I’ll sometimes see barefooters proclaiming that “there are no health codes prohibiting bare feet in stores or restaurants”. That’s not quite right.
There are a few, and most of them are in Massachusetts.
You all may recall the situation I reported on a month ago, in which a McDonalds employee in Newark, Ohio (my back yard) was photographed barefoot in the store. There was a big news story and the Licking County Health Department sent an inspector and considered it a health code violation.
I wondered what would happen if I tried to eat there barefoot. But it turns out that there is quite a bit more to the story.
Barefooters will sometimes be told by store employees that they have to wear shoes because “OSHA requires it.” OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and it only applies to employees, not customers.
And even then, there is no specific rule that says that even store employees need to wear shoes (though of course the business itself might require them).
I haven’t been doing much hiking lately—I’ve just had other things to do and I haven’t made it as much of a priority. But I made it to Hocking Hills last week to do about 8½ miles, and then yesterday I went to Great Seal State Park and did about 5 miles.
And at Great Seal I had something happen that hasn’t happened in along time: I sliced the sole of my foot.
One thing that’s not always appreciated is that context really makes a difference when it comes to acceptance to bare feet. Bare feet are accepted when people expect bare feet to be there, and they are often rejected in contexts in which they are not expected.
Then, when those bare feet are seen in unexpected locations, those against them have to rationalize an excuse, any excuse, why they are bad.
Thus, those who go barefooted are really usually battling social convention, not any intrinsic problem with being barefooted.
We’re pretty much aware of the tension between barefoot runners and minshoe runners (or maybe that should more accurately be called minshoe vendors) since the minshods call shoes “barefoot”. We’ve also seen tension between activist barefooters and those who might be said to be recreational barefooters, as the latter see no point in rocking the boat; you should be happy with any little crumb you get.
Anemone Cerridwen (of the barefoot survey) has a problem.
I imagine most barefooters have heard about “The Foot Film”. It is project attempting to make an independent film documentary about humans’ relationship between shoes and going barefoot.
It’s Indiegogo campaign has only 10 days left, so this is a reminder to go there and donate to help this film become a reality.
I know some barefooters who try to keep their feet in shape over the winter by keeping a pan of gravel in the garage. They then spend a bit of time doing the old gravel massage. It’s not like walking, but at least it keeps the soles thick, exercised, and (mostly) in shape.
I’ve tried something a bit different.
Wouldn’t you like to know how your whole body works together? Wouldn’t it help if you knew, from your head down to your feet, how various habits can induce excessive wear and tear on our bodies, and discourage them from repairing themselves as much as they are capable of?
Then maybe you can help fellow barefooter Stephanie Welch produce The Human Body User Manual.