Yes, I am a confirmed barefooter.
     If you haven't heard the term before, it refers to a person who prefers bare feet to shoes in almost all situations. If you want to know more about this lifestyle, check out
     Why go barefoot? Several reasons, the first and foremost of which (for me, at least) is that it's fun and it feels good. Barefooting opens an entire spectrum of experience totally missed by habitual wearers of shoes, even if they're open sandals or flipflops.
     Another reason: foot health. Feet that are confined in shoes from cradle to grave, as most Americans' feet are, suffer consequences: foot odor, athlete's foot, toenail fungus, bunions, corns, hallux valgus, among others. Virtually all of these problems will be avoided, arrested or improved by ditching the shoes and going barefoot. Barefooting is good for your feet - contrary to what many people think, going barefoot does not cause our arches to collapse, does not inflict us with hookworm or other ills, does not spread germs or disease. The "risks" of broken glass, nails, discarded needles, sharp gravel, whatever, that many people seem to think permeate our society are largely phantoms of the mind.
     Another reason: freedom. America is the Land of the Free, right? Barefooting causes no problems of any kind, violates no laws (again contrary to popular belief, see, affects nobody in any way except us, the barefooters, so we're completely free to do it, right? Wrong-o. Look around, at the signs on doors of (some) stores and public places: No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service. No Bare Feet, by order of Health Department. For Your Protection, Shoes Required. Look at the prevalence of "shoe police:" "Sir, you have to wear shoes to shop here." "I'm sorry, our insurance requires that all customers wear shoes." "It's a health department rule. We could lose our license if we let you in barefoot." "You might step on something, or something could fall on your foot." All rubbish. There are no laws or health department rules prohibiting bare feet in public, or against driving barefoot. There are no insurance regulations against bare feet; insurance companies know that requiring shoes actually increases the insured's liability. And if there are dangerous things to be stepped on or that might fall, then flipflops, high heels, running shoes, most everyday footwear, offer scant protection. High heels can even cause foot and ankle injuries, flipflops can cause slips and falls. Yet nobody prohibits flipflops or high heels.
     When examined in the light of reason and honesty, the reasons for rules against bare feet fall apart. The ugly common denominator, when stripped of bogus "reasons" and flimsy justifications, is we don't serve your kind. How is that consistent with the American ideals of freedom and self-determination?
     Enough of my rant. Notice, please, that many people went barefoot in public in the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s, and the world didn't end. We barefooters are hopeful that that freedom might return. Also notice, please, when you read my novel Marijuana much of which is set in the period from 1972 to 1984, that two of the three main characters, as well as a number of secondary characters, are barefooters. This is true to life as it was then.