"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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laws & regulations & bare feet

You are legally allowed to go barefoot in public places and when driving.

It gets passed around so much that it's assumed to be true: Going barefoot inside a public building is illegal. Driving without shoes on is against the law. Both are myths, except for a few specific exceptions.

No federal or state laws in the United States prohibit you from going barefoot while shopping at the grocery store or the mall, or while eating out at your favorite restaurant. Those venues may have their own rules, but they are free to change these rules at any time.

Only a few specific public areas -- including a few boardwalks located in east coast US beach towns, food establishments in a handful of east coast US beach towns, and a small number of government buildings -- have regulations requiring footwear by law. It's possible that people who have lived, worked, or vacationed in these rare locations have played a part in spreading the misconception that footwear laws are common. The actual laws can be found online with a little googling, so if you look up the laws in your area, and find no mention of bare feet being illegal, then you are in one the vast majority of places where no footwear laws exist. 

Contrary to popular belief, it is also perfectly legal to drive barefoot in all states of the U.S., all Canadian provinces, the United Kingdom and many other territories and countries. The only state in the U.S. that requires shoes while driving is Alabama -- and that's only for motorcycle riders.

related: facts about health codes & bare feet