Monday, July 03, 2006


In the UK and the USA a lot of people feel a sense of disgust and abjection towards feet. Of course, in many Asian countries, the foot is considered to be unclean. However, this is in connection with the fact that the foot touches the ground. Thus, shoes are considered to be far more unclean than the naked foot. In an Asian home, barefeet are acceptable, but shoes are not. This is actually the very opposite of the western abjection of the foot.

It is very common in internet discussions about shoes-off in homes for the subject of barefeet to be raised. It is argued that barefeet are disgusting, more so than the dirt on peoples' shoes. Of course, if you do feel that feet are disgusting, you can still ask visitors to remove their shoes if you lend then flip flops or socks to wear. Angie mentioned this in a previous post.

It is very likely that the sense of disgust about barefeet will decline. Sandals and flip flops have become incredibly popular in the UK and the USA. People are becoming more used to exposed feet. And ladies (and some men) are spending good money on keeping them looking nice.

The argument that feet are more unhygienic than shoes is quite wrong. Unless a person has been going barefeet outdoors, they will not have been picking up the awful things that the soles of shoes pick up (though sandal-shod feet do get a bit dusty). You may think your feet are disgusting, however, you undoubtedly have more germs on your hands than on your feet. Feet are usually remarkably cleaner than the average pair of hands.

Of course there is Athlete's Foot and Verucas. Hopefully, if a person with such a condition is an invited guest, he or she would bring some socks or slippers and if an unexpected guest, he or she would hopefully accept the loan of some clean socks.

One should remember that the oils on barefeet are acidic and can cause some wear on carpets, though not as much as shoes. Thus, it is best to restrict going barefoot on carpets to spring and summer.


The IBEX Scribe said...

Good post, Matt. :) My feet are quite bare right now!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks. Good for you.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

In the furnace-like weather we are having at the moment, barefeet are the most comfortable option.

I have been barefoot all day, apart from in the garden in my Tunisian slippers.

Every Blessing in Christ


The IBEX Scribe said...

During the summer I only have something on my feet when I go outside. I love going barefoot!

It got up to 100 F/38 C at my parents' house on Wednesday. It just does that in California during the summer. Be grateful you don't have to put up with that!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sounds hot.

Redeemed said...

Nice post, Matthew.

I see I have missed on a few good posts from the both of you, but no worry, I am back. :)

The IBEX Scribe said...

Welcome back. Feel free to peruse the posts from your absence, Sarah. :)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks a lot, Sarah. Good to see you again.