For whatever reason, this character tries to avoid wearing shoes whenever possible.
One reason can be to show that they are connected to the soil in some way. Extreme cases may have elemental or nature-linked powers that are weakened or neutralised if they don't have skin contact with the ground, but it's frequently just a metaphor. The Nature Hero, Barbarian Hero, Noble Savage, Hot Gypsy Woman, and Jungle Princess are often barefoot.
This is also sometimes a sign of youthful innocence, and many of the characters who demonstrate this trope are either children or childlike. It can also be a sign of eccentricity or absentmindedness; Bunny Ears Lawyers and Cloudcuckoolanders may go barefoot in public because they are either flouting societal conventions or are simply oblivious to them.
Sometimes they simply can't afford shoes - see Barefoot Poverty. If they grew up poor they may simply not feel the need even if their station in society has risen.
Most Asian martial arts are practiced barefoot, whether in training or competition, and as a result martial artist characters are often Flanderized into being barefoot at all times. Ditto for gymnasts and swimmers.
Finally it can be because there's something special and non-human about their feet. Their feet might be so tough they don't need shoes at all, or so large or oddly-shaped that nothing available will fit. Furries have a tendency to be unshod, leading to a society of Barefoot Cartoon Animals, unless they're The One Who Wears Shoes. Or maybe their Handy Feet are just as much gripping appendages as their hands are.
Quite definitely Truth in Television. In Real Life, many people go barefoot because they simply find it more comfortable than wearing shoes. This is backed up by an increasing amount of research, particularly on running, that not wearing shoes can dramatically reduce injury rates, while both barefooting and the use of minimalist shoes are steadily growing in various types of running. And, intuitively, if your feet smell or feel less pained upon taking off your shoes, you have to figure your body was in need of a little barefoot time. It may be easier for some in a rural area, as urban sidewalks and roads are quite abrasive to bare feet. And that's not limited to humans: horseshoes exist for the same reason. It also varies by region; some countries are more barefoot-friendly than others (Australia and New Zealand, for instance). In some parts of the world, it's even common for children to attend school barefoot, and not just in poverty-stricken countries where shoes are rare. And in many parts of the world, it's considered unhygienic and impolite to wear outdoor shoes inside your own or someone else's home.
This trope is often used, on a TV show or movie, as an excuse to show frequent close-up shots of bare feet, usually due to Fanservice or Author Appeal (both, if you're Quentin Tarantino), which may explain why these characters' feet are very rarely visibly dirty or calloused.
Contrast All Women Love Shoes
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Jean LeFoot, "The Barefoot Pirate", from the 1960's and 2000's Cap'n Crunch commercials.
Segata Sanshiro goes barefoot, in keeping with his appearance of a martial arts master who'll kick your ass if you don't play Sega Saturn. This is deconstructed in his advertisement for Winter Heat, wherein he races across an ice rink against an ice skater, but is later found desperately warming his feet up.
Alana O'Brien is barefoot in every Free Credit Score slider commercial made thus far.
Anime & Manga
Ed from Cowboy Bebop loses all balance if she even puts on socks.
L never wears shoes or socks indoors, but he's capable of wearing shoes outdoors.
Near also has a strong distaste for shoes, but still wears socks. Sole exception: in the manga, he's barefoot during the sequence in Roger Ruvie's office when he and Mello make their first appearance, but in the anime version of the scene he's wearing his trademark socks.
Although she wears shoes in flashbacks, Nel now travels everywhere barefoot.
The anime gives Rukia this trope for her evil phase in the third film, Fade to Black. With that exception, she is an example of Barefoot Poverty in flashbacks but otherwise has nothing to do with this trope.
Momoko from Sumomomo Momomo stays perpetually barefoot throughout most of the series, even during school and public outings, emphasizing her life-long martial artist training.
Most underwater citizens from Umi Monogatari, including the two main characters, will go barefoot, unless trying to remain inconspicuous and wearing more conventional clothes of the "sky people" (land-faring humans).
Sōun Tendō and Genma Saotome are constantly shoeless, which is fitting enough considering they are almost always dressed in martial arts uniforms. Of the two, only Sōun has the sense to wear geta when going out to the street. Early manga and anime at least showed Genma (in panda form) wiping his feet with a washcloth before coming into the house again.
The show's title character also tends to have a rather convenient disregard for footwear. Particularly, when changing into a girl, the male-size shoes no longer fit on her smaller female feet, so either she has to carry them around in her hand and wear special shoes or simply chucks them if she can't be bothered.
Tatewaki Kunō is shoeless too whenever wearing his traditional kendo uniform — that is, most of the time.
Inu-Yasha wears extremely old-fashioned clothing even for the feudal setting. He is always barefoot, which comes in useful when he's scratching himself... being half-dog-youkai, he scratches himself the way a dog does. Oddly enough, even when he's in the modern era, no-one really seems to notice or care.
After Rin escapes her Barefoot Poverty status by joining Sesshoumaru's group, she still refrains from wearing shoes even after he provides her with expensive kimono to wear.
Kagura, the wind sorceress, wears extremely elaborate, expensive-looking kimonos yet is perpetually barefoot no matter the conditions.
Koga, the wolf demon and his packmates. They bind their feet in cloth but wear no tabi or shoes.
In the original manga, Kikyo also goes around barefoot; it's averted in the anime, where she wears standard tabi socks and sandals.
RG Veda: Absolutely everyone in this series hates shoes so much, they'll happily traverse solid-frozen, snow-peaked mountains barefoot.
Kaolla Su from Love Hina, and her older sister, Amalla. Su only wears shoes if needed.
Kyou from Fruits Basket goes barefoot pretty much anytime he's not at school. He doesn't like ties either...
Coco, King Faust's perpetually barefoot Perky Female Minion(until her Heel-Face Turn), until she starts wearing sandals, of course. This might simply be a means of differentiating her from the anime-only Earth!Coco.
Mavis Vermilion, the Fairy Tail Guild founder, is also fond of being barefoot at all times. It only helps accent her adorable appearance.
Evangeline from Mahou Sensei Negima! ditches her shoes whenever she's inside, unless she's in class.
The townspeople in Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu rarely wear shoes. Weda wears sneakers when she goes hunting, but that's about it. Hare lampshades this when he points out to Guu that the school's shoe lockers never get any use.
A few characters, both male (Like Franky) and female (like Aisa, in the anime), go barefoot.
Luffy tends to end up barefoot on certain occasions, often when fighting an arc villain; justified as he's usually wearing sandals, a kind of footwear that's easy to lose in intense fights.
Ringo, the Genki GirlCheerful Child from Casshern Sins, will abandon her shoes and run around barefoot if she's exploring a beach, content to do so even on the nearby rocks. And then there's Nico, who's always barefoot.
Akari in ARIA would casually roam around the flooded streets barefoot when she wanted to feel the comforting sensation of cold water lapping her feet and the cold cobblestone pavement underneath her soles. Likewise, if her galoshes filled up with water as she waded along, she'd take them off, stuff them in her minature gondola, and go barefoot to her heart's content.
Binbougami ga! has Momiji and Ranmaru who follow variations of this trope. The former wears only her right shoe, leaving her left foot bare as part of her hobo appearance as a god of misfortune. Ranmaru on the other hand is squirmy, whiny and uncomfortable in anything but bare wooden getas, and often kicks them off - sometimes shoots them at her victim - and fights barefoot. Including catching knives with her toes.
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko has Erio Touwa, who not only looks and behaves herself like she came from another world, she actually thinks she's an alien. Therefore, it's safe to assume that she doesn't will to try such an invention of the humanity as shoes, not even after some of the illusions of her being an alien were broken.
Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian's Flamberge wears a blend of stockings and leg warmers that cover her heels, but not the rest of her feet. Then there is Shoka no Shoujo, also known as The Bookshelf Girl, who apparently doesn't even know what footwear is.
The main heroine of Tico Of The Seven Seas, Nanami Simpson almost never needs to wears any shoes as she's either aboard the Peperonchino or underwater. The only times she's seen in footwear is near the beginning of the series (in her dress), or when she's in arctic gear — other than that, she's always barefoot in a T-shirt and shorts.
In Tamako Market, Choi is always barefoot, having grown up on a tropical island.
Eiji "Crow" Nizuma of Bakuman。 has shades of this; preferring loose-fitting shoes when entering Tokyo and hastily throwing on a pair of sandals to make trips to Shonen Jump/ Jack. 9 times out of 10, he much prefers to just wear socks.
Yui from Sword Art Online goes mostly barefoot. Also Asuna in her Titania form, in which she wears only a tiny strap around her feet.
Both Yatsuha and Sara from Samurai Champloo go barefoot. Yatsuha is a spy and ninja who only does it when she's in her ninja uniform, while it's played straighter with Sara. As she's blind, she walks barefoot to aid her sense of touch.
In A Certain Magical Index, when the heroes rescue Fraulein Kreutune from her imprisonment in the Windowless Building, she's wearing nothing but lingerie and a tattered dress. However, after she's been given a place to live and has the opportunity to acquire clothes, she remains barefoot.
The eponymous Esper Mami, in episode 10, removed her shoes and socks in a forest meadow to enjoy the freedom and comfort of going barefoot outdoors, and remains in her bare feet for the rest of the episode, even when she briefly teleports to her house and later has to deal with a pair of thugs. Unfortunately, when it is time for her to go home with her father, she forgets where she discarded her footwear and neither she nor her dog can find them in the tall brush. She remains without them the car ride home, losing them for good. Mami's father teases her that this is what she gets for doffing her shoes to carelessly jump around barefoot.
Julie Winters of The Maxx, in both the original comic and the Animated Adaptation. She doesn't seem to have any particular aversion to shoes, but she definitely prefers going barefoot (even while walking the city streets and alleys). She does it often enough that, if you can't see her feet, and she hasn't been explicitly shown earlier to be wearing shoes, you can assume she's barefoot.
Tia Dalma is barefoot in the comics Pirates of the Caribbean (based on movie series of the same name). The movies do not show her feet at all, so she could be barefoot in them as well. In fact, lots of POTC fanfics describe her that way: one, two and many others.
Both Swift and Jack Hawksmoor of Stormwatch and The Authority rarely wear shoes, as she has flight powers and the ability to turn her feet into bird-like talons, and he has powers derived from urban environments and needs to stay in skin contact with the ground or buildings. Jack Hawksmoor's alterations to be fully adapted to city living include "metallic" appearing foot soles, allowing him to walk on any city surface comfortably (concrete, asphalt, etc).
Oracle and other Kandrakar inhabitants in W.I.T.C.H. (some pictures even show Wee clinging to Oracle's bare foot). Orube is also barefoot when in her warrior outfit.
Beast from the X-Men wears neither boots nor gloves due to his hands and feet being abnormally big. This was clearer when he was human. Human Hank certainly owned shoes in his big size, but he went barefoot when in costume because having ape-like prehensile toes was a major part of his abilities. After he became blue and furry, he stopped bothering with shoes even when in his civvies. Adversely, after his mutation progressed to a more feline-like stage and his hind legs became retrograde, he started wearing special shoes sometimes, even though this seems to make less sense than ever. From an artistic perspective, he also went barefoot because it was the easiest ways to portray his powers, since before he gained his fur, he looked relatively normal apart from his huge hands and feet.
Plastic Man is always barefoot, even though he has no toes, and thus looks like he's wearing flesh-colored tights. It emphasizes his amorphous nature. He's been known to stretch his toes for escape attempts.
Many of the characters (female and male) in Love And Rockets go barefoot on a regular basis. This isn't culturally unusual in the romantically rural "Palomar/BEM◊" saga, but can seem that way in the urban/SF settings of the "Los Locas/Mechanics◊", "Runaway Rikki" and "Love & Rockets" storylines.
The Thing from Fantastic Four is generally depicted barefoot - unless he's incognito, where he would sometimes wear shoes to go along with his hat, shades, and giant trenchcoat (as leaving even his feet exposed would be a dead-giveaway that this figure has rocky orange skin). Around the 2000s, however, his normal outfit started to feature boots and trousers.
Delirium from The Sandman rarely wears shoes. In Brief Lives she wears what looks like a pair of Doc Martens with one outfit and spends the rest of the arc barefoot.
Jinx, of the Fearsome Five and Villainy Inc., is perpetually barefoot. This is because her powers are tied to her contact with the earth at her feet. As she can be disabled by simply lifting her from the ground, imagine what shoes would do to her magic.
During the '60s, characters in Archie Comics went barefoot all the time, and not just at the beach or around the house. Check out any issue from this time period and you'll just about always find two or three characters who seemingly left their house without putting any shoes on. And every now and then, it would even be a central element.
Tanga, an alien superheroine created by Kevin Maguire, never wears shoes and remarks that she's "not a big fan" of them. Strictly speaking she isn't barefoot — although the covers usually depict her as such — since she wears a bodystocking which also covers her feet. But she doesn't wear shoes, so the trope applies.
Nate Grey (X-Man) usually goes without shoes as part of his naturalistic "shaman" nature.
Danny from John Byrne's Next Men. Justified in the sense that shoes can't stand up to the force of his running, so he has to toughen up his feet to do so.
Jenny Weaver of Zot! goes barefoot whenever possible. This may have something to do with Scott McCloud having modelled her on "feeling," one of Jung's proposed four types of human thought.
The title character of Alice Picard's Weëna spends roughly the first 2/3rd of the series barefoot. She initially wore shoes, but gave them to Opera when she freed her from slavery, and simply chose to remain barefoot from then on out despite having plenty of chances to acquire new shoes. As a child, she was always barefoot. In the final stretch of the series, she finally opts for sandals.
The title character from the comic panel Ziggy seems to go barefoot... although that may be an artistic convention, as he seems to be the only person in the panel with his character design.
Terra Caldwell from Convergent Paths (a Pokémon fanfic) is almost always barefoot. She is a "Mother Earth" character who likes meditating. Lampshaded in chapter 62, where Daniel specially mentions her "strange aversion to shoes".
Aki, Shinji and Asuka's daughter in the Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfic, The Second Try and its sequel, Aki-chan's Life. Said character is an absolutely Adorable little 4-year old who inherited her mother's stubbornness, to the point her parents gave up on trying to make her wear shoes.
In Agent Loki International Man Of Mayhem, Loki doesn't get cold and therefore walks around the neighborhood without a coat or shoes. To the point where his neighbors don't know him by his psudonym Luke, but as "the no-shoes guy".
Kida in Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Like Esmeralda, she ended up wearing shoes in the sequel. Also, Word of God actually confirmed that Kida was actually wearing Greco-Roman-style sandals at the end of the first film (they are hidden underneath her dress, and are the same shade of tan as her skin, but darker).
The title character in Pocahontas. And yes, she too ended up wearing shoes in the sequel (and at the theme parks, along with the two mentioned above). Seem to be seeing a pattern here with Disney Sequel Barefooters?
Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, at least as humble peasant girl "Briar Rose." When she gets her princess outfit and goes to the palace, then she's got shoes.
Giselle in Enchanted, though only in the animated segments. Possibly a direct reference to Aurora.
Once she gets feet, Ariel in The Little Mermaid goes barefoot more often than she wears shoes. Her daughter Melody in the sequel is a dedicated barefooter, only wearing shoes when she's forced to.
Rapunzel in Tangled. Of the youthful innocence variety — plus she's just never needed shoes due to never leaving her tower. Coincidentally, Rapunzel's voice actress, Mandy Moore, goes barefoot a lot in Real Life.
Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph doesn't wear shoes, even when attending Felix's wedding as his best man. Part of it is probably to enforce his "Wild Man" character design, but it might also be because his feet are enormous.
The entire cast of The Croods — at least until Guy introduces them to shoes.
Films — Live-Action
The Na'vi in Avatar are perpetually barefoot. Fridge Brilliance also comes into play: Given the moon's lower gravity, and denser atmosphere, it's extremely easy to lose footing and slip — especially on dirt or soil. Cause of this, the Na'vi are able to curl their large toes directly into the ground for traction. The other lifeforms also partially compensate for the lower gravity and thicker atmosphere by having an additional pair of arms/legs.
Half-averted in the 1995 film Tom And Huck. Tom wore shoes for most of the movie, supposedly at actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas' insistence. The late Brad Renfro, on the other hand, was a country boy from Tennessee who had no such qualms, so Huck was almost always barefoot.
The title character of the Tammy film series carries her shoes with her, telling people, "You don't have to wear fancy shoes to let people know you've got them."
As a child and even after she has grown, Maleficent pads through the moors barefoot, though she probably doesn't do much walking as she flies mostly everywhere, that is until her wings are stolen from her, upon which, as the "Mistress of all Evil" she begins wearing boots with her new dark outfit. Upon the return of her wings, and her happiness, she sheds them along with the rest of her Evil Robes.
Inverted with Brendan Fraser's character, George of the Jungle. He tends to go barefoot in the jungle, but for a cross-country running montage, he pulls out a pair of Nikes. Parody? Shameless Product Placement? You decide.
In many Hamlet adaptations (1964, 1990, 1996, etc.) Ophelia is barefoot in the mad scenes.
In the David Tennant version, Hamlet himself is barefoot a lot of the time, including while he is wearing a tuxedo.
An unusual negative example is Spectre, a Quirky Town in Big Fish. The entire population goes barefoot, and visitors' shoes are stolen so they can't leave town.
Agador/Spartacus, the houseboy in La Cage aux folles (and its American remake The Birdcage), does not wear shoes because if he wears them he falls down. Armand scoffs at this, but it turns out he is telling the truth.
In Sex Drive, Felicia Alpine (Amanda Crew) tosses her shoes up into a tree, proclaims, "I was born barefoot!" and remains that way for pretty much the rest of the film (not always to her comfort).
Another case is Simone Griffeth as Janeen in Swamp Girl, a similar film from 1971.
The entire civilization of Bedrock in The Flintstones. No-one wears pants, either. The men wear long shirts and the women wear either skirts or dresses. (Except when in bathing suits.)
Some versions of Dracula have his brides go barefoot, probably to add to their sex appeal. And to make it tougher for them to run away from the castle.
Ditto that for the vampire films of French director Jean Rollin. Most of the female characters in his films go barefoot at least once, and many — like The Living Dead Girl — remain barefoot for the duration.
Ava Gardner in The Barefoot Contessa could practically be the trope namer. Her character goes from poor peasant girl to internationally famous actress, but never loses her love of going barefoot. When a statue is commissioned of her, she insists on posing for it barefoot, and at the end of the movie, after her husband murders her, Humphrey Bogart's character removes her shoes to bring her soul some peace.
Gardner was quite fond of going barefoot in real life; reportedly, she was disappointed to find out that the character wore shoes in a few scenes.
In A Piedi Nudi, an Italian short film, a schoolgirl, after seeing another girl's shoes being stolen by a group of bullies, gives the victimized girl her own shoes to walk home in. She herself walks home barefoot, and ends up liking it so much that she decides to attend school barefoot the very next day, and stays that way the entire day despite the taunts of her classmates.
Nancy Kwan is barefoot for the duration of Lt Robin Crusoe USN and has several scenes in Tamahine without any shoes as well.
Lori Saunders in Mara of the Wilderness.
Rynn, the title character in The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. Interestingly, Jodie Foster, the actress who played Rynn, did and still does have that same trait.
Jodie is also barefoot for much of Nell. In some scenes Nell wears work boots.
Foster spends a vast majority of Panic Room barefoot as well; she's wearing shoes for maybe the first 15 minutes and that's it.
In the film Bell Book And Candle, Gillian (played by Kim Novak) is barefoot in just about every indoor scene. At one point in the movie, an old classmate claims that she came to college that way (until said classmate ratted her out to the dean, earning herself a fantastic curse in retribution).
The heroine of That Lady In Ermine is a ghost in a painting of her in an ermine coat and bare feet (done for a symbolic move when she was alive). She spends most of the film in this outfit, and therefore barefoot, save for one scene.
Eli in Let the Right One In doesn't wear shoes as a rule, even when in the snow. Of course, she's a vampire and as she explains to Oskar she doesn't get cold. As well, not wearing shoes makes it easier for her to climbs things like trees and walls.
Alma Brown (Patricia Neal) in Hud fits. She claims to have worn shoes only once, at her wedding.
Painfully inverted with John McClane in Die Hard. He even tries the terrorist's on but they don't fit.
The Avengers and Iron Man 3: After Pepper Potts starts a relationship with Tony, she's often seen being barefoot once they start living together. Along with her more casual clothes, it's a sign of how they're able to relax around each other. (The practical reason for this is that Gwenyth Paltrow is several inches taller than Robert Downey Jr. and the filmmakers will take what they can get to keep them in frame together)
In It Could Happen To You, Judy Holliday's character absent-mindedly kicked off her shoes whenever she had to do some serious thinking.
The Million Dollar Hotel has an eccentric prostitute named Eloise (portrayed by Milla Jovovich). This fact has been lampshaded in the movie at least once, brought up with the help of Feet-First Introduction, and strengthen with that even after Eloise gets a white dress, she leaves her new high-heeled shoes in the bar, continuing her barefoot life.
Miranda (played by Felicity Huffman) in the 2010 version of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Many modern productions of the play itself also have Miranda barefoot from beginning to end.
The entire skater boy gang in Skaterdater, which is appropriate, given this movie was shot during The Sixties, when boys were walking around barefoot and skateboarding was practiced without shoes. At one point of the movie, the boy protagonist even tries to flirt with the girl by hampering her to tie her shoelaces. Of course, given the local dialogue's nature, it's hard to tell whether he actually wanted the girl to go shoeless as well.
The aptly-named German film Barfuss (which is German for "barefoot", except in a slightly incorrect spelling) features a pretty naive girl named Leila. Being held at home by her mother (until she died) for full nineteen years not only made Leila completely unfamiliar to the socium - it has made her completely unfamiliar with shoes as well. Leila's feet remain naked even when Nick shows the girl all the wonders of the modern life and even after she has stopped wearing her nightdress all the time.
Pocahontas from the 2005 film The New World is depicted as a perpetual Earthy Barefoot Character. To note, it's one of the (few) details that the Disney film also accurately portrayed: Even among the Powhatan, she always remained barefoot instead of opting for primitive moccasins.
Befitting his down-to-earth persona, Luke in Drinking Buddies often doesn't wear shoes. Even in the factory that he works.
Lauren Kline from Marc Levy's If Only It Were True (it may be due to her ghost/angel nature). In one scene, she playfully strokes Artur's leg with her bare foot (since nobody else is able to see and sense her).
On a single occasion, Bella Swan from Twilight: before her first hunt, she kicks off her shoes and goes barefoot to the forest.
James, Victoria, and Laurent prefer going barefoot so they can run at maximum Super Speed without destroying them.
In Robert A. Heinlein's Waldo, Waldo doesn't like shoes because he has lived his entire life being unable to walk, so when he finally is able to do so, he avoids them as they make his feet feel dead. He only makes himself wear them when he has to.
Princess Eilonwy from the Chronicles of Prydain apparently enjoys walking barefoot; her "unshod feet" are specially mentioned by Dallben in The Castle of Llyr. And in The Book of Three she only wears light sandals. (Probably related to her extreme informality in general; though a princess, she tends to dress in plain tunics or hard-wearing boys' clothes and is happier in a scullery than a royal court.) This trait was going to be implemented into Disney Animated Canon adaptation of the books, The Black Cauldron (pre-production artwork◊), though she wears shoes in the final version.
Many characters from The Chronicles of Narnia are related to this trope. This includes Coriakin, Ramandu, possibly his daughter, Lucy and some others. Similarly, stars and nymphs are always barefoot.
"Edmund and Lucy wanted to [...] do their exploring with bare feet[...]"
The Jungle Book has Mowgli, who is at one point taken into a civilized home and shod. He doesn't think much of it, and the shoes are the first to go when he returns to the jungle. Messua (who thinks Mowgli is her long-lost son) asks him if he remembers the shoes she once gave him, but then concedes that his feet are too tough to have ever been shod. Whether he actually wears shoes in the village is open to interpretation, but the usual reading is that he doesn't.
In Kim, the title character goes barefoot whenever possible.
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Those kids (particularly Huck) are barefoot whenever possible even if it is against the rules. It was actually common in America in the 1800s for kids (mostly boys but sometimes even girls) to go barefoot most of the summer, but there were still rules about when it was and wasn't appropriate. Huck broke 'em all.
Farid from The Inkworld Trilogy grew up in the Middle Eastern desert prior to Inkheart (being a character from The Arabian Nights) and isn't used to wearing shoes. Dustfinger buys him a pair, but he's almost constantly taking them off in favor of going barefoot.
Septon Meribald, who walks from town to town ministering to the smallfolk, goes barefoot in penance for his past as a Dirty Old Monk.
In Deerskin, Robin McKinley's adaptation of the Brothers Grimm tale "Donkeyskin", protagonist Lissar refuses to wear shoes even when visiting royalty. "I like to know where I'm walking," she says at one point. "In shoes, I'm always walking on shoes."
Sam Vimes in the Discworld books is a variation. He dislikes wearing good shoes, for much the same reason Lissar in the example above does — he can navigate around Ankh-Morpork in any weather by the feel of the cobblestones, but naturally he can only do that wearing boots with the soles mostly worn through (or very thin to begin with).
In The Guardians by Meljean Brook, Michael's signature style is to go barefoot, no matter what the rest of his outfit may be. It's later explained that his senses have grown so acute he can feel the vibrations in the ground and know where everyone is. His aversion to shoes is so strong that, when he possesses Taylor, he vanishes her shoes for the same reason. She gets to the point where she doesn't even notice after he leaves.
Zhirem, from the Tanith Lee novel Death's Master grew up barefoot; and after he has grown up into the powerful (and pretty evil) sorcerer Zhirek, he dresses in rich vestments, but still goes barefoot, as he is used to it. Later on, after he had become the philosopher Dathanja, a kind-hearted princess gave him shoes, "which he even wore sometimes".
Denise the camp counselor in Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great. One day Sheila discovers the reason Denise doesn't wear shoes is because the bottoms of her feet are "covered in warts".
In the Cross-Time Engineer series, Conrad meets a traveling monk who doesn't wear shoes. He assumes there's something wrong with the man's feet, because they're so leathery and coarse, but in fact they're perfectly normal for someone who's walked hundreds of miles, and disdains shoes as a needless luxury.
Mr. Jenkins from the Bailey School Kids series avoided wearing shoes until his cabin was filled with wolfsbane.
Molly Grue from The Last Unicorn goes barefoot, apparently by choice; on the other hand, it is mentioned that her feet were "covered in blisters".
In Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Changeling, Ivy is usually barefoot and (reasonably enough for a tree-climbing dancer) she always tucks her skirt into the legs of her underpants. Martha is used to seeing her this way when they are not in school.
Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Harry Wong is revealed to be this as early as the book Hide and Seek. He can dig trenches in the ground with those feet. He will wear sandals and will only put on shoes if he really has to.
Referred to in Oriana's backstory in the second Dinotopia book, "The World Beneath". Oriana tells Arthur that she adapted to wearing shoes, but that she really didn't like them at first because they seperated her feet from the feeling of the grass.
Dragon boys (the youths who tend fighting dragons) in the Dragon Jousters series normally go barefoot for practicality. Sandals would just get lost in the dragons' sand pits. But since the series is set in an Egypt-Expy, being barefoot doesn't really stand out.
O. Henry's Cabbages and Kings has one chapter where a shoe merchant tries to do business in a Banana Republic town where no one likes shoes. The solution was some prickly burrs he had to mail-order from back in the USA.
In one of the Doctor Dolittle books, the doctor is visited by Prince Bumpo, who is in England to study at Oxford. Bumpo says that he enjoys England immensely, except for the algebra he must learn and the shoes he must wear, which hurt his head and feet respectively. He cheerfully says that now that he's on break from his studies, he's forgotten the algebra and thrown the shoes over a wall, so all is well.
In The Neverending Story the Childlike Empress is described as being barefooted, even as she is walking over ice-encrusted snow.
Deconstructed in Animorphs. The protagonists constantly end up barefoot because shoes and loose clothing can't be morphed with their body, but find the result more painful and embarrassing than fun.
Jenny Tan in The Eleventh Plague is a barefoot rebel from the beginning till the end of the whole book: in the classroom, in wastelands, on snow - you name it. She will never wear even a pair of shoes no matter what.
In TOS episode "The Bellero Shield", Mrs. Dame goes barefoot throughout the story.
As do the aliens in "The Children of Spider County" and "The Chameleon".
In Victorious, Sikowitz is almost always barefoot.
Teen Wolf has Kali, The Dragon for the first half of season 3, a female alpha werewolf who never wears shoes. The camera focuses on her feet at least once every time she appears, and her particularly long toenails are often pointed out.
In both The Real World and Big Brother, the housemates go barefoot for a majority of the time. This probably isn't surprising given that people in general tend to go barefoot in their homes.
Ocean Girl 's Neri, Mera and Kal all went barefoot. The first few times Neri went to ORCA, the others made her wear shoes, which she hated. By the fourth season she was barefoot even when horse riding; Jason handwaved it at one point.
In Shaka Zulu young Shaka demonstates his lack of need for army sandals by grinding out a flaming stick with his foot while sneering contemptuously. When he's put in charge of training an army, he makes them go barefoot too.
Kwai Chang Caine from Kung Fu. One of the only times in the series that he wears footwear was to attend a wedding.
The X-Files: Brad Wilczek who created a sentient AI computer operating system from "Ghost in the Machine". He even made Mulder and Scully take off their shoes while they were in his residence.
Wilczek: [in federal prison sitting barefoot on a bed] They make me wear shoes all the time. What else do you want from me?
666 Park Avenue: Jane is often barefoot while at home, or investigating something in the hotel, or during one of her dream sequences.
Joe Hart from Glee does not feel comfortable with shoes and goes barefoot all the time. He justifies it by saying it's because of his religion, and that Jesus didn't use shoes, but going barefoot to school has got to be against some kind of regulation!
Two episodes of the original Ironside ("The Man Who Believed" and "Once More for Joey") feature barefoot hippie musicians who wind up becoming Victims of the Week.
Dual Survival has Cody, who hasn't worn shoes, socks or long pants for the last 22 years. Throughout the series, he is barefoot, unless he's in a situation where being so would be monumentally stupid; in snowy environments, he wears thermal socks, and in one episode he fashioned some crude sandals to walk over volcanic rocks without ripping his feet to shreds.
British singer and winner of Eurovision Song Contest 1968, Sandie Shaw tended to go barefoot both on stage and off. Her detractors thought this was a marketing gimmick, but Sandie claimed she did it because she was afraid of tripping over wires.
The winners of the 2012 and 2013 Eurovision contests, Swedish Loreen and Danish Emmelie De Forrest respectively, also performed barefoot when they won. The latter had claimed singing barefoot was her style as it made her feel closer to nature and more relaxed.
Cesaria Evora was called "the barefoot diva" and recorded a studio album by the same name. This is because she sung in small, local taverns, often appearing barefoot on stage, where there was a stage, until the age of 47 when her international career started. She was quite a literal case of this trope, as she said openly she avoided wearing shoes in everyday life wherever possible.
Deana Carter prefers not to wear shoes at all — when filming on a Puerto Rican beach for one music video they had to first make sure there were no needles left lying in the sand and she's seen walking the streets barefoot in the same video (and stopping to remove something sharp). For concerts, she always brings a small rug with her to stand on while on stage.
Joss Stone is almost always barefoot on stage and on various outings. She has said that she doesn't wear shoes on stage because she is afraid of slipping and falling.
Mandy Moore claims that she usually performs barefoot due to her large feet (she's a size 10) because she has difficulty finding shoes that feel comfortable to perform on stage in.
Andrea Corr, the story goes, decided to remove her shoes for a performance in 2001, and liked it much so much that she's done almost all her stage shows barefoot ever since.
Michael Franti hasn't worn shoes at all since 2000, although he does wear flip-flops where shoes are required, such as restaurants and on airplanes. He says he's not trying to make a political statement, he just doesn't like shoes.
Neil Diamond's "Two Bit Manchild" contains the line "Ain't got no eye for a tight pair of shoes when my bare feet'll do."
Jack Sonni was known for playing barefoot when he was with Dire Straits in the mid-1980's, most notable in the Walk Of Life video.
Shakira almost always performs barefoot, and even called one of her albums Pies Descalzos (Spanish for "bare feet"). In her biography, Woman Full of Grace, she indicates that being barefoot makes her feel like she has removed the facades from her personality and allowed her true self to shine through.
Dave Mackintosh of DragonForce sometimes performs barefoot.
Henry Rollins almost never performs with shoes on... in fact, he rarely performs with anything but shorts on. Paul Reiser called attention to this during an award show, thanking Rollins for not tracking mud on the floor.
It's not unusual to see a drummer perform in socks or bare feet, to better control the bass pedal; Guitar Hero even suggests this for using the drumset if players are having trouble.
Rick Allen of Def Leppard has to be the poster-child for the barefoot drummer.
Edward Ka-Spel, lead singer of the Legendary Pink Dots, doesn't seem to enjoy wearing shoes onstage.
There are some opera singers who like performing barefoot even if it doesn't necessarily fit the role or the director's concept. It may or may not be acting, but Dawn Upshaw, Sylvia McNair, Karita Mattila, and particularly Agnes Baltsa all seem to enjoy performing roles barefoot.
Jimmy Buffett often performs barefoot as part of his beach bum persona.
Tim Minchin seldom wears shoes during his performances; he says he feels he is not a natural performer, and avoids wearing shoes to make himself more comfortable on-stage... so he can forget that he's actually on-stage.
German singer Danja Atari has very few public photos where she isn't barefoot.
Raquel del Rosario of the Spanish band El Sueńo de Morfeo often performs barefoot or wearing barefoot sandals.
Vocaloid Oliver has bandages on his feet but no shoes or socks. Word of God says that this was a largely aesthetic choice, as apparently he looked "too girly with shoes". As a result, the "youthful innocence" version of this trope is a common Fanon portrayal of his character.
Evelyn Glennie, the virtuoso percussionist, often performs barefoot, though for a good reason: she's profoundly deaf and it helps her to feel the music.
Pop duo Megan and Liz frequently perform barefoot.
Carole King is barefoot on two of her album covers (Tapestry and Thoroughbred).
Polka musician Barefoot Becky.
Idina Menzel went barefoot for her entire 2012 summer tour, even calling it the "Barefoot at the Symphony Tour".
Wrestling barefoot was common for Japanese wrestlers in America in the 70's and 80's, sometimes done to emphasize their Oriental martial arts-related gimmicks. Nowadays, shooters and wrestlers with martial gimmicks tend to go barefoot or wear only Mixed Martial Arts-like footwraps.
Kevin Von Erich wrestled barefoot for most of his career. He has said in interviews that it was because the boots he bought for his first match didn't fit quite right, and from there, it became a trademark.
In WCW, Mona regularly came to the ring wearing shoes, then slipped them off and wrestled her matches barefoot. After she became Molly Holly in WWE, she wrestled in the 2004 Taboo Tuesday Fulfill Your Fantasy Battle Royal barefoot.
Necro Butcher was told at last minute he had to do a run-in on a Ring of Honor show, and was wearing flip-flops. It wouldn't do a hardcore SOB like himself to be wearing flip-flops and be whaling on people with chairs, so he went in barefoot. It's become a trademark.
Grizzly Redwood wore no boots for a while in 2009 because in Ring of Honor, "Dirty" Ernie Osiris had stolen from him. And, apparently, that's okay since he's a lumberjack.
Joshi wrestlers Carlos Amano and Kana (who is a long time shoot-style fan) both forgo footwear, with the exception of Kana's kickpads.
Velvet McIntyre wrestled barefoot during the 80's while she was in the WWF. This is because her wrestling boots were stolen.
GLOW had a good number of its roster go barefoot, including but not limited to Mt. Fiji, Little Fiji, Little Egypt, Royal Hawaiian, Godiva, The Headhunters, and Jungle Woman.
Jungle Grrrl from the women's wrestling promotion WOW (it was defunct for a while until it returned late last year).
When she's not wearing her all-U.S. attire, Madusa of WCW had high-heeled boots on during the entrance, which she took off immediately after coming on the ring. Sometimes, however, she walked down the ramp without shoes at all.
Michelle McCool usually wore boots when she wrestled. If she was wearing something else before a match she would take them off and wrestle barefoot.
Ratlings, Halflings IN SPACE, also occasionally go barefoot.
Some Imperial preachers also go barefoot as part of their mendicant lifestyle.
As of the latest codex, several Dark Eldar now go barefoot on the battlefield, including the Mandrakes (who are living shadows), some Hellions (who ride flying, bladed hoverboards) and Scourges (who have wings), Urien Rakarth and the other Haemonculi (who float around using suspensors), and Lelith Hesperax (who is just Badass).
Tau don't wear shoes, although with them it's more a case of "bare-hoof" than "bare-foot". Their allies, the Kroot, don't wear shoes either, but then, they don't wear anything.
The Tharn in the Iron Kingdoms fantasy setting don't wear shoes, in keeping with their bestial nature.
Originally played straight with halflings (as they started out as a fairly direct hobbit-ersatz). Averted in 3e, where halflings are no more or less likely to wear shoes than anyone else.
In 3e, a fey race called the uldra in the Frostburn supplement and the hobbit-ersatz khesta in a third-party setting called Twin Crowns play it straight.
Dragonborn in the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons are almost always depicted barefoot in the official art.
Kobolds are described as never using footwear in the 3.5 edition, and are rarely if ever depicted using footwear in any edition.
Many if not all lizard-people (lizardfolk, kobolds, etc) in Dungeons & Dragons are depicted barefoot.
Azer, a race of dwarves that are infused with fire, are almost always depicted barefoot.
Halflings in Pathfinder are vaguely hobbit-inspired and play the trope straight again.
Armida in the play A Village Fable. "No shoes, no shoes, I refuse to wear shoes!" is practically her Catch Phrase.
In the musical Spring Awakening the character of Ilse spends the entire second act barefoot. The original music director for this show, Kimberly Grisby, also has a reputation for usually being barefoot — everywhere from conducting the show every night to on stage at award shows.
In modern expression theater, it seems to be an unwritten rule that all actors have to be barefoot.
The title role of Pippin is always played barefoot. The tradition began when the role originator had bunions and couldn't find a comfortable pair of shoes.
Audrey in As You Like It is often played barefoot. (As a side note, this custom began in the nineteenth century, when for reasons of propriety no performer would actually appear barefoot on stage: barefootedness was represented conventionally, by the wearing of white stockings called "leg fleshings.") Many modern productions of As You Like It have multiple characters barefoot during the Arden scenes, to go with the general "back to nature" vibe.
Everywhere where more or less deep Character Customization is possible (mainly regarding the outfit), it's pretty much possible for the custom character to go barefoot at any time, in any place. Some games even have the concept of "decorative outfits" which are shown regardless of what equipment you're actually wearing, so it's perfectly possible to be wearing and getting the benefit of +11 Hobnail Boots of Stomping Things Flat while being shown on screen as barefoot.
The Monk and Witch Doctor classes (regardless of gender) in Diablo III have several shoe and boot options which leave them barefoot. The Witch Doctor's default appearance in particular is barefoot. By applying the vanishing dye, any shoe or boot options can leave them barefoot. The Monk in particular voluntarily lives in Barefoot Poverty as part of his/her training. At least, before the game starts.
In Dragon Age II, elves are retconned into preferring to go barefoot most of the time. This includes party members Merrill and Fenris. Zevran from Dragon Age: Origins is an exception when he appears, since it's well established that he has a thing for leather boots.
When you talk to Merrill when she has no conversation at that point, she often mentions something that has to do with her lack of shoes, like not expecting to be walking on cold stone or some merchants trying to sell her shoes for some reason. And in some dark and smelly caves, she has a very upset line "I think I stepped in something."
One of Fenris's idle animations is checking the soles of his feet.
This actually seems to apply more to Dalish elves (like Merrill) instead of all elves. As for Fenris... his aversion to wearing shoes probably has something to do with the Lyrium tattoos all over his body.
Loads of Fighting Game characters go barefoot. This is appropriate, of course, given the number of martial arts that are practiced barefoot. Considerably:
As the source of one of the page quotes, Ryu and Ken (along with half of everyone else) from the Street Fighter series.
Street Fighter III actually has three females who are barefoot while fighting: Elena, Ibuki and Makoto. The last, despite being known to stay in her gi (complete with no shoes) even during the cutscenes, was later confirmed to wear shoes outside the fights after all, thanks to the Street Fighter IV alternate costumes. Outside the female cast, it's limited to Sean, Urien and Gill, and they don't spot footwear only during the fights.
Darkstalkers has a few honorable mentions. Felicia is the only barefoot female fighter, Jon tends to burst out of his shoes and top when he goes wolf, and it's seriously doubtful there are any shoes in Sasquatch's size.
Some of the Midnight Bliss transformations will also have either this (like for Jon Talbain's) showing their feet (like for Sasquatch).
Ryo Sakazaki of Art of Fighting, as part of being the SNK answer to Ryu. In the original game Ryo wore geta that he'd kick off before fighting. In the legendarily awful OVA, he declares, "Not wearing shoes is part of our training!" but given the other Kyokugen fighters (Robert and Yuri) have no trouble with footwear, it's just him.
In The King of Fighters Momoko, a cute capoerista, has actually been seen only in one game during the entire series, and even in the ending, she wasn't wearing shoes at all.
Mai Shiranui, who was featured in the same series, also counts, except she doesn't wear shoes only when she wears her kunoichi attire, as her only footwear in that case is in-step guards and black thin foot wraps. She drops the latter off, though, for the Fatal Fury 3 onwards.
Chae Lim in Maximum Impact, as for being a taekwondoist.
Christie Monteiro from the Tekken series (Only in her P1 outfit though, as she wears sandals in her P2 costume), mainly because she's a capoeira fighter. Due to the fact that you can customize the outfits, though, it's also possible to see barefoot Lili, Alice and Asuka.
Nina Williams also had shades of this in her default outfit of the very first installment of Tekken. And that's straight to the point that in the intro movie, she's shown running from the police having a gun in her hand but no shoes on her feet.
Eddy Gordo, Christie's mentor, also counts for the most part, though some of his alternate outfits avert it.
Kira Daidouji, Catherine Kyoubashi and Angelia Avallone from Arcana Heart are all barefoot. Kira can justify it by her perpetually swimming in her water blob, at least.
Skullgirls has Ms. Fortune and Painwheel, with the first due to being a catgirl and the second one being a Living Weapon who looks like she stepped out from a horror movie.
Squigly also wears no shoes, she just wears a long dress and striped stockings.
Maria, a fighter Spaniard girl from a little-known fighting game by Team17, Body Blows, doesn't hold up to the habit of wearing shoes during the battle. Neither does the local Dumb Muscle Dug.
Katrina from Quest for Glory seems to be barefoot even since when the Hero first meets her.
World of Warcraft, as of latest expansion, maintains remarkable parity of attitude towards shoes among its races. Alliance and Horde alike have:
One race with hooves that preclude wearing shoes. Footwear is equippable for everyone though — it just doesn't show on their model except the ankle part (Draenei and Tauren);
One race with non-traditional foot anatomy that seems to be similarly incompatible with displaying shoes (Worgen with their bestial paws, and Trolls on their bizarre two-toed feet with vestigial third toe on the heel);
One race which, while generally wears shoes, is sufficiently in tune with nature to feel equally comfortable with or without them (Night Elves and Orcs). Thus they often forego proper shoes, sometimes even when wearing full battle armor, in favor of soleless ankleguards;
One race which has a seemingly modern approach to clothing, in tune with their advanced technology, and may sometimes omit shoes out of their casual or informal work wear (Gnomes and Goblins);
And two races which seem to firmly consider not wearing shoes an indignity (Humans, Dwarves, Blood Elves and Undead).
The Pandaren race to be introduced in Mists of Pandaria so far seems to have unremovable painted on sandals, which is a bit jarring for a beastman race.
The druid class has a particular predisposition to this. Druids start off barefoot, and while shoes are as important source of stats for every class as any other equippable item, druid specific armor has multiple examples of having shoes appear as ankle bracers. The armor made for monks also seems to gravitate towards this due to them being the martial arts class. Averted by shaman armor despite NPC shaman frequently going barefoot to be more in touch with the elements, specifically earth.
An item was added into the game in patch 5.3 that allows making shoes invisible for everyone regardless of race and class. Obviously someone, somewhere, realized such a feature may be in demand. While it was slated for removal when the patch's storyline concluded, mass protest occurred to the point where the developers promised to reintroduce it at the earliest possible opportunity.
Of known lore figures, the night elf High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind and traitorous former Arch-Druid Fandral Staghelm are shown barefoot. Near the end of the Cataclysm expansion, this was averted: Tyrande received a model update changing her from a barefoot priestess in a gown to a warrior priestess in a Magical Girl dress and high heels.
Evil empress Azshara, ruler of night elves ten thousand years ago, doesn't wear shoes either when the players pay her a visit in the past. Her justification is apparently a display of power and arrogance.
The most prominent example is FBI agent Kodiak, who does not like people staring at his big hairy feet while never missing an opportunity to point out how big and hairy they are. He is also a Badass. Subverted with his Evil Twin in the Multifarian Mirror Universe, who has normal feet and wears shoes, but has a notably more bestial face instead.
Some of escaped prisoners from the Westside Prison wear only socks. The plant mutant Ivy is barefoot.
Many of the Mooks in Vibora Bay, mostly members of the Trey Kings (who dress in little more than leather straps), Sovereign Sons voodoo cultists and the more feral vampires of the New Shadows. Subverted with the Dogz, who wear shoes when not in full werewolf form.
Lemurians, even the humanoid ones, wear instep guards rather than shoes, mostly due to living underwater. Females are often completely barefoot.
Nearly all members of the Bigfoot tribes in Canada. Guess why.
Kunoichi's alternate costumes in both Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi Z have her traverse practically barefoot, wearing only instep "guards" (i.e. toeless, heelless socks). In Warriors Orochi, Da Ji also runs around barefoot (well, bare pawed, since she's a fox demon).
Beast races (Khajiit and Argonian) in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind can't wear shoes or boots, due to being digitigrade and having differently shaped feet to humans, elves, and each other. Khajiiti gain absolutely nothing in return for having one less equipment slot and inability to wear the best helmets, so they are the least popular race in the game. Argonians see their biggest use in speed runs, as they start with a bonus to speed and athletics.
In Digimon World 3, Suzaku Leader doesn't wear shoes, which fits her oriental dancer outfit.
Maylene from the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games. Perhaps because she's a Fighting-type specialist, she believes it's healthier for one to go barefoot. In Platinum, she remains barefoot even while walking to Snowpoint City!
So do Bruno, Phoebe and Marshall of the Kanto, Hoenn and Sinnoh Elite Four, respectively.
Among the kinds of regular trainers you battle, the Psychics often go barefoot. Swimmers and Tubers do as well, but they don't count since they're in swimsuits. Also male Fighting-type trainers, wearing karate gis. And in X and Y, female Fighting-type trainers also go barefoot.
Kaede Smith from Killer7. Her nickname as part of the Killer 7 is actually "Barefoot".
Similar to the Morrowind example above, Kieran in Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos is a Huline (a cat-human hybrid) and the only playable character who cannot equip footwear of any kind due to his unique leg structure.
Played with in Blaze Union. Mizer loves shoes, but he's made an oath to go barefoot until the poor are no longer oppressed.
Chell, the player character in Portal, for some reason. Her Advanced Knee Replacement prosthetics (that prevent falling damage) don't seem to require it. This may be because at the start of the game, she was sleeping. Averted in the sequel, where she wears the Long Fall Boots instead.
In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, three extremely attractive ladies go barefoot: Cosmos, The Cloud Of Darkness, and Ultimecia, plus one more (Yuna). Lots of people suspect the Dissidia designs were intended to target as many fetishes as possible, this is part of the reason why. Cosmos is a goddess, and as such isn't expected to wear shoes; Cloud of Darkness is a Hive Minded creature who happens to be the embodiment of the Void who's true form doesn't actually look like that; Yuna's lack of shoes comes from her source material (shoes get in the way when you do the Sending on the surface of a lake, apparently)... No clue about Ultimecia.
Nothing really compared to Final Fantasy X, where pretty much everyone went barefoot — the NPCs at least anyway. Seriously, 4 out of 5 random NPCs would be barefoot, with the vast majority being female. Out of the party, though, it's limited to Yuna (see above), Jecht (too manly for shoes), Yunalesca (dislikes more than just wearing shoes), and Kimahri (giant furred beastman). Justified by Spira's mostly tropical climate.
In Final Fantasy XI, the Mithra are barefoot by default. Or technically, they wear insteps that leave their toes and heels bare.
Zilean is not wearing shoes. However, given that he's floating...
Janna, as well. Pretty much a non-issue since she can fly.
Many Fire Emblem games have at least one character who doesn't wear shoes, though sometimes this is only apparent in their official art (and, as characters tend to be drawn multiple times by different people, it may change from art to art). This is especially common with the Dancer class (for obvious reasons), and to a lesser extent the Brigand class (probably to emphasize their wild nature). The Taguel in the most recent game, Awakening, also apply, though the race they're an expy of, the Laguz, did not.
The protagonist of The Suffering, Torque, takes off his shoes after entering his cell in the intro. When his cell door is opened, he leaves his shoes behind and spends the rest of the first game barefoot.
Myosotis, the player character of a flash-based adventure game, The Trader of Stories, remains shoeless throughout the entire game and still prefers to walk that way even despite she's heading to the peak of a cold and icy mountain.
It's pretty hard to see because of their normal sprites, but female healers from the Disgaea series go barefoot.
A massively high-powered move-increasing boot in recent late-game Disgaeas is "Barefoot X," humorously insinuating that shoes are holding your characters back by default.
All Points Bulletin has Double B, the Mission Control for new Criminal players, who is barefoot despite her base of operations being an underground parking garage full of gangbangers who most likely aren't the tidiest people around.
Princess Yorda of Ico, which also serves as this game's Damsel in Distress, is a pure example of this trope. Given that she looks like a phantom girl, but without actually being one...
Mingxia from Red Alert 3: Paradox, the commando unit of the Atomic Kingdom of China, usually runs on a killing spree with her feet bare... At least according to the available concept art.◊ Not to mention that she's the only character in the entire mod and, perhaps, the entire series to ditch shoes during the battle.
Zathia, the female Fairy, is the only character in Blaze 'n Blade series to be barefoot. Even despite she floats about the ground most of the time, it's pretty hard to spot on her 3D model; however, one of the many loading screens of Eternal Quest shows her sitting on the road without having any shoes at all.
Concept art from Trine 2 depicts Zoya, Isabel, and Rosabel as being barefoot. In-game, Isabel and Rosabel retain this status, while Zoya reuses her model from the original game and wears boots.
The title character from Sega's arcade game Ninja Princess (released in the West as Sega Ninja) is barefoot in the kunoichi outfit she spends the vast majority of the game in. The small size of her sprite, combined with a flesh tone very similar to the dirt ground, makes it hard to tell in-game, but promotional art makes it more obvious.
Maria Robotnik is barefoot in the few shots of Sonic Adventure 2 that her feet are visible. She gains blue shoes when the exact same scene is depicted in later games like Shadow the Hedgehog, however.
Jo from Ehrgeiz has her wearing in-step guards in all of her costumes. Partially, that has something to do with her fighting style, capoeira, and partially with the fact that she was raised by the wolves.
In Spore, there is no footwear option in any stage costume creator. This is because in the creature creator there are thirty-two different types of feet available, wildly different in form.
However, it is possible to arrange clothing parts around the feet in a way to simulate footwear. The developers included examples of this in Galactic Adventure, in the form of Smelvin and Barbados.
Robot feet can also be used to represent shoes.
Many characters in the Sacred series, mainly The Inquisitor and the Dwarf in their default attire. In 2 (but not in Underworld) the jungle elves known as Dryads are often barefoot. Even their queen, Dyria, wears heelless, toeless footwear.
Characters in Wii Fit are frequently depicted barefoot, as the Wii Balance Board is designed to be used without shoes (socks are okay, but the player's Mii omits them). This carries over to the trainers in-game, which in turn carries over to the Wii Fit Trainer that appears in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS; she fights barefoot as well.
In Dota2, the sorceress Lina, elven archer Windrunner, and the wolf-riding princess Mirana go mostly barefoot (with small straps around the arches of their feet), even though boots are a pretty standard item to have in-game. (As well as a bunch of other characters with non-humanoid legs.)
The powerful, intelligent, sometimes naive and playful Queen Jennah◊ from Guild Wars 2, despite wearing a regal gown, goes barefoot.
Boki, the player character from Copy Kitty, doesn't wear shoes. The color of her feet (which matches her hair) indicates what weapon she's got. Since Boki is a Cat Girl, she overlaps with Barefoot Cartoon Animal.
Angora of The Meek goes barefoot. In the beginning she doesn't wear anything, making it more a case of Does Not Like Clothes, but as the story goes on she starts collecting clothing, but still no shoes (or shirt).
Antimony Carver from Gunnerkrigg Court (picture above) just prefers to get her feet dirty from time to time. Surprisingly, the dirt on her bare feet is actually depicted at times, versus most fiction where the barefoot character's feet remain sparkly clean.
Morgana Honeydew of Flaky Pastry, being a halfling, doesn't wear shoes. She claims this is because she can't find any in her width.
Most of the characters in Salt the Holly go barefoot even when shoes are available.
The main character in Kelly Hamilton's comic Roza is barefoot most of the time. At one point she steals boots but loses them soon thereafter. Her curse of having self-igniting blood may help her survive barefoot in snow with no damage. As of the latest chapter, she has the boots back and looks to be keeping them on. According to the author, once Roza enters the big city she'll be wearing light pumps for good. The fans are displeased.
Ixnay, being a pixie, has never been seen to be wearing shoes. Considering that the only other pixie shown in the comic thus far, Sassoon, also goes barefoot it can probably be safely assumed that the whole pixie race doesn't see the need for shoes since they're normally either flying or resting on elevated surfaces (tables, etc). In the recent strips, however, she is seen wearing hiking boots.
The rest of the cast does seem to display a preference for going barefoot when in a residential environment.
Trigger in Far Out There, at least ever since he adopted his space hippy look.
Kari Tyrell in Crimson Dark. Strangely, it is never brought up in dialogue, and almost no visual focus makes that clear. She just doesn't wear shoes when she's not in the cockpit.
In Pet Projects, Notle the Witch usually goes barefoot when she is at home. She wear shoes or boots when she's outside, or at work though.
Itchyknee-san of Samurai Princess does not wear shoes, but that is part of being a sumo wrestler. Jacquline however just does not like socks.
Myari from Ears for Elves doesn't make a big deal of it, but has yet to be seen wearing shoes/boots/moccasins. This is apparently something she has done since childhood.
Sette Frummagen from Unsounded remains barefoot from the first panel where she appears and on. No one really cares enough to bring it up. Word of God states that street children from Sette's hometown of Hanghorse go barefoot habitually, out of a combination of poverty, comfort, stealth, emulation of the sailors they see in the port, and because wearing shoes before winter is likely to get you beaten up by the other kids for "putting on airs". Even though Sette's Da makes plenty of money and is more than able to afford shoes for her, he doesn't want her growing up feeling superior. Plus, Sette just doesn't like wearing shoes at this point.
Anak from Tower of God doesn't wear shoes. Probably because she is Lizard Folk and to emphasize how she is different, but her feet are quite like a human's.
The title character in Selkie does not like to wear shoes (due to having very long webbed feet). She changes her mind after getting shoes custom-made to fit her.
The Shadow Child aka Disbelief from Roommates goes around barefoot and he is certainly "down to earth" just don't read this as close to nature more like Flat Earth Atheist... with the power to make the things he doesn't believe in disappear or worse.
When questioned, Sierra of college webcomic Dumbing of Age figures she hasn't worn shoes since sixth grade.
Most of the cast of Camp Weedonwantcha walk around barefoot. Somewhat expected in that children tend to lose their shoes when they get outside.
Gwenevere Singley's foppishly sociopathic shapeshifter Erroneous is always barefoot, even when he's engaged in espionage activities where shoes would help him blend better. He refuses to explain why, but it might be for the same reason he's not 100% comfortable wearing normal clothes even; he can do it, but if he's not required to wear something else, he prefers a slightly mangled chainmail robe under a long black coat. He's so anti-shoes that in a recent Christmas picture, he's actually transformed his feet into ice skate blades rather than just wearing a pair of skates.
The Cinema Snob is often seen without shoes and just wearing socks. He doesn't always do this, but he figures 9/10 times his feet are out of sight anyway, and he even goes out to lampshade this a couple of times. In several of his reviews he's also been completely barefoot with no socks.
The Nostalgia Critic wears battered sneakers when he goes outside, but when he's in his house he'll nearly always be barefoot.
Alexandra Hutton of The Book of Stories OCT, being a famous bookwriter, as well as working for a major publishing company, doesn't want to give a damn about wearing shoes: unless it's not needed, she will most probably wear sandals.
Officer Cop of Doom House is never seen wearing shoes and is even seen walking outside on bare feet.
JesuOtaku is barefoot more often then not, both in character and out.
"I tend to walk around barefoot everywhere, even outside. Sometimes I'll even drive barefoot if I know I'm not going anywhere that requires shoes. Of course as Ed in the 4th year movie I was barefoot for a reason, but...yeah. Not often. When I do wear shoes: sandals and flipflops. Socks are rare with me. But my feet are clean! XD"
Toph does not like wearing shoes or having her feet touched, presumably because as a blind Earthbender she "sees" through her feet.
Earthbenders in general tend to be averse to footwear, beyond sole-less coverings for the top of their feet. All Earthbenders seem unperturbed by rough terrain and a large portion of their bending is based on stances and foot work to manipulate the earth.
Most members of the Sadida class fall into this, though some do wear sandals. Probably linked to their Plant Person nature (they likely favor constant contact with the earth). Funnily, "Sadida" comes from reversing Adidas...
Notably, Sadida Princess Amalia usually doesn't wear shoes (unless in a frigid region). She does wear sandals when dressed in her princess outfit, though immediately ditches them when she goes adventuring again.
Sadlygrove seems to have become a barefooter after episode 25 of season 1. This happened after a reunion with his master Goultard, who also walks around with no footwear (or a shirt for that matter).
Qilby first appears wearing sandals, but loses them when he merges with the Eliacube and reveals his true villainous nature.
Aquaman and Aqualad often go barefoot when in costume. Even in sub-zero temperatures, (though considering how they can tolerate similar temperatures in the deep ocean, it may not be a problem). Though when Aqualad was in civves, he wore sandals. This is justified as Atlanteans seem to have webbed feet that are slightly larger than average to aid in swimming. Covering them would be impractical.
In season 2, Beast Boy follows this pattern as well, since he's an animal shapeshifter with a primate as his main form.
Beingal from the Legend Of The Dragon series, is never seen wearing shoes. Though this could because when she embodies her Tiger Form, her feet grow bigger and the claws would probably damage any footwear.
In The Simpsons, "Tree House of Horror X". Lisa/Clobber Girl is always barefoot.
Pumyra doesn't wear the spat-like coverings almost all other Cats wear.
Fawn from Disney Fairies goes barefoot in her summer outfit as seen in "Great Fairy Rescue", the beginning of "Pixie Hollow Games", and several of the Pixie Previews. Vidia always wears shoes in the movies, but in the books she is a barefooter. A few fairies who have so far only been seen in the books are barefooters as well.
Two of Jericho Freeman's kids in The Boondocks. They appeared only in the episode "Invasion of the Katrinians" and are barefoot throughout it.
The Gargoyles from Gargoyles, due to having talons.
At the premiere of the movie Charlie's Angels, Cameron Diaz went barefoot - less by choice and more by circumstance, as the strap of one of her shoes had broken right after she arrived. She didn't care about having to be barefoot, though, and even remarked to a reporter who asked her about it that she was "right where she wanted to be, barefoot".
Kristen Stewart, as mentioned above, also likes to go barefoot at these fairly formal occasions.
Julia Roberts is known for going barefoot a lot, even going so far as to get married that way (and it wasn't a beach wedding, either). She even asks the directors she works with if she can incorporate this tendency into her characters; judging by how frequently she is barefoot in her film roles, most of them don't seem to have a problem complying.
Summer Glau also isn't very fond of shoes. She suffers from tendonitis and arthritis in her heels and toes, respectively, and wearing shoes is actually painful for her. She has said that boots, specifically cowboy boots, are more comfortable for her.
Isadora Duncan and practitioners of modern dance in general. (Duncan was a big fan of "nature," and most non-heritage dances are best performed barefoot, with light or nonexistent clothing.)
Bea Arthur would parade around in her house barefooted. If you look in some episodes of The Golden Girls you could also see her walking around the set without her boots. She was also prone to kicking her shoes off while driving, which caused a bit of an awkward situation once during her Maude days when she showed up at a club barefoot, having forgotten her sandals in the car. She went in anyway.
Melissa Joan Hart is proabably an example too, judging by how many times she's been photographed barefoot, and that in these photos she looks natural and comfortable, like she's enjoying herself posing in her bare feet.
According to some sources, Sophie Marceau is also fond of walking barefoot, especially on the old streets of Paris.
Interior designer Genevieve Gorder is an unusual case; she went barefoot constantly on Trading Spaces, but she claims it was because the show had no wardrobe budget and she didn't want to ruin her shoes. It remains a trademark, however; the opening graphic of Dear Genevieve shows her reclining on a couch with her shoes visibly kicked off.
Albert Einstein, being the poster boy for Absentminded Professor, was a big fan of this, even going so far as to attend official functions barefoot. (And when he did wear shoes, he almost never accompanied them with socks. He did not like socks.)
Cody Lundin of the show Dual Survival hasn't worn shoes in over 22 years. He will, however, wear sandals (usually improvised from available materials) if necessary, such as when walking on sharp volcanic rock and other hostile terrain. But he also went barefoot in knee deep swamp water filled with highly poisonous water moccasins (which his partner Dave repeatedly called him out on).
Dave tends to call Cody out on his shoelessness in almost every episode.
Cody went in with his feet covered only in environments where there was knee deep snow, and that was only wearing thick wool socks.
Sam Snead, famous for his laid-back, folksy image, often golfed barefoot.
Wojciech Cejrowski - Polish traveller, journalist and writer (also known for his controversial conservative and ultra-Catholic socio-political views) usually doesn't wear shoes during his journeys, as it can be seen in his popular, award-winnig travel show called Barefoot Around the World.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is often seen in working in flip-flops or bare feet. But seeing as how he's running the company and is one of the richest people in the world, it's not like he has any reason to care about a dress code.
As implied by the nickname, Colton Harris-Moore, the "barefoot boy bandit", is an 18 year old boy who eluded Sheriffs and Officers in the Seattle area for over 2 years. He also had a tendency to hunt his own food and live in the forest—until he finally got caught. He is currently serving a sentence of 6 and a half years, and his life story is being sold, the profits to pay restitution to his victims.
Unfortunately averted with one of the world's tallest men, a man from China. When the Olympic basketball committee came to see if he could be a good player, they found that he'd forced his growing feet into the only available shoes for so long that the bones were stunted, ruining his agility. He could have used some good flip-flops.
Steve Jobs. He would often disgust people at business meetings and interviews by putting his dirty, bare feet up on the table.
Keira Knightley has been caught by paparazzo barefooting more than just occasionally. She also tends to be barefoot more often than not for her glamour shots.
Zia Luehrman, who's a graduate of Truman State University and a pretty skilled artist who was at a plenty of jobs, used to be one hell of a barefooter during her university years according to her classmate, as she says that "Zia NEVER wears shoes".
Real Life - Social
There are a number of organizations dedicated to promoting a shoes-free lifestyle, including The Society for Barefoot Living and Parents for Barefoot Children. These groups claim that going barefoot not only provides many health benefits, but is also instrumental in creating a more peaceful, spiritually connected state of mind.
Averted in Spanish culture, where it's considered rude to be barefoot, often even within one's own home.
Due to Values Dissonance, Japanese people can appear this way when in reality it's a tradition that one does not wear shoes inside the house.
Japanese Tendai Buddhist monks are known to perform a grueling journey of ascetism and devotion called the Kaihôgyô — which takes seven years, and is basically one thousand days, ten blocks of a hundred, of running through the mountains; they start out with a distance of about one full marathon, and finish with a double marathon a day. If they fail, they are expected to kill themselves. Here's what makes it relevant to this trope: they do not wear special footwear for this, but rather simple straw sandals, and sometimes run barefoot. This has also resulted in some rather spectacular feet near the end of the undertaking.
Muslims are often quite puzzled (and sometimes disgusted) when they see westerners wearing shoes inside their homes. Moreover, Muslims must take off their shoes to pray or to enter an area designated for prayer (e.g. the main prayer hall of a mosque); in these circumstances, socks may be worn, but as many Muslim countries are hot and sandals are common footwear, the common result is barefootedness.
Taking your shoes off whenever you enter your own or someone else's home is typically expected in Canada. As with the Nordic countries, Canada is typically a frozen wasteland or a muddy slushpit for much (and in some places, all) of the year, and having mud or snow tracked into the house is something few Canadians enjoy.
In the UK, it's traditional for shoes to not be worn in the house. However, it's becoming more common these days to find families that don't care about shoes inside the house. When being invited into a home it's therefore considered good manners to ask whether you should take off your shoes rather assuming that you either should or shouldn't. It's also very common for people in office jobs to kick off their shoes and walk around barefoot. Companies have been cracking down on that in recent times over Health and Safety fears but it doesn't seem to be a tradition that's going to die out any time soon.
Real Life - Sports
Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila famously ran and won the marathon in the Summer Olympics of 1960, running barefoot, because his team-issued shoes hurt his feet. Bikila was used to running barefoot, since that was how he typically trained. However, in 1964, he ran wearing shoes and won again.
Women's distance runner Zola Budd ran most of her races barefoot, as she grew up in South Africa, accustomed to going unshod.
Barefoot running has become a significant trend among casual runners in recent years, largely due to being popularized by the famous trainer Ken Bob Saxton. Many barefoot runners believe that running without shoes can help prevent injuries and improve form.
Rae Heim is a stunning example from the West. She took up long-distance running on a whim, started to run barefoot due to minor training injury temporarily preventing her from running in shoes, realized she's more comfortable this way and never stopped. She has since ran many races barefoot, including marathons. Shortly after finishing high school, and days after turning 18, she embarked on a 4,300 mile coast to coast cross-country run, averaging 20 miles a day mostly barefoot (although she wasn't doing it on principle and she did wear sandals or running shoes when road and weather proved too much to bear). Her run concluded in November 2012, making her the youngest cross-country runner.
Isis and Jackrabbit, the so-called Barefoot Sisters, yo-yo hiked the Appalachian Trail (roughly 2000 miles) totally barefooted except in very snowy or icy conditions.
A number of placekickers in American football have preferred to kick barefoot, citing that it gives them better control over the direction of the kick. However, the practice is currently banned in many leagues, including almost all high school leagues.
Hayden Ballantyne, an Australian Rules Football player, immediately removes his football boots at the final siren when he plays and can be seen shaking opponent's hands, high-fiving fans and wandering the oval in his socks.
Many martial arts of cultures the world over are practiced barefoot. The reasons vary; in Asia it is often tied to cultural customs about when and where footwear is worn. Likewise, many kinds of shoe can ruin the training mats covering the floor, or risk giving worse injuries to opponents than intended. The practice has certain advantages, as well; bare feet provide better balance and grip to the floor, and the practice toughens the skin so that if you are attacked while barefoot you can still fight effectively.
Capoeira is an example, as some schools teach how to hold knifes and blades using the toes.
Sumō wrestlers go barefoot, as do gyōji for makushita division and lower (maegashira and jūryō gyōji wear white tabi, while san'yaku gyōji wear the same along with zōri).
The Ugandan team in the 2012 Little League World Series received cleats like every other team. They practiced barefoot since that's what they were used to.
Real Life - Other
At any given point, about half the students at New College of Florida are not wearing shoes. This may hold true for some other college campuses as well.
Reed College, a notorious college in Portland, Oregon, also has a large barefoot population. Because of this, an on-campus group (The Reed Kool Shit Kollective, an Affectionate Parody of Communism, Hippyism, and Reed's reputation) leaves makeshift cardboard shoes outside of the dining hall where shoes are required for students who forget. New student orientation specifically enumerates the places shoes are required (dining hall, gym weight room, and chemistry labs).
Sierra Larson, who has her own blog about it. What makes her so special? She lives in Alberta, so she goes unshod almost everywhere. Even in winter. The only times she does wear anything on her feet is at work.
This woman seems to have appeared barefoot in court, judging from the picture. Of course, maybe she was that way when arrested.
Averted at the Burning Man festival, despite the stereotype of barefoot hippies, to avoid chemical burns from the alkali desert where it takes place.