Group Rallying To Support Right To Go Barefoot

A Facebook group is pushing for acceptance of going barefoot in public, and they’ve got some big numbers in their group.

By nowproducerdave on April 9, 2018
(Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Going barefoot in public. Sure, going to the beach or a public pool is totally ok. It’s even fine at theme parks when you go on a roller coaster or another ride where you might lose your shoes. But if you’re going to the mall, Target, or a grocery store, people generally want you to wear shoes. This Facebook group is trying to change that stigma.

Some people like to wear shoes when they go out somewhere, or even around their own home. Some people like to go barefoot, and are annoyed by the fact that it’s considered a social faux pas. “It’s something the homeless do,” or “that only happens in the backwoods of America” people say (or so I’ve heard people say, anyway). This Facebook group, called “Barefoot is Legal” is trying to change the way people view going barefoot, and are also pointing out that it’s totally legal. The group points out that there are no specific laws that ban being barefoot in public in the United States, and that many businesses think there are laws. However, a business’ “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” sign is legal because, according to Public Law 88-352 (the anti-discrimination in businesses law), it’s not discrimination based on “skin color, race, religion, sex, nationality, or any physical conditions.” “Advocacy for barefoot acceptance,” they’re saying. Their primary agenda is to “promote “barefooting” in all public domains,” which includes grocery stores, the workplace, doctor’s offices – everywhere.

The group talks about how in some cases shoes can be bad for you feet, medically. They also make the comparison that some shoes are “barely there” anyway and show everything – toes, heels, etc, and that’s “acceptable,” but going barefoot is viewed as negative. The founder of the group created it after being kicked out of an ice cream shop back in 2015, and today there are over 60,000 members. The argument for the hygiene side of things – “As far as a health risk it’s a matter of logic… Bare feet are only touching the floor and not being used to spoon potatoes on our plate at a restaurant. We do not use our feet at the grocery store to pick out an apple,” says Nick Deutschmann, one of the directors of the group. A podiatrist says that yes, there can be some health benefits to going barefoot, but there is a greater risk of infection if you were to cut your foot on something. Also, would you want to walk into a public restroom? Neither would I.

Check out some more info on the Facebook group and the arguments for both sides of the shoe here. The Facebook group can be found here, and the group also has a website here.

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