Follow TV Tropes

Following

Does Not Like Shoes / Real Life

Go To

People who prefer going barefoot in real life.


    open/close all folders 

    Celebrities and Personalities 
  • Socrates may be the Ur-Example.
  • Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon and Sean Astin have actually shown up to red carpet premieres in bare feet.
    • 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. At the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, she attracted some attention by taking off her heels and walking the red carpet barefoot.
  • 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.
  • Katharine Hepburn, who is sometimes considered the greatest American actress ever, lived and breathed this trope:
    • Her official biography by Charlotte Chandler says that she always enjoyed walking barefoot, and for her first major role of Pandora in the play The Woman in the Moon, she insisted that her heroine should not wear shoes.
    • When she had to put on footwear, she absolutely preferred informal sandals, wearing them even for her TV interviews.
    • In yet another interview, she said this was the reason why she didn't like skirts: with skirts, you have to wear stockings, and with pants, you can always go barefoot.
  • 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.
  • Pamela Anderson is quite renowned due to many candid photos taken and published on the net for walking barefoot throughout town.
  • Melissa Joan Hart is probably an example too, judging by how many times she's been photographed barefoot, and that in these photos she looks natural and comfortable.
  • Gina Lollobrigida probably also qualifies. She played a number of charismatic barefoot characters, including Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Maria De Ritis in Bread, Love and Dreams, and Ippolita from La bellezza di Ippolita. In addition, she was the only actress to portray Esmeralda, who was shod in the original novel, in bare feet (perhaps it even was her own idea), felt very comfortable walking around barefoot during the filming, and enjoyed posing to the photographers like that.
  • 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.
    • And she did a commercial or two this way, too.
  • Savannah Guthrie (from Today) apparently does reports barefoot.
  • An interview with Elijah Wood reveals that The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson often appeared barefoot on the set, "like a real-life Hobbit."
  • 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.
  • Rob Bredl, the barefoot bushman. Even when catching crocodiles, according to Wikipedia.
  • 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-winning 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.
  • 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".
  • Shaka Zulu is known to have strong disdain for footwear since he believed it hampered the mobility of the warrior and has trained his soldiers to march through terrain barefooted. There was even a story where he even discarded a pair of sandals made with valuable cowhide. Doubles as fridge brilliance since training his soldiers in barefoot have impis as being the most mobile soldiers in history.
  • Michael Franti of Spearhead. He goes barefoot because he hates footwear.
  • Model/Actor Travis Fimmel often goes barefoot in public, even for such occasions as auditions and interviews. Sometimes, the writers and/or directors of his roles work a reason for him to film without footwear into the script, if it doesn't already provide one.
  • Australian zoologist and nature photographer Amy Wild is a hardcore barefooter, to put it lightly. No matter what sort of bush, or even mountain, she's traversing, she always prefers her "favorite footwear" - her bare feet. It apparently all started with her dad, who's an even bigger barefooter than she is. She mimicked him as a child, and soon after ditched shoes entirely. Doubly impressive that they're both in Australia, the land of Everything Trying to Kill You.
  • Bella Thorne has a tendency to shed her shoes at the first opportunity.
  • Chloe Grace Moretz is an interesting example. Although she has worn a pretty large selection of shoes in her time as a celebrity, they are mostly strappy sandals without socks that barely conceal her feet at all. She is often barefoot indoors, and most significantly, has had many long sequences in many of her movies where she is completely barefoot.
  • Gigi Hadid sometimes walks around barefoot, being seen in candid photographs outside with no shoes on. Getting her feet dirty in the process doesn't seem to bother her.
  • Mariana Vega developed the habit of going barefoot in her apartment in Canada as she became a singer, and discovered it helped her feel the music rhythms and vibrations so much that she adopted the habit on stage. She became the Venezuelan equivalent of Shakira, and actually had the gumption to go on a talk show in her bare feet.
  • John Hodgman publicly removed his shoes and socks when playing the Deranged Millionaire on stage, explaining that he feels more relaxed without them, and that the Deranged Millionaire prefers to dress in a manner that makes everyone else feel uncomfortable. A commercial for That Is All follows him on a barefoot walk through his mansion, into Times Square.
  • This article lists several occasions when Shailene Woodley has gone barefoot during movie premieres or other public appearances.
  • Among the Australian sketch comedy group Aunty Donna, Mark Bonanno always performs live shows barefoot.
Advertisement:

    Social 
  • There are a number of organizations dedicated to promoting a shoes-free lifestyle, including Barefoot Is Legal, 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.
  • 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. As a result, some flooring materials used in homes and apartments can be easily damaged since they normally only need to stand up to slippers and socks.
  • Japanese Tendai Buddhist monks are known to perform a grueling journey of asceticism 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.
  • Russians and most other post-Soviets consider wearing shoes at home uncultured. The same thing occurs in Nordic countries, often to make sure not to track in mud and snow most times of the year. As a result, even guests are asked to take the shoes off. Some go for slippers, some go barefoot.
    • 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.
  • Spanish culture is a bit of a mixed bag about this. Being barefoot at home is acceptable, if relatively unusual, as barefootedness-friendly flooring materials are not traditional to the country and this makes indoors slippers or flip-flops more popular. However, being barefoot at home in front of visitors can be considered rude.
  • Most casual Filipinos tend to be barefoot inside a home (be it theirs or others'). This may or may not stem from the Spanish and Japanese culture when they invaded them, their belief that wearing footwear inside (other than indoor sandals) may dirty the floor, or that they're more comfortable with their feet bare since most kids tend to wear slippers.

    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 non-competitive runners, 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. Some notable ones who played in the National Football League are Tony Franklin, Rich Karlis, and Mike Lansford (Lansford performed his kickoffs with shoes, but his field goals barefooted) However, the practice is currently banned in many leagues, including almost all high school leagues. In the NFL, the practice is allowed, but generally considered obsolete, as there has not been a barefooted kicker in decades.
  • 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 knives and blades using the toes.
    • Sumo Wrestling practitioners 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.
  • India qualified for the 1950 FIFA World Cup - until they withdrew after FIFA rejected their request to be allowed to play barefoot.
  • A small number of golfers prefer to play barefoot, claiming it improves posture and balance on the field. The USGA doesn't forbid the practice, though private clubs might.

    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).
  • Averted at the Burning Man festival, despite the stereotype of barefoot hippies, to avoid chemical burns from the alkali desert where it takes place.
  • Sierra Larson, who has her own blog about it. What makes her so special? She lives in Alberta, yet she still goes unshod almost everywhere. Even in winter. The only times she does wear anything on her feet is at work.
  • As mentioned in the Images from Elementary entry in the Literature folder above, Kibbutzniks have this reputation, which is fairly justified—they often walk barefoot even when the pavement is scorching hot in the summer.
  • Some people with Asperger Syndrome or on the autistic spectrum have a hypersensitivity to clothing and prefer not to wear clothes, often including or limited to shoes or socks. Subverted with some aspies who have a dedication to always always appearing formal.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report