lot to ask but indulge me?

    • Kriss

      Come on, Boatrocker. It’s not “news.” It’s only a letter from a reader. Why even read letters on topics you have no interest in if they bother you so much? Every issue doesn’t have to be about world hunger or curing cancer. Most of the letters are from people who want to say something that is important to them. It’s freedom of speech. You don’t like or agree with what someone is writing? Ignore it. I rarely read any of the letters myself, unless the heading piques my interest. What a boring publication that would be if MX limited its coverage to the most “important” issues facing the world today. I don’t understand why some issue that you “don’t care one way or another about” bothers you so much. Maybe because a lot of others do care? So far, you’ve contributed absolutely nothing of substance or importance to this conversation, and have done nothing but complain and make fun of others who do have an interest in this topic.

      • boatrocker

        Actually, if I did find important issues within the X’s issues I would be quite happy.

        I’ve made my opinions well known on this thread that barefooting is a non issue, used to suck in readership, and recommend right back atcha that anyone who disagrees with my posts is more than free not to read them. If there were ‘anything of substance’ to address, believe me I would have.

  21. c

    Not trying to be flippant here, but wouldn’t wearing just socks have the same benefit?

    • Kriss

      Not flippant at all. A good question.

      The answer is, no, not really. I assume you mean socks only, not socks worn inside shoes. Socks are pretty much just kind of soft shoes. They prevent feet from being exposed to air and light, two main factors that help prevent fungus and other potential infections on the feet. Socks also absorb sweat, which tends to remain in the socks while they’re being worn, keeping them damp, thus contributing to skin problems on the feet and setting up the ideal environment for fungi to live and grow, also causing foot odor. Feet outside of socks still sweat, but not nearly as much since they are cooler, and the sweat immediately dissipates.

      Also, part of the enjoyment, as well as benefit, of going barefoot is tactile sensations and stimulation that can only come with direct contact of the soles to the earth or other surface we may be on. This helps balance and stability, and stimulates healthy blood flow in the feet. Socks will mask that.

  22. YoueMom

    maybe try walking on all-fours like a dog — you’ll be closer to the earth and you can still ride the bus.

  23. Yourmom

    maybe try walking on all-fours like a dog — you’ll be closer to the earth and you can still ride the bus.

  24. C

    Reading the above letters nearly persuaded me to try barefoot myself. Personally, in public, I wouldn’t want to be an advertisement of it though. I would still think that a lot of the muscular and tendon benefits would still exist with a tastily fashioned , hi tech breathable fabric. I do see your point though on not getting it the full benefit of total barefoot.

    • Kriss

      You wouldn’t be an advertisement of it, just someone exercising your freedom of expression and personal choice. Which is nobody’s business but your own.

      If you do have some interest in learning more, you can find a lot of useful information on the Society for Barefoot Living website: http://www.barefooters.org/

      • own2feet

        I am a happy (almost) full-time barefooter who likes the way the various textures feel beneath my soles as I walk. stores. On rare occasions — less frequently now than in the 1990s and early 2000s — I have been denied service in stores or restaurants because of my lack of footwear. But thanks to the fact that organizations like the Society for Barefoot Living are raising awareness about the benefits of barefooting, the reactionary anti-barefoot crowd is diminishing . In fact, I have had store employees tell me they like to go barefoot as well, and I’ve even had a restaurant employee tell me that they “used to” have a “shoes required” sign but decided to take it down when they thought about how illogical it was.

        I go barefoot because I want to — not as any kind of a statement or “cause.” Being barefoot helps me feel more engaged with my environment and my fellow humans, and I honestly believe I am a happier, kinder and more productive person because I am living in my body in the way I want to.

        Walking barefoot is a natural anti-depressant for some of us, as well as a way to more fully appreciate the wonderful experience of being human. If you like to wear shoes, fine, but please understand that those of us who prefer the barefoot way of life are simply living life in a way that helps us feel better on many levels.

  25. Craig Randolph

    Wish I could convince my brother to go 100% shoeless, cause when he gets home from his 8 hour a day job and removes his boots, it tends to make all the potted plants in the house start to wilt right before your very eyes, as well as frequently triggering the smoke alarm. My kitty-cat, upon realizing that my brothers arrival time home is nigh upon us now makes a mad dash under the bed till she hears the shower going, hopefully rendering the indoor air breathable again till the same time next day.

    • Kriss

      Wow! You have my sympathy. Nothing is more disgusting than the smell of someone’s feet that have been continuously entrapped in boots or closed shoes for hours and hours. And the more the same boots or shoes are worn over and over, the worse it gets. That’s because sweat and dead skin cells that accumulate inside continue to build up day after day in this never washed footwear, creating a cesspool of filth which is a perfect environment for certain types of bacteria that naturally live on the skin to grow and thrive in the dark, warm, and moist environment of the inside of shoes. As these bacteria grow and thrive, they produce organic acid and volatile sulfur compounds, which produce the horrible smell. As the feet remain in that environment, the odor from the inside of these shoes permeates the outer layers of the skin of the feet, thus, smelly feet.

      So, smelly feet are caused by shoes, not feet. People who go barefoot all the time don’t have this problem.

  26. Teddy

    I love going barefoot, but when it comes to the policy of “No shoes – No service” I believe the point is being missed in this conversation. Those policies are there to protect the business owners, not the public. If a business owner allows someone without shoes to walk into their establishment, they become a liability, simply because if a barefooted person were to hurt themselves in a store, they could sue the business owner, and they would probably win. However ridiculous it might seem, policies are rarely made unless there is a history of problems without the policy. The issue here is bigger than going barefoot. It has more to do with how easy it is to sue someone for negligence in this country, even if it’s entirely the patron’s fault they got hurt.

    • Kriss

      First, the vast majority of businesses in the U.S. have no such policies. But even those that might have, if their ostensible purpose is to avoid liability, that thinking is not based on real world facts, or how the law actually works.

      If a business owner allows someone without shoes to walk into their establishment, they become a liability, simply because if a barefooted person were to hurt themselves in a store, they could sue the business owner, and they would probably win.

      No, that is incorrect. As long as a business practices a “duty of care,” that is, makes a reasonable attempt to keep the premises safe for all customers, an injury not caused by any gross negligence on the part of the business would not be eligible for any damages, especially in this state, and the business would not be liable.

      Even if someone barefoot in a store were to sustain some injury to his or her foot, though most states have comparative negligence laws relative to a business’s liability for an injury (that is, if it can be shown that the person injured was in any way responsible himself/herself for the injury, damages awarded, if any, would be reduced by the percent of responsibility shared by the injured party), the fact is that North Carolina has contributory negligence laws. That means that in North Carolina, and a few other states, if the injured party was responsible for the injury in ANY way – even 1% – no damages would be awarded. Therefore, the chances of a barefoot person prevailing in any claim where he/she made a choice to be barefoot in a store and gets an injury as a result of that choice are practically nil, especially in North Carolina. No lawyer would even take such a case, with no real chance of winning. I am not a lawyer, but I’ve done extensive research into these areas, and there is no reason for any business to be concerned about a barefoot person as related to liability.

      And it’s not that easy to even file a lawsuit anyway – unless you have lots of money to pay an attorney up front, or the attorney will take the case on contingency. But just the fact that the person willingly and by choice entered the establishment barefoot is pretty much going to be deemed by any court as a contributing factor in any potential injury – therefore, no damages. Again, no attorney is going to take a case that would be highly unlikely if not impossible to win. Stores and businesses really have little to nothing to worry about from barefooters even suing them, much less actually collecting damages. If they don’t understand that, they need to.

      History of problems? Not likely. In fact, can you cite even one lawsuit on record anywhere in this country where a barefooter has even sued a business due to a barefoot injury within the business, much less prevailed? I mean places where most people would be wearing shoes, not places like swimming pools, etc. I have a list of hundreds of lawsuits related to foot injuries in places of business, but they are almost all are related to shoes, especially high heels or flip-flops. Those are really hazardous types of footwear, and lots of people are injured due to wearing them – and that’s what businesses really should be concerned about, not somebody barefoot, who would be much safer than someone wearing high heels or flip-flops. Of the hundreds of cases I have records of, only 3 involved someone’s bare foot being injured. And in those cases, the barefooter lost the case. I can give you the exact citation of those cases if you would like.

    • Dan

      Solution to both problems. Just put on the sign: Shoes required (bare feet at your own risk). Satisfies both sides. The business owner has their legal bases covered. The manager on duty has the discretion as to whether or not they want to enforce a shoes required dress code. A barefooter, whether a first-timer or experienced, is at their own risk.

      • Kriss

        No, Dan, we should never suggest or advocate that such signs be posted. Of course it would always be nice to know in advance how you’re going to be treated in a store – but having a sign up usually means little to nothing about how you’ll actually be treated. Most such signs are never enforced anyway.

        The worst thing about signs is not how they affect one individual barefooter on any one occasion, but the negative message they send to the public and every person that walks in the door. Signs against bare feet just reinforce over and over again to everyone seeing them that bare feet are bad, illegal, unhealthy, and whatever other negative thing the public is likely to conjure up in their collective minds. Signs over the years seen by the public are the major cause of the negative attitudes we sometimes run into. So we never want to suggest that signs be put up.

        I’d much prefer some store manager just tell me individually and personally that I’m not welcome in the store while barefoot, than have some sign sending that message to the whole world, barefooter or otherwise.

        • Dan

          But then there’s the whole “barefoot rights” circular argument. You don’t want a sign, you want to be told, but then when you’re told, you don’t just apologize and be done and you want to assert barefoot rights. It’s their property, they can call trespassing. They are open to the public, but they decide the dress codes allowed, the behaviors allowed. Don’t like it? Some already write corporate or threaten lawsuits. Demand to see insurance policies.

          It’s all about them and then it gets enforced more strictly for others who don’t live barefoot for a cause… as has been seen in a recent SBL Facebook Page posting where a library is enforcing no feet on seats, no removing shoes, no going barefoot inside the library as prohibited behavior. It’s spelled out, right there, in their written policies. Non-compliance they can ignore, but if they want to enforce it, it’s not just arbitrary they made it up policy. One better, but worse for barefooters, would be to have that on an entrance sign: No feet on seats, removing shoes, or walking barefoot allowed in library.

          Barefooters are not a protected class, and for every lifestyle or regular-in-summer barefooter that knows what they are doing, there is going to be someone out there who says “cool, I can go in barefoot”, slips, falls, cuts themselves if there was a recent jar breakage… the suit still might get sent to be heard in court even if dismissed.

          • Kriss

            You still don’t seem to understand what’s going on in this country. I’ll try make it simple with a few key points:

            1) The United States is the only country in the world where some businesses post rude signs telling customers how they must dress to be welcome.

            2) These signs originated in the late ’60s and early ’70s as a method of ostracizing and excluding left-leaning unconventionally dressed hippies.

            3) The vast majority of business in the U.S. do not post such signs, nor do they have any official “policy” to exclude customers based on lack of footwear.

            4) Signs and/or policies requiring shoes are almost always based on ignorance (ignorance of the law, ignorance of health codes, ignorance of liability and tort laws, ignorance of human biology, health, medical, etc.).

            5) The majority of signs requiring shoes in a business are not enforced, and the apparent reason for most signs being posted is an unfounded fear of potential negative consequences of bare feet (again, health codes, liability, etc.), with the signs being a way of saying, “We’re not responsible because we ‘warned’ you.”

            6) A business’s fear of a lawsuit due to a barefoot injury is completely unfounded, as contributory negligence liability laws would prevent attorneys from accepting such an unwinnable case; and this is borne out by the almost complete lack of any barefoot injury related lawsuits on record in recent history, as opposed to thousands of cases involving injuries due to shoes and other footwear.

            7) Signs that have continued to proliferate since the hippie era have been the main cause of general negative attitudes against bare feet in the U.S.

            8) The key to dealing with these issues on a rational basis is education and friendly conversation, not threats or demands.

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