We advocate for those who prefer to stay barefoot - even in public.
The Barefoot Alliance is a growing movement of groups, individuals - any of us humans - who keep our feet as nature intended: free of unhealthy, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous footwear. Going barefoot is innate. It is a simple, vital way to stay feeling young, healthy, relaxed and more connected with our surroundings. Footwear should never replace the job of our feet!
no shoes? no problem...
barefoot is safe for most people
- Risks from broken glass, nails and other sharp objects in public places are drastically overstated and essentially nonexistant.
- Your eyes are great at seeing dangers on the ground and avoiding them. Any dangers so small that they can't be seen will not cause major injury.
- Our feet can become well conditioned to go barefoot, but there are some people who should rarely go without shoes due to poor circulation or peripheral neuropathy.
liability & the law favor the feet
- Businesses can shift away liability by warning patrons that they go barefoot at their own risk.
- Laws, health codes, and safety regulations do not restrict people from shopping or dining while barefoot in public.
- Driving barefoot is not restricted by law in any U.S. state1, Canada, the UK and beyond.
bare feet are really healthy
- Going barefoot provides maximum sensation of the ground, allowing for better balance and coordination.
- Free of shoes, feet become more flexible, strong, and have healthier skin and nails.
- Infectious diseases are unlikely to be contracted or spread from person to person through bare feet on dry, cooler ground surfaces found in most public areas (the local gym's shower rooms excluded).
- Bare feet are not inherently gross, almost never smell, or suffer from fungal infections. Shoes act as incubators in making these problems worse.
shoes cause many health problems
- Shoes restrict the feet's flexibility and strength and contribute to nail fungus, athlete's foot, bunions, hammer toes, corns, callouses, blisters, ingrown nails and more.
- Elevated heels on many shoes throw the body's posture out of alignment, which contributes to joint pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips and back.
- The 200,000 nerve endings in the sole of each foot help us sense the world around us but are shut off if confined in shoes.
feet & shoes by the numbers
- Americans consider feet to be the least important part of the body but experience pain in their feet more than any other place on the body.2
- Our feet contain about 1/4 of all the bones in our bodies. Each foot has 33 joints.3
- In 2011, more than 300 million pairs of shoes were estimated to end up in American landfills. Many of those shoes take more than 40 years to decompose completely.4