||This article possibly contains original research. (May 2015)|
Barefoot is the most common term for the state of not wearing any footwear.
It is common in most cultures to go barefoot indoors. However, it is less common outdoors in many developed countries.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Historical and religious aspects
- 3 Barefoot by country
- 4 Imprisonment and slavery
- 5 Corporal punishment
- 6 Arts and entertainment
- 7 Health implications
- 8 Laws
- 9 Sports and recreation
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Wearing footwear is an exclusively human characteristic. It has been normal in cold climates since early antiquity, and has since become a convention in most cultures. This is particularly the case in most urban situations, where going barefoot is unusual. While footwear is generally worn for functional, fashion, and societal reasons, many people do not wear shoes at home.
In Europe in the Middle Ages, it was disreputable to go barefoot in public. For women, going barefoot was considered sexually suggestive. This valuation essentially derives from the fact that it has often been imposed upon defined individuals to go barefoot as a visible mark of a subordinate legal or social status throughout most parts of human history. Usually in settings of significant imbalance in power, specifically categorized people were intentionally subjected to this detail by authorities. In this context, bare feet mainly served as a distinguishing mark for the loss or absence of personal freedom due to imprisonment or other forms of judicial captivity and in particular designs of a social order also as a byproduct of slavery. The difference in status was accentuated by setting up a striking visual contrast to the traditional civic appearance. As bare feet delivered the most apparent difference in outward appearance to any other passable form of modification in clothing, this simple attribute has been used in most cultures rather congruently. In some cultures a barefooted semblance also served as an identifier of a servile or menial status in a similar assessment of this attribute. From this generally accepted classification shoes have become a traditional manifestation of freedom and authority in most civilizations while captivity and subjection are often linked with the imagery of bare feet.
The mentioned effects of general perception and special attentiveness elicited by shoeless feet are still used within penal institutions in many countries of today where prisoners are constrained to go barefoot by regulation (see below). Besides the practical objectives of visually tagging individuals as prison inmates and weakening acts of resistance as well as impeding escape from custody this situation naturally causes a certain extent of humbling for the detained person, as in respective cases the state of being barefoot is involuntary, mostly reluctant and often perceived as stigmatizing. By implication, the person is forced to remain barefoot in an environment where they would normally wear footwear for practical or societal reasons—creating a contrasting visual appearance. The purposefully withheld foot protection often causes a certain level of persistent discomfort within regular confinement surroundings due to unpleasing ground temperatures or textures and usually sets up a variety of obstacles in everyday situations. The striving to avoid painful collisions and impacts onto the unprotected feet forces the individual into a considerably more cautious mode of movement and general action, typically also unfolding an effect on situations of personal interaction. Hereby the prisoner's actions are restrained by nature, also complementing the restrictive effect of additional physical restraints such as ankle shackles. For a person subjected to a barefoot constraint within a confinement setting it is generally impossible to obtain items of footwear altogether, also it is usually not possible to make some sort of foot protection by hand either. This curtailment distinctly sets the prisoner apart from any free person even in ancient times, that could at the very least resort on making some kind of usable footwear by hand as an option to circumvent unwanted barefootedness. As a resulting side-effect the mentioned circumstances of enforced barefootedness deviate from normality in freedom to an extent, that they often elicit near constant awareness of the prevailing captivity situation. Hereby the virtually permanent sensory input through the tactile sensitive soles complements this effect as a steady reminder. In the context of imprisonment the imagery of bare feet is typically also used to showcase the prisoner's status within the respective hierarchy structure.
Many stores, restaurants and other public venues in the United States employ dress codes prohibiting bare feet. While private business owners are free to set their own policies, many cite different health regulations, though these typically are occupational safety requirements that pertain to employees only. Contrary to occasional belief it is not formally prohibited to operate a motor vehicle barefoot, as long as the apparatus can be operated with adequate safety not putting other people in danger.
There are health benefits and risks associated with going barefoot. Footwear provides protection from cuts, abrasions, bruises and impacts from objects on the ground or the ground texture itself, as well as from frostbite and parasites like hookworm in extreme situations. However, shoes can limit the flexibility and mobility of the foot and can lead to higher incidences of flexible flat foot, bunions, hammer toe and Morton's neuroma. Walking barefoot results in a more natural gait, allowing for a more rocking motion of the foot, eliminating the hard heel strike hereby generating less collision force in the foot and lower leg.
There are many sports that are performed barefoot, most notably gymnastics and martial arts, but also beach volleyball, barefoot running and water skiing. In modern language, someone who tends not to wear shoes in public or is participating in the afore mentioned sports may be described as a barefooter.
Historical and religious aspects
People in ancient times, such as the Egyptians, Hindus and Greeks often went barefoot, as the inhabited terrain mostly mandated no practical necessity for footwear. The Egyptians and Hindus made some use of ornamental footwear, such as a soleless sandal known as a Cleopatra, which did not provide any practical protection for the foot. Athletes in the Ancient Olympic Games participated barefoot and generally unclothed. Even the gods and heroes were primarily depicted barefoot, the hoplite warriors fought battles in bare feet, and Alexander the Great operated barefoot armies.
The Romans, who eventually conquered the Greeks and adopted many aspects of their culture, did not adopt the Greek perception of footwear and clothing. Roman clothing explicitly including footwear was seen as a sign of power and as a necessity of living in a civilized world, accordingly slaves usually were to remain barefoot. There are many references to shoes being worn in the Bible. During weddings of this period, a father would give his son-in-law a pair of shoes to symbolize the transfer of authority.
During the Middle Ages, both men and women wore pattens in Europe, commonly seen as the predecessor of the modern high-heeled shoe, while menial classes occasionally had to remain barefoot. In the 15th century, chopines were created in Turkey and were usually 7-8 inches (17.7-20.3 cm) high. These shoes became popular in Venice and throughout Europe as a status symbol revealing wealth and social standing. During the 16th century, royalty started wearing high-heeled shoes to make them look taller or larger than life, such as Catherine de Medici or Mary I of England. By 1580, even men wore them, and a person with authority or wealth was often referred to as "well-heeled".
The phrase Barefoot and pregnant is now used to illustrate a woman's traditional role as a homemaker and thus her lack of opportunities to socialize or to have a career outside of the home. It was first used in the early 20th century, possibly by Dr. Arthur E. Hertzler (also known as the "Kansas Horse-and-Buggy Doctor"), promoting a hypothesis that:
|“||The only way to keep a woman happy is to keep her barefoot and pregnant.||”|
Bare feet have come to symbolize innocence or childhood in a glorifying perception of freedom from real-life requirements. The connection to childhood and innocence, as well as the simple joys of country life, are embodied in the poem "The Barefoot Boy" by John Greenleaf Whittier, published in 1855. Additionally, the book Dancing Barefoot by Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Wil Wheaton features five short stories that chronicle his journey from childhood and youth through to maturity and self-acceptance.
In many religions, bare feet are often seen as a sign of humility and subordination under a higher power, and some religious practitioners may have taken a vow of poverty. With regard to the use of footwear as the habitual state the art of many cultures throughout the world shows a person without shoes symbolizing poverty, servitude or captivity. In Thailand, Master Jinshen, a Buddhist monk, walks 20 kilometers (12 mi) per day barefoot as a reminder to others who pursue a material life to protect and be concerned for Mother Nature. He states that he does this to follow Buddhist rules, to lead the people to the path of virtue, and to develop his Buddhist spirit. It is customary in Judaism and some Christian denominations to go barefoot while mourning. Some Christian churches practice barefoot pilgrimage traditions, such as the ascent of Croagh Patrick in Ireland at night while barefoot (although the nighttime part is no longer encouraged).
In many religions, it is common to remove shoes when entering a place considered holy. For example, in the Book of Exodus, Moses was instructed to remove his shoes before approaching the burning bush:
|“||Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy ground (Exodus 3:5).||”|
Foot washing, or ceremonial washing of others' feet, is associated with humility in Christianity, and Jesus Christ is recorded in the New Testament as washing the feet of his disciples to serve them during the Last Supper. Christians who practice foot washing today do so to bring them closer to Jesus and to fill them with a sense of humility and service. Roman Catholics show their respect and humility for the Pope by kissing his feet. In a similar manner, Hindus show love and respect to a guru by touching his bare feet (called pranam). It is customary to show one's respect by walking barefoot around Raj Ghat, the monument to Mahatma Gandhi. Both United States President George W. Bush and Pope John Paul II paid him this honor. During the Imperial Japanese period, removing one's shoes in the presence of a person of higher status was a sign of showing one's own humility, subordination and respect towards their status.
Christian congregations of men and women that go entirely barefoot or wear sandals include the Discalced, like the Discalced Carmelites (1568), the Feuillants (Cistercians, 1575), the Trinitarians (1594), the Mercedarians (1604), and the Passionists.
In some parts of the United States, where taboos against barefoot walking are strong, it is common for people to wear the same shoes indoors and outdoors, and for guests to keep their shoes on when visiting other people's houses.
In many branches of Romani culture across the world, it is traditional for women to dance barefoot.
Firewalking is the practice of walking barefoot over hot coals. It has been practiced by many people and cultures in all parts of the world, with the earliest known reference dating back to Iron Age India – c. 1200 BC. It is often used as a rite of passage, as a test of an individual's strength and courage, or, in religion, as a test of one's faith. Today, it is often used in corporate and team-building seminars and self-help workshops as a confidence-building exercise. Firewalking implies the belief that the feat requires the aid of a supernatural force, strong faith, or on an individual's ability to focus on "mind over matter". Modern physics has largely debunked this, showing that the amount of time the foot is in contact with the ground is not enough to induce a burn, combined with the fact that coal is not a very good conductor of heat.
Barefoot by country
||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (June 2015)|
It is common for Australians, particularly young people, to be barefoot in public places, especially during summer. McDonald's launched a summer advertisement in 2012 featuring a customer running barefoot through the hot carpark to the restaurant.
In 2010, an American lecturer missed out on a job after criticising barefoot locals in a newspaper. The lecturer wrote barefoot locals were 'not only backward and uncivilised, but dangerously unhygienic and repulsive to North Americans' in response to an article mocking a no shoes, no service policy in Texas. In 2012, a travel writer for The New York Times wrote the number of New Zealanders barefoot in public, including shops was 'striking'. Many expats in New Zealand have ben surprised how many people, of all races and classes, carry on daily business barefoot In 2014, Air New Zealand was subject of critical attention after allegedly forcing a customer to wear shoes
Being barefoot in public is more common during warmer months, and in areas such as Brighton and Bournemouth. The National Health Service has recommended that people 'go barefoot or wear open-toed sandals whenever you can in the hot weather...to help stop your feet getting sweaty and smelly'
Imprisonment and slavery
Confiscating an arrestee's footwear and have the unfree person remain barefoot has served as the first conventional method to tag and identify the respective individual as a prisoner in most civilisations and hereby marked an early appearance of distinguishable prison uniforming. The distinctive particularity of exposed bare feet is hereby used to establish an evident visual contrast to the conventional civic appearance comprising footwear as a standard sociocultural feature.
Besides the indicatory aspect an individual having to remain barefoot is also restricted in the freedom of action when there is no available option to revert to footwear in adverse situations. Therefore a barefoot prisoner is practically disadvantaged opposite a shod person like an overseer or police officer in numerous respects.
One of the most significant implications lies in the barefoot prisoner experiencing crucial disadvantages in a physical confrontation opposing shod individuals (for example prison guards or historical jailers) involving contact violence. Notably kicking acts of an individual using his or her bare feet provoke lesser grave impacts on the receiving person compared to the use of footwear (therefore shoes are considered deadly weapons in today's penal law). Even more the person kicking in bare feet assumes the risk of painfully hurting him- or herself in doing so. Exposed bare feet further afford an effective target for external forceful impacts by any opponent while in struggle. These effects are usually desired by penal institutions with the intent to reduce the risk of personal injury for the custodial personnel and facilitate the endeavor to subdue an insurging prisoner.
Another main objective is frustrating and impeding a prisoner's potential attempts to escape from custody. By withholding the usual protection against external impacts on the relatively sensitive and susceptible feet, notably the soles and toes, the unshod individual is considerably impeded in locomotion when exposed to the common adversities of natural and also urban environments. The imponderabilities of most urban or rural terrain surfaces therefore generally slow down the moving pace of a barefoot fugitive, so the person is easier to retrieve if an escape should be attempted. However an integral implication lies in the prisoner being aware of these adverse circumstances as they are constantly palpable, and hereby being discouraged from contriving an escape attempt altogether.
Additionally a barefoot person typically experiences a certain amount of discomfort in common daily life situations, mainly due to inconvenient ground temperature or textures and accidental impacts. The desire to avoid these palpable inconveniences prompted the main motivation for man to continually revert to footwear ever since remote antiquity and incidentally established the traditional visual appearance implicating shoes. An imposed exclusion from the habitual relief and visual identity of footwear, afore and usually taken for granted, is hereby likely to induce sentiments of humiliation and intimidation as well as a persistent cognition of heightened vulnerability on an involuntarily barefoot prisoner. The direct presence of regularly vested individuals such as prison staff or spectators usually accentuates this effect.
As the mentioned effects are achieved practically effortless and without any actual expenses by simply seizing and withholding any footwear from the captive, the method of detaining prisoners in their bare feet was common in most civilisations at various times and is still used in several countries today. It was also customary for visually marking slaves in former times while imposing the noted physical disadvantages on the individuals.
Since ancient times, it is a common practice in civil societies to wear footwear as a standard feature. In contrast to this convention, slave codes often decreed that slaves go barefoot. For example, the Cape Town slave code stated that "Slaves must go barefoot and must carry passes." This was the case in the majority of states that abolished slavery later in history, as most images from the respective historical period suggest that slaves were barefoot. To quote Brother Riemer (1779): "[the slaves] are, even in their most beautiful suit, obliged to go barefoot. Slaves were forbidden to wear shoes. This was a prime mark of distinction between the free and the bonded and no exceptions were permitted." 
As shoes have been considered badges of freedom since biblical times "But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put [it] on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on [his] feet (Luke 15:22)" this aspect has been an informal law wherever slavery existed. A barefoot person could therefore be clearly identified as a slave upon first sight. Being seen barefoot was hereby socially proscribed for free citizens and avoided. In many US-states this perception continues to have an effect to this day as everyday shoes are customarily also worn in private surroundings and going barefoot is effectively placed under taboo (see above).
Prison inmates are detained in bare feet as standard procedure in the penal institutions of several countries.
This is current practice in China, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Uganda, Iran, Pakistan, India, Congo, Malawi, Ruanda, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), and North Korea among others.
In Germany it was common practice during the Nazi-era to uniformly detain female prisoners in their bare feet. Inside women's penitentiaries in socialistic East Germany (German Democratic Republic) especially political prisoners were often kept barefoot.
The tagging of prisoners through bare feet has also been practiced on female detainees in the United States. It was a common practice for penal institutions especially in Texas until the early 20th century to exclude imprisoned women from being provided with footwear and keeping them constantly barefoot. Opposed to this practice appropriate shoes were continuously issued to male prisoners. Hereby the gender-specific hierarchy among the detainees as well as the notion of the criminal courts, who regarded prisoners as official slaves of the state was visually signified. In this an analogy to the social state of former slaves was established, who were regularly forced to remain barefoot as well (see above). For the incarcerated women this determined an especially severe form of social degradation. The women's exposed bare feet hereby were an example for the discrimination against female inmates, who unlike male detainees could not claim legal remedies at that time.
This practice is still officially employed in several middle eastern nations where the term "falaka" is customary. In history it was practiced in many countries, most notably in German territories, where it was commonly made use of until the end of the Nazi-era especially within the reformatory and detention system, in certain facilities it was still in use during the 1950s.
Arts and entertainment
Many singers and dancers perform on stage barefoot. The classical dance of Cambodia had its roots in the holy dances of the legendary seductresses (apsaras) of ancient Cambodia and attained its high point during the Angkor period in its interpretations of the Indian epics, especially the Ramayana. Cambodian dancers were well-born women of the king's harem and danced barefoot, with the feet turned outwards and the legs slightly bent at the knee to cushion the movements of the upper body. The unimpeded movement of the foot was essential to the art. When the land was invaded by the Thai, the dancers were taken to the Thai court, where their art was adapted and continued to flourish.
The barefoot dance movement of the early 20th century challenged the received laws of classical dance and the broader laws of social decorum. For decades, the bare foot had been perceived as obscene, and no matter how determined barefoot dancers were to validate their art with reference to spiritual, artistic, historic, and organic concepts, barefoot dancing was inextricably linked in the public mind with indecency and sexual taboo. In 1908, Maud Allan shocked and fascinated London theatre-goers with her barefoot dance of desire in Salome, and scandalous tributes positioned her as the embodiment of lust. For many, barefoot dancing represented not only the freedom and horror of modern sexuality but the progress and decline of high culture.
Californian Isadora Duncan revolutionized dance in the Western world by jettisoning the tutu and the pointe shoe of classical ballet and scandalized audiences by performing works of her own choreography in flowing draperies and bare feet. She anticipated the modern women's liberation movement by urging women to rid themselves of corsets and matrimony. Duncan divorced the bare foot from perceptions of obscenity and made a conscious effort to link barefoot dancing to ideals such as "nudity, childhood, the idyllic past, flowing lines, health, nobility, ease, freedom, simplicity, order, and harmony". She believed her utopian dance vision and program would ameliorate the perceived ills of modern life and restore the world to the imagined perfection of Ancient Greece.
The 1954 film The Barefoot Contessa tells the fictional story of Maria Vargas (portrayed by Ava Gardner), a Spanish cabaret dancer of simple origins who frequently went barefoot. She was cast in a movie by writer and director Harry Dawes (portrayed by Humphrey Bogart) and became a major star. In 1978, Ina Garten purchased a specialty food store in The Hamptons named Barefoot Contessa, after the movie. She liked the name because it went well with her simple and elegant cooking style. She sold the store in 1999 and wrote her first book, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which became one of the best-selling cookbooks of the year. She would go on to write more cookbooks and, in 2002, started production of a television show on the Food Network, also named the Barefoot Contessa, which continues to run.
In the latter half of the 20th century, many singers have performed barefoot. One of the first singers to become well known for singing barefoot on stage is Sandie Shaw, who became known as the "Barefoot Pop Princess of the 1960s." Jimmy Buffett is known for performing barefoot at concerts, promoting an island/beach bum lifestyle, and Cesária Évora of Cape Verde was known as the "Barefoot Diva" for her habit of performing sans shoes. Other performers include Shakira, Steven Wilson, Florence Welch, and Gwen Stefani. Some singers may believe that being barefoot allows them to channel their vocal energy better – a theory based on the teachings of the alternative medicine of reflexology. Others may do so to provide a more relaxing atmosphere and to calm them down.
Tony Meléndez and Mark Goffeney have played the guitar on stage barefoot, with their feet, since they were born with no arms. Similarly, in 2008, Jessica Cox became the first person with no arms to use her bare feet to fly an airplane. There are armless artists who use their bare feet to paint, including Simona Atzori, who is a dancer.
There are risks and benefits associated with going barefoot. Footwear provides some protection from puncture wounds from glass, nails, rocks, or thorns as well as abrasions, bruises, and frostbite—but studies of people who habitually walk barefoot have consistently found that these problems are minimal, with only about 0.89% of barefoot people having any kind of foot complaint linked to walking barefoot (including temporary conditions such as abrasions) or having the tops of the feet uncovered. Feet that have never worn shoes rarely exhibit problems such as bunions, corns, and 'fallen arches', aren't prone to more than ordinary foot eversion on standing and walking due to the associated weakness or stiffness of the joints of the foot and weakness of the muscles controlling them, as well as having a much reduced incidence of problems such as callouses.
Walking barefoot results in a more natural gait. People who are used to walking barefoot tend to land with the forefoot or mid-foot, eliminating the hard heel strike and generating much less collision force in the foot and lower leg. A 2006 study found that shoes may increase stress on the knee and ankle, and suggested that adults that walked barefoot may have a lower rate of osteoarthritis, although more study is required to elucidate the factors that distribute loads in shod and barefoot walking. A 2007 study examined 180 modern humans and compared their feet with 2,000-year-old skeletons. They concluded that, before the invention of shoes, humans overall had healthier feet. A 1991 study found that children who wore shoes were three times more likely to have flat feet than those who did not, and suggested that wearing shoes in early childhood can be detrimental to the longitudinal arch of the foot. Children who habitually go barefoot were found to have stronger feet, with better flexibility and mobility, fewer deformities like flat feet or toes that curve inwards, and fewer complaints. Walking barefoot enables a more natural gait, eliminating the hard heel strike and instead, allowing for a rocking motion of the foot from heel to toe. Similarly, barefoot running usually involves an initial forefoot strike, instead of on the rear of the foot, generating smaller collision forces.
Since there is no artificial protection of the bare foot, some of the possible issues include cuts, abrasions, bruises, or puncture wounds from glass, nails, rocks, or thorns, as well as poisonous plants, animals, or parasites that can enter the body through the cuts on an injured bare foot. In people who are not habitually barefoot, Athlete's foot is spread by fungal spores coming into contact with skin that has been weakened and made moist. The fungus is known to only affect around 0.75% of habitually barefoot people in one study and can be prevented by reducing shoe use and keeping the feet dry, particularly after walking through a damp environment where people communally walk barefoot as the fungus only develops under the right conditions, such as when people fail to properly dry their feet after swimming or showering and then put on shoes. Wearing shoes such as flip flops or sandals in these areas can reduce the risk. As such, the fungus is very unlikely to develop on a person who goes barefoot all the time.
The Hookworm parasite, found only in warm, moist climates where human feces contaminated with Hookworm larvae has been left in places where it might come into contact with human skin, can burrow through a bare human foot (or any part of the body that comes into contact with it). However, as the parasite tends to occur mainly in mud and cesspools, its spread cannot be stopped by most standard shoessince the larvae can penetrate fabric and small holes. The parasite may spread through contaminated material coming into contact with any part of the body, such as through flecks of mud splashing on an ankle or leg. The Hookworm parasite is relatively mild, has few symptoms, and can pass completely unnoticed when the infestation level is low enough. Since the hookworm infection is very cheap and easy to treat, and since it requires infected feces to come into contact with human skin within a particular time period, eradicating hookworm is mainly a matter of hygiene (including the building of proper toilet and waste-disposal facilities) and mass-treatment. In very cold weather, shoes can provide thermal insulation, protecting against frostbite.
Issues that can develop as a result of someone who has always worn shoes going barefoot include calf pain or Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis due to shortening of the Achilles tendon and the foot being underdeveloped, due to regular use of shoes. A careful transition ease or remove symptoms, which quickly vanish as the foot adapts. Blisters on the feet may occur in the first few weeks of going barefoot, until the skin has become more robust. Individuals with diabetes or other conditions that affect sensation in the feet are at greater risk of injury while barefoot. American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics wear shoes and socks at all times.
In the United States, there have been myths that regulations require the wearing of footwear. In the United States, during the period of the counterculture movement of the 1960s, business establishments would deny admittance to barefoot hippies arguing that health regulations required that shoes be worn. This led to a belief by many in nonexistent OSHA or local health department regulations preventing people from going to stores, restaurants, and other establishments without shoes. However, those regulations that exist apply only to employees, and not customers. Specifically, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to "ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear" when there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, objects piercing the sole of an employee's foot, and where an employee's feet may be exposed to electrical hazards. Additionally, employee footwear, where required by OSHA, must comply with one of the standards described in OSHA's regulations. State and local laws may dictate when and where an employee must wear shoes.
Some people speculate that driving barefoot increases the risk of an accident if bare feet slip off the pedals. It is legal throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to drive barefoot. However, in some US jurisdictions, police officers may ticket a driver for other things if the fact that they were driving barefoot or in flip-flops/high heeled shoes hindered their driving and/or resulted in an accident.
Sports and recreation
There are several recreational activities one can participate in while barefoot. Those involved in water sports such as swimming and water polo almost always participate barefoot due to the difficulty of swimming with footwear.
Other common activities performed barefoot include hiking, running, water skiing, touch rugby, soccer, beach volleyball, surfing, tubing, gymnastics, Slacklining, and martial arts. Wrestling can be done barefoot. Although most modern Greco-Roman and WWE wrestlers wear shoes, sumo wrestling, Yağlı güreş (oil or "Turkish" wrestling), and mud wrestling are commonly done while barefoot. Fijian wrestler Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka of the WWE has wrestled barefoot as well. American football is not traditionally a barefoot sport, though several placekickers have preferred to kick barefoot, including Tony Franklin of the Philadelphia Eagles and Rich Karlis of the Denver Broncos. The two schools of thought involved in barefoot placekicking were that the lack of a shoe provided the kicker with a better "feel" for the ball and greater control over its trajectory. The second theory is that shoes and socks absorbed kinetic energy, and kicking flesh-to-leather created more torque.
People of all ages all over the world can participate in barefoot hiking, gathering for walks through forest and hiking trails sans footwear. Barefoot hikers claim that they feel a sense of communion with the earth and enjoy the sheer pleasure of feeling more of the world with their feet. There are several clubs throughout North America practicing regular barefoot hikes, including the Barefoot Hikers of Minnesota, Seattle Barefoot Hikers, East Bay Barefoot Hikers, the Barefoot Hikers and Grass Walkers of Greater Kansas City, and the Barefoot Hikers of Connecticut. In this an analogy to the social state of former slaves was established, who were regularly forced to remain barefoot as well (see above). Two sisters, Lucy and Susan Letcher, hiked approximately two-thirds of the 2,175-mile (3,500 km) Appalachian Trail barefoot from June 21, 2000, to October 3, 2001. On November 12, 2010, 2,500 people in Mahabubnagar, India, participated in a barefoot walk, which was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's largest.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Barefoot park.|
In European nations, including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, there are barefoot parks or walks. These parks are kept clean and maintained on a regular basis, so that barefoot hiking can be done in an environment suitable for people who are habitually shod. Barefoot parks usually include a lot of adventure stations, allowing visitors to experience the feeling of soil textures underfoot; to wade through rivers, mud, brooks, or ponds; and to exercise foot gymnastics, balancing and climbing. The Barfußpfad (barefoot trail) at Bad Sobernheim in Germany attracts over 100,000 visitors annually and has seen approximately 1 million visitors since its inception in 1999.
This concept was first developed in the 19th century by Sebastian Kneipp, one of the founders of the Naturopathic medicine movement. He believed that applying your feet to a range of natural stimuli would have therapeutic benefits. This is related to the ancient practice of reflexology, practiced in China for thousands of years for relaxation and to promote longevity.
Many leisure and competitive runners have been known to run barefoot, including well-known athletes Zola Budd of South Africa and Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia. Todd Ragsdale, of Talent, Oregon, set the world record (pending confirmation by Guinness World Records) for the longest distance run barefoot on June 5, 2010, as part of the Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. He logged 102 miles (164 km), or 413 laps on the South Medford High School track, barefoot. The fastest person to run 100 meters (325 feet) on ice while barefoot is Nico Surings of Eindhoven, Netherlands, who ran that distance in 17.35 seconds on December 8, 2006. Laboratory studies suggest that, due to the lack of extra weight on the feet, the energy cost of running barefoot is reduced by 4%, resulting in lower oxygen consumption. There is evidence that wearing traditional shoes while running leads to heel strike gait that, in turn, leads to higher impact as well as a greater risk of injury. Barefoot running encourages the runner to switch to forefoot strike and may reduce the risk of knee damage.
Barefoot running can be dangerous, especially to runners who do not adequately prepare or give their feet time to adapt to the new style. Many injuries are possible, such as injuries to the Achilles tendon or plantar fascia, or stress fractures in the metatarsal bones or lower leg. Barefoot runners who do not prepare their bodies could provide, "a stimulus plan for podiatrists, orthopedists, and physical therapists."
The official position on barefoot running by the American Podiatric Medical Association states that there is not enough research on the immediate- and long-term benefits of the practice and that individuals should consult a podiatrist with a strong background in sports medicine to make an informed decision on all aspects of their running and training programs.
One alternative to barefoot running is to wear thin-soled shoes with minimal padding, such as moccasins, plimsolls, or huaraches, which result in similar gait to going barefoot but protect the skin and keep dirt and water off. Some modern shoe manufacturers have recently designed footwear to maintain optimum flexibility while providing a minimum amount of protection. Such shoes include the shoes made by Vibram FiveFingers, Vivobarefoot, and Nike's Nike Free shoes. Sales of minimalist running shoes have grown into a $1.7 billion industry. Sales of Vibram FiveFingers alone grew from $450,000 in 2006 to $50 million in 2011.
Barefoot skiing originated in Winter Haven, Florida, in 1947, when slalom skier A.G. Hancock tried to step off his ski. The same year, in Cypress Gardens, Florida, competitive skier Richard Downing Pope, Jr., became well known in the sport of barefoot skiing. The first barefoot skiing competition was held three years later, at the 1950 Cypress Gardens Dixie Championships. In 1978, skiers from ten nations competed in the first World Barefoot Championships in Canberra, Australia. The same year, the American Barefoot Club (ABC) was formed, which governs competitive barefoot skiing events in the United States.
Early skateboarders rode barefoot, preferring foot-to-board contact and emulating surfing moves The plastic penny board is intended to be ridden barefoot, and Penny Skateboards have promoted the riding of the board barefoot by selling t-shirts and stickers. They have also posted social media posts encouraging barefoot riding, particularly in summer The Hamboard, a surfboard style board is also intended to be ridden barefoot. Barefoot skateboarding has been witnessing a revival in recent times. Many modern skateboarders skate barefoot, especially in summer and in warmer countries like Australia, South Africa and parts of South America.
- Foot whipping
- Prison uniform
- Foot fetishism
- Barefoot doctor
- Barefoot in the Park (film)
- Colton Harris-Moore (also known as the "Barefoot Bandit")
- Margo DeMello. Feet and footwear: a cultural encyclopedia. Macmillan. pp. 65–. ISBN 978-0-313-35714-5. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Long hours in a Harare jail.". BBC News. June 1, 2002. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- Scarpa, R; Dorner, T. (1988). Barefoot water skiing: an illustrated guide to learning and mastering the sport. World Publications, Incorporated. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-944406-01-4.
- Wallack, R.M. (2009). Run for Life: The Anti-Aging, Anti-Injury, Super-Fitness Plan to Keep You Running to 100. Sky Horse Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-60239-344-8.
- "Unearthing the First Olympics". NPR. July 19, 2004. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Frazine, Richard Keith (1993). The Barefoot Hiker. Ten Speed Press. p. 98. ISBN 0-89815-525-8.
- "77 Interesting Facts About Weddings". randomhistory.com. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Dangerous Elegance: A History of High-Heeled Shoes". randomhistory.com. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Newman, Ruth I. (December 22, 2002). "Ozarks Women: Ignorant, Barefoot, and Pregnant?". West River Valley Historical Quarterly. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Hashinger, Edward H. (1961). Arthur E. Hertzler: The Kansas Horse-and-Buggy Doctor. University of Kansas Press. PMC 1574475.
- Peck, Joseph H. (May 21, 1958). "It's All Right to Keep Her Happy, But, Men, Don't Do Her Chores". Eugene Register-Guard.
- Ravitch, Diane (2000). The American reader: words that moved a nation. HarperCollins. pp. 140–143. ISBN 0-06-273733-3.
- Wheaton, Wil (2004). Dancing Barefoot. Monolith Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-596-00674-8.
- DeMello, Margo (2009). Feet and Footwear: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Macmillan. pp. 30–32. ISBN 978-0-313-35714-5.
- Lin, You Hsueh (February 13, 2010). "Thai monk walks million miles on barefoot". Asia One News. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Mayo Mountain Rescue Team appeal to pilgrims for safety on holy mountain". Castlebar News. July 24, 2006. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- "Mosque etiquette". Southeast Asia travel. about.com. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Worship in Hindu temples". pujaonline. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Barefoot Bush pays tribute to Mahatma". The Times of India. March 3, 2006. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.
- Willey, David. "Firewalking Myth vs Physics". University of Pittsburgh. Archived from the original on 6 June 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- "Police capture man who escaped from Tewksbury police station.". Retrieved September 16, 2014.
- "Cape Town and Surrounds.". westerncape.gov.za. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- "Slavery in Brazil.". Historical Boys' Clothing]accessdate=July 18, 2012.
- "Living conditions of slaves.". Historical Boys' Clothing]accessdate=July 18, 2012.
- A Falun Dafa practitioner in Guangxi Province of China. "The Chinese Prison System I Know". clearharmony.net.
- Andrew Meldrum. "Andrew Meldrum: My night in Mugabe's stinking jail". the Guardian.
- "Zimbabwe's jails: full of human kindness?". GlobalPost.
- "Foreign Prisoners Support Service". phaseloop.com.
- "Open Minds, Closed Doors: Prison Education in Uganda". DI News.
- "Barefoot prisoners bury Uganda cult bodies". DeseretNews.com. 20 March 2000.
- "American Pastor Saeed Facing "Hell on Earth" in Iran's Evin Prison - American Center for Law and Justice". American Center for Law and Justice.
- "Prison conditions in Pakistan". YouTube. 31 December 1969.
- "How One Woman Helped Reform a Notorious Indian Prison". YouTube. 31 December 1969.
- "allAfrica.com: Congo-Kinshasa: Meet 'Mr Human Rights'". allAfrica.com.
- "I Live Here -- Introducing the Boys of Kachere Juvenile Prison - Erica Solomon". The Huffington Post.
- "World's Toughest Prisons". The Voice of Russia's Global Discussion.
- "IRIN Africa - COTE D'IVOIRE: When a sentence to jail can be a sentence to death - Cote d'Ivoire - Droits de l'homme". IRINnews.
- "Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, an NGO". northkoreanrefugees.com.
- "Australian addict welcomes 31-year prison term". smh.com.au.
- "Irish Australian man facing jail in Thailand - Irish Echo". irishecho.com.au.
- "A Foreigner in a Thai Court". Thai Prison Life - ชีวิตในเรือนจำ.
- "B.C. pedophile, homeward bound after Thai prison term, arrested at Vancouver airport". The Globe and Mail.
- Kocha Olarn, CNN (23 January 2013). "Thai court sentences activist to 10 years in prison for insulting king - CNN.com". CNN.
- "theage.com.au - The Age". theage.com.au.
- "Extradition hearing for arms dealer postponed". taipeitimes.com.
- Saidel, Rochelle G. The Jewish Women of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
- Schulte, Jan Erik. Konzentrationslager im Rheinland und in Westfalen 1933-1945. Zwischen zentraler Steuerung und regionaler Initiative.
- "Brandenburgische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung" (PDF).
- Maggie Riepl (10 March 2012). "DDR-Gefängnis Hoheneck: "Das Unrecht verfolgt mich - bis an mein Lebensende" - Familie - Berliner Morgenpost". Berliner Morgenpost - Berlin.
- "404". cliffsnotes.com.
- Butler, Anne M. Gendered Justice in the American West: Women Prisoners in Men's Penitentiaries. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
- Women in Prison: A Reference Handbook. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
- Gordon Moris Bakken; Brenda Farrington. Encyclopedia of Women in the American West. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
- "Wimmersdorf: 270 Schläge auf die Fußsohlen" [Wimmersdorf: 270 blows on the soles of the feet]. kurier.at (in German). Retrieved 2014-03-03.
- "Berichte über Folter in Kinder-Heim auf der Hohen Warte". krone.at.
- Torture and Democracy von Darius Rejali. S. 275.
- Ruxandra Cesereanu: An Overview of Political Torture in the Twentieth Century. p. 124f.
- Colet, John; Joshua Eliot; Abigail Vertigan (2002). Cambodian Handbook. Footprint. p. 218. ISBN 1-903471-40-0.
- Brown, Ian (2000). Cambodia. Oxfam GB. p. 71. ISBN 0-85598-430-9.
- Benstock, Shari, ed. (2001). Footnotes: On Shoes. Rutgers University Press. pp. 276–8. ISBN 0-8135-2870-4.
- Needham, Maureen (2002). I See America Dancing: Selected Readings, 1685-2000. University of Illinois Press. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-252-06999-4.
- "Ina Garten (biography)". Food Network. Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 495. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Carter, Lauren (June 19, 2010). "Jimmy Buffett a god to lei persons". The Edge. Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "French honour for 'barefoot diva'". BBC News. February 9, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Shakira's barefoot stage demands". Monsters and Critics. January 29, 2007. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Brescia, Joe (January 25, 1998). "Noticed; Barefoot Road To Glory". New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Born Without Arms, this Six-Year-Old Oklahoma Tot Finds it No Handicap". Bismarck Tribune. June 18, 1930. Archived from the original on 12 July 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Hampson, Rick; O'Driscoll, Patrick (April 3, 2005). "Tony Melendez Wise words: 'Give hope'". USA Today. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Armed With Talent". Ability (February/March 2010). Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Woman Born With No Arms Becomes First Pilot to Fly Airplane With Feet". Fox News. December 8, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Pictured: The extraordinary Christmas card images completed by armless artist who paints with his right foot". Daily Mail. November 24, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Atzori, Simona. "Prossimi Appuntamenti". Self-Published. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Rao UB, Joseph B (July 1992). "The influence of footwear on the prevalence of flat foot. A survey of 2300 children". J Bone Joint Surg Br 74–B (2): 525–7. ISSN 0301-620X. PMID 1624509.
- Sachithandam V, Joseph B (March 1995). "The influence of footwear on the prevalence of flat foot. A survey of 1846 mature persons". J Bone Joint Surg Br 77–B (2): 254–7. ISSN 0301-620X. PMID 1624509.
- Hoffmann P (October 1905). "Conclusions drawn from a comparative study of the feet of barefooted and shoe-wearing peoples" (PDF). J Bone Joint Surg Am 2 (3): 105–136.
- Zipfel, B.; L.R. Berger (17 May 2007). "Shod versus unshod: The emergence of forefoot pathology in modern humans?". The Foot.
- Lieberman, Daniel E.; Madhusudhan Venkadesan; William A. Werbel; Adam I. Daoud; Susan D’Andrea; Irene S. Davis; Robert Ojiambo Mang’Eni; Yannis Pitsiladi (28 January 2010). "Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners". Nature 463 (7280): 531–535. Bibcode:2010Natur.463..531L. doi:10.1038/nature08723. PMID 20111000. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- Sternbergh, Adam (April 21, 2008). "You Walk Wrong.". New York Magazine. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Shakoor N, Block JA (2006). "Walking barefoot decreases loading on the lower extremity joints in knee osteoarthritis". Arthritis Rheum. 54 (9): 2923–7. doi:10.1002/art.22123. PMID 16947448.
- Rao UB, Joseph B (1992). "The influence of footwear on the prevalence of flat foot. A survey of 2300 children". The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. British volume 74 (4): 525–7. PMID 1624509.
- Angier, Natalie (August 14, 1991). "Which Shoes Are Best For Children? Maybe None.". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Lieberman, D. E.; Venkadesan, M.; Werbel, W. A.; Daoud, A. I.; d'Andrea, S.; Davis, I. S.; Mang'Eni, R. O.; Pitsiladis, Y. (2010). "Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners". Nature 463 (7280): 531–535. Bibcode:2010Natur.463..531L. doi:10.1038/nature08723. PMID 20111000.
- Staheli LT (1991). "Shoes for children: a review". Pediatrics 88 (2): 371–5. PMID 1861942.
- Hyde, Patricia. "Athlete's Foot". kidshealth.org. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Hookworm Infection". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September 11, 2008. Archived from the original on 11 July 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
- Trop, Am J. "Penetration by Infective Hookworm Larvae of the Materials Used in the Manufacture of Shoes". Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Quinn, Elizabeth. "Barefoot Running - The Pros and Cons of Going Shoeless.". About.com. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Howell, Daniel. The Barefoot Book.
- "Foot Care.". American Diabetes Association. Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Miller, Joe (May 29, 2008). "Going barefoot". The News and Observer. Retrieved August 5, 2009.[dead link]
- "Bare Feet and OSHA". barefooters.org. January 7, 2006. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
- Chow, Andrew (May 2, 2012). "Is Going Barefoot at Work a Step Too Far?". Reuters. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- Lawson, Alex (September 6, 2007). "Legal myths, rumors about driving barefoot busted". The Daily Vidette. Retrieved August 5, 2009.[dead link]
- "Q18: Is it legal to drive barefoot?". barefooters.org. July 13, 2004. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
- Hernandez, Salvador (April 25, 2008). "HONK: The myth about driving barefoot". The Orange County Register. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
- Traina, Jimmy (June 12, 2006). "Favorite Wrestlers of All Time". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Gehman, Jim (May 5, 2007). "Where Are They Now: PK Tony Franklin". Philadelphia Eagles. Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- Moss, Irv (January 27, 2009). "Karlis a standout as barefoot kicker". Denver Post. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- Klosterman, Chuck (October 16, 2006). "A brilliant idea! (For now)". ESPN. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- Todras-Whitehill, Ethan (September 22, 2006). "Footloose and Boot Free: Barefoot Hiking.". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Pauly, Brett (March 21, 1996). "Sole Survivors: New shoeless joes are hitting dusty trails around San Francisco Bay and beyond.". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- "Barefoot Hiking Groups". The Barefoot Hub. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Lanza, Michael (July 1995). "The Happy Hoofers". Yankee Magazine. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- "In Conn. barefoot hiking club, tenderfoots welcome". Hartford Courant. June 20, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
- Belisle, Richard F. (August 5, 2009). "Barefoot hikers return to Appalachian Trail for book tour". The Herald-Mail. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
- The Barefoot Sisters: Southbound. Stackpole Books. 2009. p. 474. ISBN 0-8117-3530-3.
- "Largest Barefoot Walk". Guinness World Records. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
- "Public Barefoot Parks in Europe.". barfusspark.info. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- "Fast eine Million Menschen.". Allgemeine Beitung (in German). November 25, 2009. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Wignall, Alice (March 25, 2008). "Get your socks off". The Guardian. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "158 barefoot parks in Seoul". seoul.go.kr. May 12, 2006. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Warburton, Michael (Sep–Dec 2001). "Barefoot Running". Sportscience 5 (3). Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- Burke, Anita (June 8, 2010). "Todd Ragsdale endures The agony of the feet". Mail Tribune. Archived from the original on 10 June 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Fastest run 100 metres barefoot on ice". Guinness World Records. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Carey, Art (June 28, 2010). "Well Being: Running barefoot has not-so-obvious hazards". Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2 July 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
- "APMA Position Statement on Barefoot Running". American Podiatric Medical Association. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Hersher, Rebecca (January 27, 2010). "Perfect Landing.". Harvard University. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- "Vibram FiveFingers Named A "Best Invention of 2007" by Time Magazine.". trailspace.com. November 12, 2007. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Gauthier, Al. "Review – Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek.". Living Barefoot. Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Woollard, Deirdre (March 13, 2010). "EVO Shoes Offer A Close-To-The-Earth Experience". Luxist. Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Cortese, Amy (August 29, 2009). "Wiggling Their Toes at the Shoe Giants". New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Mirshak, Meg (July 19, 2012). "Minimalist-style shoes mimic running barefoot.". Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- Oleksy, Walter G. (2000). Barefoot Waterskiing. Capstone Books. pp. 13–15. ISBN 0-7368-0480-3.
- "Richard Downing Pope, Jr.". Water Ski Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- Poyet, Philippe (May 13, 2009). "The History of Barefooting". American Barefoot Waterski Club. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
Find more about
at Wikipedia's sister projects
|Definitions from Wiktionary|
|Media from Commons|
|News stories from Wikinews|
|Quotations from Wikiquote|
|Source texts from Wikisource|
|Textbooks from Wikibooks|
|Learning resources from Wikiversity|