Why you should ditch your shoes and go barefoot

Image of barefoot person
Sunny Shen/Senior Staff

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I don’t like wearing shoes, at least, not all the time. They make my feet feel stuffy and sometimes kind of sweaty. Inevitably, they get dirty and worn out, and eventually, they need to be replaced. It all seems wasteful and pointless. I’ve grown up walking around without shoes on, mostly in the house — I usually take my shoes off as soon as I get inside — but I also enjoy wandering throughout my backyard barefoot, too. Think it’s kind of gross? Or dangerous? Sometimes, it can be, but generally, it’s pretty convenient and comfortable. Read on and find yourself convinced.

It’s cozier indoors

People who walk around in their own homes with boots or shoes on scare me a little bit. Personally, it just doesn’t feel as if I’m really home until I’m barefoot. And how are you supposed to comfortably snuggle up on the couch if you’re wearing shoes? For those of you who are worried about your feet being cold — a very valid concern — I have a groundbreaking suggestion for you: socks. They are pretty revolutionary. Though it can occasionally be dangerous, such as if someone has recently broken glass, often I feel more comfortable and less likely to trip or slip when I’m barefoot. Can you ever really be comfortable when you’re wearing shoes?

It’s a freeing feeling

Sometimes, there is nothing better than just taking your shoes off and running around. Whether it’s been a long day of class or walking from place to place, taking my shoes off is a vital step in relaxing and letting loose. Also, walking outside without shoes on is the easiest way to remind yourself that social conventions really don’t matter. And there’s that tiny thrill in knowing that you might get a splinter or a cut but you’re doing it anyways. There’s something really natural about going outside without shoes on, and it can be pretty rejuvenating to try it after a long day. I’m not saying you should walk all over Berkeley without any form of foot cover – that I would strongly discourage – but walking around in a backyard or through grass is a must.

It’s pretty grounding

It’s easy to get caught up in the world of computers and professionalism, but it’s also important to connect with nature and the outside world. Though going on hikes and camping trips are awesome ways to do this, it’s not always possible. However, just by going outside and taking your shoes off, you can feel grounded and connected to the world without planning an entire vacation around it.

Feet are easier to clean than shoes

I said it. Even if you go outside without shoes, or if your housemates wear shoes indoors so your feet are perpetually covered in dirt, you can always just use soap and water to get clean again. It’s honestly a pretty great option. And if you like wearing socks, your feet are clean again as soon as you take them off. What’s not to love? It can be fun to feel like a kid again and not worry about getting a little grass or mud on your feet if you’re walking around barefoot. And the feeling of clean feet after walking around outside is pretty much unmatched.

There are lots of good reasons to go barefoot. Sometimes, I’m just too lazy to put on shoes. Other times, I’m intentionally trying to feel a little more grounded. If you’re someone who is pretty much always in shoes unless you’re sleeping, think about kicking them off the next time you get home. You just might realize how overrated shoes are. 

Contact Elysa Dombro at [email protected].