Most children in the United States have grown up to believe that not having shoes on past the confines of the front door is illegal. Parents, teachers, and everyone else always yells at the kids to “have your shoes on at all times.”

Barefoot Shopping, easier than you think
Barefoot Shopping, easier than you think

Most people reading this article will still believe it is illegal to drive a car, go into a store, or eat in public barefoot. People by nature WANT to go barefoot but have been conditioned to need shoes at all times. Because of this, people buy the absolute cheapest, barest sandals possible.

With groups like Barefoot Is Legal and others becoming popular, the word is out that flip flops are no longer needed to make it into a grocery store, bank, or other common needs.

People WANT their freedom. However, because of the upbringing of being told it is illegal, it is hard for many to lose the comfort of a thin piece of rubber held on by a rubber band under their foot. People are naturally afraid of confrontation.

Here are some tips to help you gain confidence:

  • LOSE THE SNEAKERS & SOCKS. Make it a point to only wear shoes that are both open toe and backless. Get used to not being confined in closed shoes.
  • SITTING SOMEPLACE? KICK OFF THE FLIP FLOPS. This will be the beginning of getting used to sitting someplace barefoot. When sitting at your work desk, in a restaurant, a library, or wherever you are, simply kick your feet out of the sandals. Get used to the barefoot feeling in public. VERY rarely someone will say anything, as you have shoes with you. This feeling will be the gateway to actually GOING without shoes.
  • DRIVE BAREFOOT. Most people think it is illegal to drive barefoot. Exactly ZERO such laws exist in ANY US State or Canadian province. It is safer to drive barefoot than with heels, platforms, clogs, flip flops, or an slippery shoe. Most will notice it to be an easier drive when converting to a barefoot driver.
  • MAKE YOUR FIRST BAREFOOT JAUNT AN EASY ONE. A gas station, a to-go pizza place, or ice cream shops are very friendly to barefoot people. Most of the time you are simply in & out in no time. Park right in front, take 7 steps in, pick up your order, and take 9 steps outside. It is MUCH safer to drive barefoot than with flip flops, so there is no need to bring footwear. Fast food places and sandwich shops would also not be too hard with new barefoot people.
  • SELF CONSCIOUS? TRY A NEW STORE. If you are really THAT worried about someone saying something in your favorite store, try a different grocery store. Even try the next store on the other side of town. If someone argues with you – it is okay because you do not spend your money in that store anyway. When you are successfully shopping barefoot there, congratulations you found a new store to shop in!
  • SOMEONE WILL EVENTUALLY SAY SOMETHING. It is ok if someone says something. This is a teachable moment. Most of the low-level employees think it is illegal. You can show documentation on the Barefoot Is Legal website ( ) that it IS in fact legal. People only say something because they also grew up believing it is illegal.

Unfortunately, one of the Shoe Police WILL eventually say something and take your grocery cart away. This is an opportunity to stand strong, find another grocery store to shop in, and make an email complaint on the Barefoot is Legal website. Keep your receipt. We will use it to make Corporate America know there are no laws, and you will find another place to spend your money should the store not want to allow your freedom.

Remember: A business needs customers a LOT more than a customer NEEDS a place to spend money.


3 thoughts on “Tips for First Time Barefooting

  1. Hello from Austria. It is sad to hear that in the USA being barefoot seems to be something of a guerilla operation … over here I only put on shoes when I don’t want to draw attention to my feet during business meetings and even then it’s voluntary. I hope you will get to this degree of liberty over there eventually! Just have some courage.

    1. No one has said “go be a jerk to the low level employees at a store over shoes”. Yes, some stores can refuse someone service for not wearing shoes. Is it worth risking a loss in repeat business because your jimmies got rustled over someone not wearing shoes? Personally, I think any smart low level employee would just pretend they didn’t notice. Let the managers or owners deal with it. Frankly, it’s above their pay grade to care anyways. The days of “the customer is always right” are clearly over in your eyes. It’s OK though, my choice to go buy a pack of cigarettes without shoes is my choice and you needn’t fret over what I am doing, let alone what other people decide to do with their shoes (or lack thereof).

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