Bare Feet in Public: Is It Acceptable or Not?

bare feet
SHARE
Advertisement

Is it the acceptability of bare feet in public a positive example of Australia’s laid back and easy going lifestyle and attitudes?

Is it is an example of a society that is too laid back, complacent and sloppy?

Check out my video on the topic below:

Click here for more of my YouTube videos

In 2012 I was in San Sebastian as part of a month long holiday in Spain. I  remember walking down one of the beautiful cobble stoned side streets and noticing a group of young men. I was too far away to hear what they were saying but they were very loud. What struck me about this group was that none of them were wearing shoes, bare feet all around. I felt that I knew what country they were from but I had to get closer to hear their voices and accents. As I got closer I could clearly make out their accents and  my suspicions were confirmed. They were Australian and you are correct if you assumed that I was appalled by their barefoot antics.

When I think of people walking around with no shoes I imagine it occurring at the beach, by the swimming pool, and within the privacy of one’s home. However, bare feet in public are largely acceptable in my country: AUSTRALIA!

Australians have always had a reputation for being laid back and, for better or worse, it’s a reputation that continues to circulate around the world. Foreigners, who visit Australia, and even a portion of Australian citizens, are often baffled by the frequency and general acceptability of no footwear in public.

Bare footed citizens are often seen entering super markets, petrol stations, fast food outlets, retail stores and along asphalt and concrete roads and foot paths.  It is not uncommon to see shop signs in the US requesting patrons to not enter their without foot wear (No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service). This is not a law, but a preference which is not common in Australia.

Summer is the most common time for bare foot public spotting in Australia. Understandably Australia can get quite hot in summer and there are open aired foot wear options to accommodate the weather, thongs (flip flops) and sandals. I’ve even noticed backpacking and bohemian foreigners on holiday in Byron Bay, NSW, taking on this abhorrent practice.

Aussies are aware of footwear options and when questioned a number of reasons come up. I have spent time asking random strangers why they chose to not wear any footwear in public. I compiled a collection of the most common responses.  People that I have asked reacted with complete surprise at the question, like they had never been questioned about their bare feet in public before.

 The common responses were:

-“Dunno mate, it’s just what we do”.

– “Can’t be fucked wearing shoes mate”

-“It’s more comfortable walking around with no shoes”

– “Gives ya feet a chance to breathe”

-“Left my shoes in the car”

It’s a reflection of Australian society’s tendency towards being more relaxed, less judgemental and laid back. We are  not as strict as the US and Europe are about matters like this. The coastal towns of St Tropez and Monaco have rules against people walking around town without a t-shirt or shoes on. I was actually shocked by this, especially when a police officer reprimanded me for being shirtless as soon as I stepped away from one of the beach fronts in St Tropez.

Obviously I have no issue with bare feet around one’s home. I do not question it at the beach or by the pool side. I will even look past it if someone scuttles from the beach to the boardwalk/main street in order to purchase a drink or food. However, anything beyond that is completely unacceptable for my main three reasons below.

  • Safety– There is always the risk of stepping on something outdoors that can cut and/or bruise the foot from glass to bolts to needles. Asphalt and concrete during the summer can get very hot and can burn the soles of feet. Wearing shoes in retail and hospitality outlets can prevent people from suffering similar injuries indoors.
  • Hygiene– The soles of the feet become black and dirty, aiding in an increase in bad odour and poor hygiene. If feet are not washed after a day of bare footing, bed sheets will become soiled.
  • Appearance– It is a sloppy and slovenly look. Bare feet in public is an uncouth cultural  practise that is a reflection of a society that is too laid back, casual and complacent.

 

Check out my article on penis size by clicking here

 

Profile gravatar of Old Simo

Leave a Reply


3 comments

  1. Same on Maui. But honestly there are a lot more important things to concern yourself with. Obviously it can’t be the hygiene problem that we all think it is or people here would have serious issues. They don’t. I also wear flip flops but you and I will be the ones with the bad feet when we are older.
    Just my two cents.

    1. @bryanchgd your two cents are always welcome on my website! Thanks for your response. As you’ve seen on my website, we discuss many different types of issues. There’s a time and place for every type of discussion. As far as Australia goes, I think this type of overly laid back bare foot behaviour is a reflection of an overly laid back, complacent and apathetic society. Not to mention, a society that often does not take pride in appearance. As far as hygiene goes, I would call black soles from walking about on asphalt, concrete and shops unhygienic. You simply don’t know what you might pick up. Bacterial infections are not impossible. I really hope these people wash the soles of their feet when they are back at their house.

More Articles
Close
israel's right to exist

Israel’s Right To Exist: Double Standards and Antisemitism

Does questioning Israel’s right to exist and no other nation’s right to exist equate to Antisemitism ? Is there a double standard in regards to questioning Israel’s...
chrome    To make Old Simo your homepage in Chrome:
  1. Click the settings icon icon-setting at the top right of your browser. Select “Settings”.
  2. Under “On startup”, select “Open a specific page or set of pages”. Click “Set pages”, enter oldsimo.com, and click “OK”.
  3. Under “Appearance”, check “Show home button”. Click “Change”, enter oldsimo.com and click “OK”.
×
firefox    To make Old Simo your homepage in Firefox:
  1. Click the settings icon icon-setting at the top right of your browser. Select “Options.”
  2. Click on “General” and look for the “Home Page” line in the top block.
  3. Highlight the web address with your cursor. Click “Backspace” to delete the current homepage.
  4. Type oldsimo.com and Click “OK” to save the change.
×
safari    To make Old Simo your homepage in Safari:
  1. Click the settings icon at the top right of your browser. Select “Preferences.”
  2. Click on “General” and look for the “Home Page.”
  3. Highlight the web address with your cursor. Click “Backspace” to delete the current homepage.
  4. Type oldsimo.com and Click “Set to Current Page.”
  5. Click the Close button to exit the Preferences dialog.
×
General Questions and Feedback

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

General Questions and Feedback

×
Specific Questions for Old Simo

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Specific Questions for Old Simo

×
Submit an idea for Discussion

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Submit an idea for Discussion

×
Report a Technical Problem

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Report a Technical Problem

×
Report a Correction to Content

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Report a Correction to Content

×
Media and Advertising Enquiries

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Media and Advertising Enquiries

×