Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that getting stopped in a business for being barefoot is pretty much random.
There are those who say that it is your demeanor. If you slouch around as if afraid of being caught, they say it increases your changes, but if you stride about as if you owned the place you will not be stopped.
I am not convinced.
I’m pretty much the same whenever I go into a place. Mostly, unconcerned. I’ve been doing this long enough that I don’t even really think about it, except in a few rare cases. Yet, every now and again I get stopped.
I have friends who act similarly, with similar results, though location (part of the country) does seem to matter. My guess is that what really matters is the density of busybodies. Some places just have more busybodies per square mile than other places (or some stores, for some odd reason, seem to preferentially hire busybodies).
You see, most people really don’t care if you are barefoot. And some who do care won’t go out of their way to cause trouble. But it is the busybodies who make that extra effort that cause the trouble.
There are busybodies among the employees, and there are busybodies among the customers. Yes, sometimes customers will make a big deal reporting a barefooter to the front desk of a store. There are some stores that know what customer service means, and give no truck to those busybodies. After all, if they ought to toss a customer because of a complaint, I ought to be able to complain about somebody else’s green hair and get them tossed, too. (Note: just an example — I don’t care if you have green hair as long as you don’t care about my being barefooted.)
There are busybodies among the employees, and it only takes one who sees you. And it is as if they take great glee in being able to lose a paying customer. And there are also the store employees who, having made up their mind, won’t back down. Any amount of evidence won’t change them. They’ll ratchet from one excuse to another, each one less well-informed than the previous one, until it devolves to “story policy”. You can ask for a copy of that policy, but they never have one — it’s been made up on the spot.
It all just depends, and all we can do is expect it, and then take our business elsewhere.