Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bare Feet

re-post



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 could still ask visitors to remove their shoes if you were too lend them 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 maybe 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 barefoot outdoors, they will not have been picking up the awful things that the soles of shoes pick up. 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.

25 comments:

Moderate Mouse said...

For reasons I'm not going to go into here, up until this past Saturday, I was at my sister's house off and on for what had ended up being two and a half months.

Anyway, I don't know if you've heard of this or not, but in my sister's household is a gaming system known as Nintendo Wii, which uses wireless controllers. One of the accessories they have for this is the Wii fit board designed for certain games and exercises. One of the health and safety precautions for said board is that it ONLY be stepped on in bare feet. My eight-year-old nephew (who's usually barefoot at home anyway but by his own choice) is the one that uses it the most and had mentioned the possibility of me trying it out myself. I didn't really get a chance to take him up on that when I was there last time, but I might the next time I have any reason to be at that house for an extensive amount of time.

Celestial Fundy said...

A lot of the Wii games seem to make that suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Richy,

Sorry about the delay in replying. It is interesting what you say as the lady in our office is very similar.

She takes her shoes off pretty much as soon as she arrives and leaves them off all day unless she goes out.

To be fair she is always very smartly dressed and well groomed. Also, to put this incontext I should probably point out that she never goes barefoot, which I think would be unacceptable, but in stockinged or socked feet.

Quite a lot of the time she wears smart trouser suits so her shoeless state is not obvious, but she also wears dresses and skirts and still goes in her satockinged feet all day. She does wear a range of nice formal shoes to the office.

Also, she has what you would call I think nice feet and looks fine without shoes. I think basically she juast does'nt like wearing shoes indoors.

We don't have that many clients visit the office, but I have heard one or two comment on her lack of shoes, but she just laughs it off and says she finds it comfy.

I think you asked if she took her shoes off at home - to be honest I have'nt asked her about that, but I would be amazed if she does'nt as she appears to slip them off whenever she can.

One day, in the nice weather, when we were busy we both went down to the river bank, which is only 5 walk away from the office to work through our lunch hour. As soon as we sat down on the grass she slipped her heels off.

On another occasion we had a meeting at our Head Office which is about an hours drive away. As I am fortunate enough to have a company car, I gave her a lift. On both the way there and on the return journey she slipped off her shoes the car.

I think you also asked whether I take my shoes off at home. Yes i do, but I have'nt taken them off in the office although a few times when we have been working late she has tried to encourage me to.

I hope this answers your questions, but please let me know if you have any others.

Can i ask, you say your experince was a while ago - when was it, was it in the UK like me, and you mentioned she took her shoes off at the desk - was it just there or all over the office. This lady walks all over the office shoeless?

Robin.

Celestial Fundy said...

Robin, why would it be unacceptable for her to be barefoot as opposed to being in her stocking feet?

She must get a bit warm on hot summer days.

Anonymous said...

No one has commented or anything and equally she has'nt asked to go barefoot.

I just thought that being barefoot would look a bit un-professional.

Robin.

Celestial Fundy said...

I have heard that opinion expressed before.

I do find it a little puzzling, as some people would consider it unprofessional to be in stocking feet.

Anonymous said...

Yes I know what you mean.

Do you thyink it is un-professional?

As mentioned before, she always looks smart, but just prefers not wearing her shoes around the office - to be honest I don't thinks it's a problem.

Robin.

Celestial Fundy said...

No, I don't think it is unprofessional.

I presume if she always takes her shoes off, but does not go barefoot, that she must wear nylons all year round?

A lot of women in the UK (but not so much in the USA) go bare legged all year round, not just in summer these days. Your colleague is obviously not following that modern trend.

Anonymous said...

To be honest I am not totally sure.
I have only been in this office since Xmas so no I hav't seen her in bare legs mostly stockinged feet and sometimes socks with trousers.

Not really sure what would happen if she was barefoot. However, she always seems well dressed.

Robin.

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussuion, but i have to agree that there is a difference between wearing socks or stockings and being completely barefoot in a work setting.

I work in W H Smith and often work on the shopfloor (I work in the books section) just in my socks.

Plaing black socks with black trousers is OK, but there is no way I would be allowed to go barefoot.

Helen.

Celestial Fundy said...

Helen,

Thanks for joining. Have you visited this blog before?

I am surprised you get away with working on the shop floor in your socks.

Obviously, there is no health and safety difference between stocking and bare feet. If anything, being bare foot would be safer because slips are less likely.

With regard to the question of smartness, I am really not sure there is the difference you suggest.

What about somebody working in an office who wears black trousers and flip flops or sandals?

Such a person would be exposing almost as much of their feet as if they were barefoot. Yet most offices I have worked in would not consider that unprofessional. Obviously, some offices have more formal standards and would not allow sandals.

Eldar said...

Hello everybody,

Well, I find the assumption that bare feet are "dirty" and unworthy of a polite society fairly ridiculous. To the contrary, well groomed and pedicured bare feet would only enhance lady´s looks at a party ot at dinner. Imagine a dressed up lady, with a stylish coiffeur, make-up and an impeccable manicure removing her shoes. Her bare feet would signal a somewhat less formal, more relaxed approach plus she shows this way her respect for the hostess and other guests. Definitely, bare feet are an asset for a lady!

Celestial Fundy said...

Nice to see you again, Eldar.

Eldar said...

thanks. Do you agree with me that bare feet not only show respect for the hostess and other guests, but actually also enhance lady´s looks?

Sandro said...

Nice stockings provide for better look IMHO while bare feet may look not perfect after staying in shoes for a day.

Celestial Fundy said...

Eldar, I agree.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatley, we are not allowed to wear sandals or flip-flops.

I have been working from home for the last 18 months and found it hard getting used to formal shoes agian.

To be honest no it is'nt really slippery in socks and my trousers cover my feet most of the time.

Incidentally, like some of the others when visting frinds I always take my shoes off and depending on the time of year either go in stockinged or bare feet, - same at home.

Helen.

Celestial Fundy said...

Shop floors tend to have stricter rules about footwear.

Anonymous said...

Yes the rules do seem a bit silly which is why I do this (working in socks).

Also, I have a fairly lengthy walk in as well.

Although I work mostly on the first floor of the store, I am conscious that I am walking in my socks on carpet that lots of people who have come in off the street walk on, so as well as removing my shoes when I get home I also take my socks off at the door.

Helen.

Eldar said...

Helen, do you also take off your shoes and walk in bare feet at house parties, when you are otherwise dressed up?

Eldar said...

Helen, I believe that bare feet or stockinged feet at parties show respect for the host and other guests. It is also a signal that a person is relaxed and at ease. Bare or stockinged feet can also enhance the looks of a lady at a party. What do you think and what is your experience with that?

Sandro said...

Helen, I still think your socks are much cleaner than shoes!

Moderate Mouse said...

Unlike my nephew who is happy to go barefoot at home as much as he can get away with it, the closest that I will generally come to going barefoot around the house (especially if I'm doing housework of any kind) is wearing my blue flip-flops designated only for at home. Otherwise, I will my ballet flat slippers when up and about at home.

I used to be in the group of people that put on actual shoes every day as part of getting dressed whether I had anywhere to be or not. Now, not only do they come off at my earliest available opportunity when I come home, they remain off in the morning until/unless I have any business calling me off the property or at least outside within the next few minutes. As I noted in a previous thread, if there's anyone in my life that recognizes my putting on actual shoes as my "about to go out" signal it's the two dogs that belong to my sister and her boyfriend. If I'm at their house overnight or longer, and said dogs see or otherwise sense me having my shoes on, they will follow me around for a while just in case my business outside the home pertains to one or both of them (which it has several times whenever I've stayed there for an extended amount of time but not every time). Some of you reading this may think I'm joking, but I'm serious.

Anonymous said...

For those who were barefoot outdoors, it would be great to have a way of cleaning their feet when coming in. In rural areas houses often have a water tap near the door, which can be used for many purposes. Not so easy in cities where the only water source is usually a sink intended for washing hands, and I wouldn't want to clean my feet in there.

Matthew Celestis said...

I have never been visited by somebody who had arrived barefoot. I don't see many people walking around outside barefoot, except maybe at garden parties.

I suppose if a family have children going out into the yard barefoot, they might leave a bucket of water and a flannel by the door.