Earthy Barefoot Character

Characters who walk barefoot are often shown to be close to nature, animals and their surroundings. These characters are sometimes depicted as a Wild Child or Nature Hero living in jungles, forests or in the wild. They tend to be deeply connected to animals (and may even have the ability to talk to them) and plants in general. At the very least, they are the Nature Lover.

As for personality, they are usually carefree, down to earth, stubborn or energetic. If they have powers, they'll usually get Dishing Out Dirt or Green Thumb. They may also posses some mystical abilities like controlling animals, changing the weather and such.

Bare feet are probably used for this as you can feel the ground beneath you (therefore you'll be "connected" to the earth) and you wouldn't really get that feeling from shoes or socks, so generally, a character exhibiting this trope does not like shoes. Characters with powers sometimes require this connection to the earth for their powers to work, making bare feet a necessity for them.

If played realistically, such a character might have particularly calloused and dirty feet, but Beauty Is Never Tarnished often rules this out, especially when it's used for the sake of Author Appeal.

Related to Fertile Feet. Subtrope of Does Not Like Shoes. Compare and contrast with Barefoot Poverty and Barefoot Sage.


Comic Books
  • Batman villainess Poison Ivy is sometimes a barefooter, Depending on the Artist and the adaptation.
  • Subverted with Jack Hawksmoor in Stormwatch and The Authority. He needs to go barefoot because his powers depend on contact with his environment, but his powers come from urban environments rather than nature.
  • Minor DC villainess Jinx has multiple elemental magic powers (not just Earth-based ones), but still loses all of them if she doesn't have skin contact with the ground, so never wears anything on her feet.

Film- Animated
  • Tangled: Rapunzel. Makes sense considering her down-to-earth attitude, her way with animals, and her healing powers.
  • Disney's Melody Time, "The Legend of Johnny Appleseed" segment. When we first see Johnny he's dressed in normal clothes, including shoes. After starting on his mission to plant apple trees throughout the U.S. his shoes wear out and he's barefoot from then on.
  • Sleeping Beauty: Briar Rose, who is barefoot and a Friend to All Living Things.
  • Pocahontas is yet another Disney example.

Film- Live Action
  • In Avatar, once Jake gets his avatar body he runs out into a field and sinks his toes into the earth, symbolic of his coming connection to Pandora. Crosses over with Limb-Sensation Fascination, as his human body was paraplegic and he hadn't been able to run in years.
  • In Legend, wild nature boy Jack walks around without shoes. Or pants.

  • Flute, the Mysterious Waif in The Elenium, is known for eschewing footwear always having grass-stains on her feet, even if there is no grass anywhere around.
  • Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings don't wear shoes, as part of their Closer to Earth rustic character. They have tough, hairy feet to make up for it.
  • In Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Changeling, Ivy Carson is definitely this.
  • Circle of Magic by Tamora Pierce has Rosethorn and Briar. They even have their first bonding moment about this.

Live-Action TV
  • Caine from Kung Fu is usually barefoot and is very close to nature.
  • Cody Lundeen from Dual Survival, who hasn't worn shoes for decades because he feels being barefoot brings him closer to nature. However, he's willing to don footwear in situations that warrant it, such as thermal socks when traversing snowfields, or improvised sandals when walking over sharp rocks.

Tabletop Games
  • In Dungeons & Dragons earth genasi are nearly always depicted barefoot (which may signify their connection to the element, or just result from the fact that they tend towards thick skin and unusual foot size)
    • Enforced for fist of the forest prestige class - they grow claws when tapping into their primal powers, which rips through any boots they might be wearing.
  • Warhammer wizards who draw on Ghyran, the green wind of magic, are connected to water and through it to plant life. As such, they usually go barefoot. That spells they use that do not involve Making a Splash or their Green Thumb involve Dishing Out Dirt.

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender goes barefoot all the time, even destroying the soles of shoes so she can still feel the earth easily. The reason she isn't wearing shoes isn't some symbolic connection between her and the earth, it's the literal connection between her feet and the ground. Toph is blind, and can "see" by sensing the vibrations in earth, so she needs to be barefoot for this to work. It still works to some extent if she's wearing shoes, but this amounts to a fuzzy connection. There are a couple of episodes where the soles of her feet are shown as realistically grubby. In a case where she needed to wear a pair to disguise her nature as an earthbender, Toph improvised a set of bare-bottomed shoes. Other earthbenders who can see don't need to take their shoes off. Of course, that doesn't stop most of them from going barefoot anyway. Earthbending might be possible in shoes, but is most likely much easier barefoot.
    • Played with Toph's daughter Lin in Avatar The Legend Of Korra. Lin wears sturdy and reliable metal armor to aid her metalbending, with boots included. However, the portions of the boots covering her feet can be retracted so she can make direct contact against the ground with the sole of her foot and use her seismic sense. This is the same for the rest of the Republic City Police who can metalbend.
    • Justified with Aiwei. He can detect when people lie by feeling their heartbeats stutter through seismic sense, so he sports no shoes. And he does so much to the advantage of travelling around Zaofu and tacitly gaining intel about people, much to their unsuspecting eyes.

  • Tupu, from the French/Canadian cartoon of the same name. Due to having been raised in the wild, she almost never wears any kind of footwear.