Barefoot FAQs

When going barefoot in public, some people have a lot of questions. These are some of the common questions raised by onlookers.

Laws, Etc | Barefoot is Legal | Health Reasons | Work Issues | Shopping Issues

General Questions

Why is there a Barefoot Is Legal web site?
Most people in the Western world believe there are laws regarding driving a car, going into a store, or eating in public barefoot. There is a social stigma with being seen without shoes on. We at the Barefoot Is Legal (BIL) hope to change that.

What is the goal and Mission statement?
The Barefoot Is Legal group is about making the barefoot lifestyle more mainstream. This will be done by sharing with the public that going barefoot while driving, going into a store, or eating in public is not a crime. The group will also share with businesses that allowing their office employees to wear open shoes and even going barefoot within their working area is healthy. Businesses will even be able to save a little bit on health care costs by not mandating closed shoes with heels. Stores and businesses are losing money based on sending people away over footwear. We want to educate people that being healthy should be accepted and embraced.

How is the BIL be set up?
The BIL is set up as a Private Club, similar to an Elks Lodge or other memberships.

How can I Join?
Check out information on becoming a VIB (Very Important Barefooter).

Laws, Etc

Everyone else says driving a car barefoot is against the law. Is this true?
Exactly ZERO USA states have laws regarding driving a car barefoot. Only ONE State (Alabama) has a law regarding motorcycling barefoot. See this news story on the question.

Dancing in the parkIsn’t going barefoot in public against the law?
Going barefoot in public usually is not against any laws. However, this has come up as a topic in several areas. This is why there is a need for the BIL.

Aren’t there “Health Codes?”
Once again, exactly ZERO USA States have “health codes” regarding customers. A Health Dept does not regulate clothing of patrons. Even in cases of employees, there are usually no “health codes” requiring shoes. In some cases and job titles, shoes MAY be required – and once again most will not even dictate WHAT kind of shoes are required.

What about Insurance companies?
There are no “insurance codes” with going barefoot. Insurance policies are not raised or lowered due to shoe requirements.

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Barefoot Is Legal

What will Barefoot Is Legal do?
Barefoot Is Legal is setup to handle more activism and create a professional forum to obtain our personal barefoot freedoms.

Do we NEED Activism?
Most people in America believe there are laws in relation to going barefoot. The general public believes it is against the law to drive a car barefoot, walk into a store, or even eat food while barefoot. Many even believe it is against the law to take their toes out of their flip flops while sitting in a restaurant! There are also rumors about how going barefoot creates various diseases. This is why most of the public wears flip flops. The average person WANTS the freedom to choose to go barefoot, but is under the impression it is illegal. Even in businesses, hundreds or thousands of people are sent home from work because they are told wearing flip flops, backless shoes, or any open shoe is against “insurance codes” or “health codes”. The fact is there are no special laws in relation to shoes (or lack thereof) in an average business. Unfortunately, people are accepting these non-laws! We need to reach out to them.

What will my donations go to?
Donations will go toward creating & distributing literature to share barefoot acceptance. BIL also utilizes an 800# for public use. There will be several employees to start working on research and making/taking calls. Also, the BIL will use money to help members set up at various Health Fairs to pass out literature. The goal is to eventually pay for advertising. All of this is very costly, but will be effective in barefooters obtaining rights.

Do you REALLY need money?
Yes, money is needed to help fund operations. Unfortunately, to protect and promote freedoms, there will be a small charge. The cost will never be so prohibitive as to “get rich”. However, a reasonable person would understand that to generate acceptance “we have to put our money where our mouth is”.

I cannot afford to pay $2.95/month. Is this MANDATORY?
While we would everyone to chip in a small token amount to afford our goals, it is 100% VOLUNTARY to give out the 800 number and use our online information. To be an official BIL member it will be required to pay in for a membership.

What will our emailing do for us?
Having a BIL Member email and follow-up on issues ups the professionalism for our cause. Most businesses will be in total shock that we as barefooters even HAVE an organizations. Also, having a email with an 800 number will help cut through gatekeepers and red tape. Using an email such as will in most cases not show as seriousness as a professional organization will.

Why is there an 800 number?
When writing letters to businesses, having an 800 number and a web domain, along with an email from the domain name, shows that the group is a legitimate and professional group. When a members gives out a business card, our toll free number will be on the card. The domain name will show that we are aware there are no laws about going barefoot in public. Businesses will want to discuss with us with both incoming and outgoing calls. Plus, a prospective barefooter may want to call in with questions.

Health reasons

Isn’t it unhealthy to go barefoot?
Perhaps it would be unhealthy to enter a construction site or contaminated water. However, in most living situations it is either healthy or at least just the same as wearing shoes.

Walking on rocksAre there benefits to not wearing shoes?
Yes. Many doctors and medical staff are learning that various medical issues are CAUSED by shoes. Not wearing shoes can have health benefits.

What is grounding?
Medical experts believe that walking barefoot in grass or dirt 20-30 minutes daily can have outstanding benefits. It is important to walk barefoot, as the rubber from shoes disconnects your body from the Earth. It is believed that this is the BEST (and FREE) method to obtaining Vitamin D. In the USA, most people work inside during the day, and thus our bodies are Vitamin D deficient.

See our collection of outside articles that agree with us!

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Work Issues

Isn’t it unsafe to wear backless or open toe shoes at an office?
Perhaps if doing something that OSHA considers unsafe, such as maybe construction or working with hazardous objects. But in an average job there are none of these encounters.

My office says it is against “Health Codes”. Is this true?
Health departments only focus on food-related items. Health Inspectors do not govern call centers, offices, non-food services, etc.

Won’t someone step on a staple or drop something on their foot when they do not have shoes on?
More trouble happens with backs, fingers, and heads. Lifting incorrectly, jamming a finger in a door or printer, and getting a concussion are far more common. Yet, businesses are not requiring back braces, steel gloves, or helmets.

Can I be “professional” if people can see my feet?
Absolutely! Professionalism is a mindset. Giving 110% to keep a client happy and thinking “outside the box” is what keeps companies in business. Most Americans own some form of sandals. Wearing an open toe or a backless shoe in a work setting does not have the same stigma as generations ago.

Do other businesses allow open shoes and/or bare feet?
Yes! It is common now for most offices to allow more open footwear. While some companies can waste time and heavily scrutinize the type of shoes (how many toes can show, styles, heel height, etc), most HR departments will opt for “professionalism” and allow anything that can be considered dressy, meaning no rubber flip flops.

As for going barefoot, an average working female generally will at least remove shoes sometimes. The “office etiquette” rule tends to be that shoes can be off at your desk, and you have a small circle of radius where no one is yelled at – like your neighbor’s cubicle. There are jobs that do not mind, and will look the other way when someone does it. Some jobs even have “must wear socks or pantyhose if your shoes are off”. However, most people still believe there are laws against it.

Students in classWhat about Toms’ One Day Without Shoes?
Toms shoe company did start a project called One Day Without Shoes. This was made so everyone can spend one day barefoot, to learn how Third World countries live without shoes. Businesses like AOL, Zappos, AT&T, banks, schools, and others participate in this yearly and allow everyone to go barefoot for the day.

Shopping Issues

What if I get kicked out of a store?
Put a positive spin on this if possible. For every store that evicts someone, five more will have no problem taking money. Most people evict barefoot patrons because they think there are laws. This is a good time to have your health department letter ready, have a BIL business card in hand, and share politely that you are not breaking any laws. Sometimes a manager does not want to listen, There is no magic elixir for being allowed everywhere. Professionalism helps.

What if there is food?
There is no difference as a customer if you are buying food, greeting cards, a soda, newspaper, or a cell phone. There are no special laws regarding going barefoot.

Isn’t there glass all over the place?
Actually, glass would not be “all over the place”. When someone tries to evict patrons, usually they are not even serving anything with glass. If a pizza place attempts to kick out someone for lack of shoes and using glass as an excuse, simply ask “What glass are you using in your PIZZA?”

Will a store respond if I write a letter?
It depends. Some companies pride themselves in customer service. Others will act as if your lack of shoes does not need any explanations to you. However, having a professional looking email address will have a better chance of getting read.

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