"I'd go barefoot all the time if I could."

We hear that sentiment ALL the time! Really. You CAN go barefoot much more often -- even in public! This site has tons of resources to help society become more "barefoot friendly," but you must begin with your own two feet.

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Barefoot Woman song to the tune of Man in Black

Here at The Barefoot Alliance, becoming your first woman president wasn't so hard. Mainly it involved letting my friend Matthew know that I was interested in taking on that role after he stepped down. With that done, I spent the first week of November reflecting on various possible goals for The Barefoot Alliance and thinking about where and how to get started with any of these ideas.

Then the 2016 US presidential election happened, and since then, so many things have been about that one way or another. Even not mentioning it at all can be its own kind of statement.

While I was taking in responses to the election as well as getting used to switching back and forth between Barefoot Alliance social media and my personal accounts, I noticed the incredibly wide variety of t-shirt, hat, pantsuit, and profile picture options available for anyone wanting to express an opinion or emotion in this way. Safety pins were cool and then not so cool before I'd had a moment to consider locating one among the junk in my house.

Under these circumstances, a song I hadn't heard in a very long time started playing in my head - "Man in Black" by the immortal man in black himself, Johnny Cash. I love the tone he struck in that song. He's not saying that everyone should always wear black, or that colors are terrible, or that wearing black will fix things. He's just answering the questions about his outfit. 

It's my understanding that Johnny Cash first started wearing black mainly because it was convenient and always looked good. But as most longtime barefooters can tell you, when you have a signature look that people ask you about every day, everywhere you go, eventually you can't really separate your fashion choice from your values.

Some barefooters connect their choice to go barefoot with environmental concerns, some with constitutional rights, and some with a general attitude of questioning everything. Then there's the ironic practice of going barefoot to support charities that give shoes to people in need. 

Bare feet are comfortable and healthy, and no more of an explanation than that should really be necessary, but at the same time, bare feet are symbolically powerful, and it makes a lot of sense to be barefoot for something. 

So I wrote my own lyrics to "Man in Black" to share some of my own more personal reasons for living barefoot.  If anyone wants to sing this, send a video. I would love that!

Barefoot Woman

Well, you wonder why my feet are always bare,
Why I am completely lacking in footwear,
And why am I so unconcerned with social norms or cold. 
Well there's a reason why I choose to be so bold. 

I'm barefoot cause that's how we all were born
Before we learned to see ourselves with  scorn.
If we knew the true value of our bodies and our minds 
I wonder just how much we wouldn't buy.

I'm barefoot for the child I used to be 
Who thought that kids should vote in this free country.
And now when I see children living lives they choose
So many of them are not wearing shoes.

Well I guess in my own city, we're okay
Technology has brought a better way,
But just so we're reminded that around the world we're human
Up front there oughta be a barefoot woman.

I'm barefoot for each person near and far
Who does no harm by being who they are.
And yet the way they're perfect is a way some people fear
and they've heard the words "you're not welcome here."

I am barefoot for black people who have died
I am barefoot for the tears their loved ones cried.
In my white skin and fleece jacket, I walk around secure
I walk barefoot for those who can't be sure.

I'm barefoot for the change I'd like to see
Though at times I'm not so sure what that should be,
But I'm raising my awareness of the ground I stand upon
As a starting point, that surely can't be wrong.

Well, I love to say my feet are free for fun,
So my toes can feel the air and mud and sun,
But I don't forget the reasons I can't separate from pain,
Even as I'm dancing barefoot in the rain. 



Your New Barefoot Alliance President

Friends and followers,

It is my pleasure to announce to you that the Barefoot Alliance has a new president, as of November 1st.

Susan Milton, a friend and long time barefooter who is also from the Seattle area, has offered to take on the role of President of the Barefoot Alliance, effective immediately. Susan has been living a barefoot lifestyle for the past seven years, and she's excited to be in this position, to be able to offer encouragment and support for bothfull and part-time barefooters! Susan will be posting soon to talk about her plans for the Barefoot Alliance in the coming weeks, but I just wanted to update you all with this fabulous news.

As for myself, I will remain involved with the Barefoot Alliance in whatever cpacity that I'm able, and I will provide my assistance to Susan as needed to make this transition a smooth one, and to continue to support the Barefoot Alliance.

Please join me in welcoming Susan as the new President of the Barefoot Alliance, and in wishing her the best of luck in her new role. Thank you,

Barefoot Matthew Medina


Barefoot Alliance News (Important!)

Dear Friends,

It is with sadness that I must announce that as of November 1st, 2016 I will be stepping down as President of the Barefoot Alliance. Due to the increasing demands upon me in my life outside of being a barefooter (family in hospital, work becoming more intense), I think anyone can see that I have had no time to devote to the Barefoot Alliance and our goals. The organization has suffered due to my lack of involvement, and there really hasn't been anyone else that I know and would trust well enough to step up and help keep the ship running.

In that same time, I've also become less and less involved in social media, because I found myself just spiraling down into negative habits and losing touch with the important things in my life like spending time with my wife and son. I've since abandoned my Facebook account and am only occasionally active on Twitter. This has left the Barefoot Alliance in a bind, because as a result of my need to create healthy separation between myself and social media, the organization has remained inactive for most of this year.

Having said all of this, what does this mean for the future of the Barefoot Alliance? Truthfully, I don't know. I still firmly believe that an organization for barefooters, to speak on their behalf and to educate non-barefooters about our preference, is important. But at the same time, with no one at the helm who posesses a strong vision and the ability to work hard to build the organization, it seems pointless to continue the Barefoot Alliance in its current iteration.

What can be done? Well, between now and when I step down on November 1st, if you have an interest in saving the Barefoot Alliance and believe that you have the drive, enthusiasm and vision I think it would take to run the organization, please email me at barefootalliance@gmail.com and submit your proposal and a resume that demonstrates you have the leadership qualities that would be required. I plan to interview any potential successors to be sure that they are the right fit. If no one steps up, or if no one meets the standards that I believe would be needed to continue the Barefoot Alliance, then it's very likely that the organization would be dissolved. There are many other resources out there that mirror some of the things that we attempted to do, and between them, I think that the barefooting community will continue to survive, but I also think we have/had the opportunity to bring something unique to the table that I hope will not be lost, even if we have to close the doors.

Once again, I'm sorry to have to relate this news to you all, but it's been weighing on my mind for some time, and I have put off making this announcement for too long already. If anything develops in the next few weeks, I'll update the blog here with that information. Thank you all for your support over the years. It's meant the world to those of us who have managed or helped to organize the Barefoot Alliance.