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"Shoes? No, I can certainly afford them; I go barefoot for comfort."
Ryu (win quote), Street Fighter IV
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This character tries to avoid wearing shoes whenever possible. The reasons for this design or personality trait vary greatly.

There are some reasons that are common enough to be specific subtropes:

  • Barefoot Captives: Characters are forced to be barefoot while being held prisoner.
  • Barefoot Loon: As a sign of eccentricity or absent-mindedness. Bunny Ears Lawyers and Cloudcuckoolanders may go barefoot in public because they are either flouting societal conventions or are simply oblivious to them.
  • Barefoot Poverty: Because they simply can't afford footwear. If they go up in the world they may still avoid wearing shoes because they find them uncomfortable or to show that they haven't lost touch with their roots.
  • Barefoot Sage: Enlightened sages and eccentric mentors, for the reason that they know and see more than everyone else does, and are just too wise to care about said social conventions. This may also be a form of religious asceticism.
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  • Earthy Barefoot Character: To show that they are connected to the soil in some way. This may overlap with other subtropes if they 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.
  • Magical Barefooter: Characters with magical powers sometimes go barefoot — this may be because they need contact with the soil for their powers, because they are invulnerable to injury or soiling, to demonstrate their lack of interest in social conventions, or to demonstrate their "higher being" status.
  • Undead Barefooter: Undead characters may go barefoot, again either to dramatise their inhumanity or because they just don't care.
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This is also sometimes a sign of youthful innocence or vulnerability, and many of the characters who demonstrate this trope are either children or childlike.

Most Asian martial arts are practised 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. The lack of shoes may also be used as an indication of untamed ruggedness.

Finally, although humans in real life naturally have some of the strongest feet around, some characters can be described as having 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. This is one of the standard racial attributes of Hobbits. Furry characters 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. Characters with non-humanoid body shapes are exempt from this, as it's more notable if such a character is wearing human clothes.

This trope is often used in visual media 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 or Joss Whedon), which may explain why these characters' feet are very rarely visibly dirty or calloused.

Contrast All Women Love Shoes; downplayed if a character has a notable preference for open-toed footwear (sandals or flip-flops), especially in circumstances when others usually put on closed shoes or boots (like in cold weather or on formal occasions). If none of the characters wear shoes and the work portrays a society or setting where shoes don't even exist, then this trope doesn't apply to them.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • 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.
  • Mountain Dew's country roots inspired the "Get That Barefoot Feeling" ad campaign of the late 60s-early 70s, which aimed to make the soda seem as refreshing as the carefree joy of lounging or traveling without shoes. Commercials showed Mountain Dew drinkers happily going barefoot in public, or at social situations.
  • Spic 'n Span had a campaign in the '70s targeted towards viewers who don't wear shoes indoors. The commercials showed people performing various household activities in their bare feet, to the accompaniment of a cover of Robert Parker's "Barefootin'" (a song about the fun of dancing barefoot) while the announcer boasted that Spic 'n Span gets floors "barefoot clean".
  • A businessman in one BMW commercial, promoting the sensitivity of the car's all-wheel drive, decides to explore his workplace and its city barefoot, and learns to enjoy feeling different tactile sensations with his feet, including the brush of an asphalt road, and the rush of a rainwater stream.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Dennis the Menace, the titular menace, while not normally seeming this way, does occasionally seem like this. In a 2004 comic, he did a menace race barefoot, unlike his running mates, and also in 2004, there was a comic where he, Walter, and Sergeant Slipper stuck their bare feet (or attempted to, at least) in front of a new restaurant. At the beginning of the strip, Dennis boasts how even his socks are menacing and he hadn't changed them for 4 years.
  • The Dick Tracy villainess Sprocket Nitrate always goes barefoot. It's such a trademark that just seeing a pair of bare feet show up in a panel is an instant indication that it's her.
  • Garfield parodies this trope on August 16th, 1998. Seeing that the sun is shining exeedingly bright, Jon tries a walk in the front yard before going through a lot of mishaps. Needless to say, Garfield quips to the audience in dismay.
  • In Li'l Abner, Daisy Mae Scragg never wears shoes.
  • Downplayed in Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Phoebe goes barefoot more than the average (human) cartoon character, but not excessively often.
  • In Red And Rover, this is definitely the case with Red in all the summer strips. One has him announcing it's summer vacation to his dog, Rover. Rover bounds to meet him, knocking Red's shoes and socks off in the process, and his thought bubble is "Whaddya wanna do first?" Red's reply is "Trade my shoes and socks for a pair of bare feet." Another one has him taking his shoes, socks, and shirt off, saying "Summer vacation, it is here!" Another has him ripping his shoes, socks, shirt, and even trousers off, revealing his swimming costume, saying he certainly is prepared for summer vacation. And yet another has him going to the shoe shop, saying shoes feel odd, and his mum saying any shoes would, as he's spent the entire summer barefoot.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • 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.

By Series:

  • 666 Park Avenue: Jane is often barefoot while at home, or investigating something in the hotel, or during one of her dream sequences.
  • Misty Day in American Horror Story: Coven.
  • 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.
  • River Tam in Firefly and Serenity, to the point that Joss Whedon said in the Serenity DVD Commentary that River's feet are the 11th character on the show. Adam Baldwin calls her on it also: "Did you ever have shoes on in this?"
  • 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 shoesnote , but going barefoot to school has got to be against some kind of regulation!
  • On Gotham, Barbara Kean, the show's resident Ms. Fanservice, is almost always barefoot at home (as well as having her legs on display as well). Even the first episode of Season 2 has her barefoot in Arkham Asylum.
  • Two episodes of Ironside (1967) ("The Man Who Believed" and "Once More for Joey") feature barefoot hippie musicians who wind up becoming Victims of the Week.
  • Kwai Chang Caine from Kung Fu. One of the only times in the series that he wears footwear was to attend a wedding. He also puts on boots to walk across a pit of rattlesnakes.
  • In the BBC Series of The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carre, Florence Pugh's character goes barefoot whenever she can, including when walking drunk through the ruins of a temple and even when driving to somebody else's house, not bothering to bring her shoes with her.
  • In the British series Love, Nina, the title character walks around north London in the 1980s perpetually barefoot, only putting on a pair of gym shoes for a job interview. In the last episode of the first (so far the only) series, Nina does explain her aversion to shoes; "I find that if you wear shoes, you don't feel so much"; evidently, she has never stepped on a snail...
  • Adam from Northern Exposure. He actually seems to have a compulsion not to wear them.
  • 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.
  • The Outer Limits (1963):
    • In "The Bellero Shield", Mrs. Dame goes barefoot throughout the story.
    • As do the aliens in "The Architects of Fear", "O.B.I.T.", "The Children of Spider County", "Fun and Games" and "The Chameleon".
  • In Shaka Zulu young Shaka demonstrates 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.
  • 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 Victorious, Sikowitz is almost always barefoot.
  • 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?

    Music 
  • Many performers like to eschew shoes while performing on stage, often to feel more relaxed or to alleviate stage fright. Kelly Clarkson, Lenny Kravitz, Linda Ronstadt, Eric Benet, Tristan Prettyman, Delta Goodrem, Amy Grant, Lauren Harris, Caro Emerald, Charlotte Church, Katharine McPhee, Joan Baez, Tove Lo, Kate Bush, Dia Frampton of Meg and Dia, Belinda Carlisle of The Go-Go's, The White Stripes drummer Meg White, Evanescence singer Amy Lee, both members of Deap Vally, and Porcupine Tree Face of the Band Steven Wilson have all regularly or semi-regularly performed barefoot at some point in their careers.
  • Eurovision Song Contest:
    • The winner in 1968, British singer 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.
  • Cape Verdean singer 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.
  • David Byrne and his entire band performed barefoot during his American Utopia tour in 2018.
  • The eccentric French singer Zaz (aka Isabelle Geffroy) usually performs either barefoot or in open-toed sandals.
  • 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."
  • k.d. lang is noticeably shoeless while singing Hallelujah at the 2005 Juno Awards.
  • Paul McCartney of The Beatles doesn't wear shoes if he can help it — he appeared barefoot on the famous cover of Abbey Road and mentions bare feet in "Good Day Sunshine" from Revolver.
  • 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.
  • Ukulele virtuoso Taimane Gardner traditionally performs barefoot, much so that she'll kick her shoes off when doing impromptu performances. Her backup musicians also perform barefoot to fit her motif.
  • 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 — just as he already is for the one-armed 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.
  • Taylor Swift goes barefoot pretty often.
  • During his Black Sabbath days Ozzy Osbourne was said to go barefoot since he lived poor as a child.
  • Josh Groban goes barefoot frequently but doesn't perform in bare feet.
  • Deborah Gibson has performed barefoot since the early 2000s.
  • Louise Post of Veruca Salt, in this performance.
  • 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.
  • Florence Welch is known to perform barefoot often.
  • Sheryl Crow is another frequent barefooter.
  • German singer Danja Atari has very few public photos where she isn't barefoot.
  • Raquel del Rosario of the Spanish band El Sueño 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".
  • Skelteria's mascot, St. Trinity, is a barefooter.
  • Lindsey Stirling tends to go barefoot out in both public and nature in her music videos, which involve a lot of skipping and jumping while playing the violin like a pixie.
  • Bettye Lavette is seen barefoot on the album cover of Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook.
  • Hitomi Yaida, alias Yaiko, became famous as "Hadashi no Hime" ("The Barefoot Princess") because she avoids footwear and prefers to do her live concerts and her music videos barefooted. Her the cover for her video documentary "Candle in the Lives" even features her bare feet on prominent display on the set where she performed her "Dizzy Dive" music video that day (also while barefoot, of course). One of her music videos also sees her taking off a pair of shoes in the background because they hurt her feet. In fact, in her music video "Chain," she makes a deliberate choice to leave her shoes behind as she exits her house because she'd rather go barefoot. She even spots a pair of shoes on display in a boutique and seems to have a change of heart, but then she scoffs at them. Then the reason why she doffed the shoes becomes clear- they were the proverbial chain preventing her from being free.
  • Patti Smith's song "Dancing Barefoot" from Wave
    I'm dancing barefoot
    Heading for a spin.
  • Grant Hart was noted for playing barefoot with Hüsker Dü, especially since drumming can be hard on the feet.
  • French singer Barbara Weldens was known for preferring to perform concerts in bare feet, however, the flaws of this approach were tragically demonstrated when she stepped on an exposed piece of electrical equipment and was electrocuted. She was only 35 years old.
  • The Robert Parker song "Barefootin'" encourages listeners to enjoy dancing without shoes.
  • Bobby McFerrin tended to perform barefoot, after a foot cramp during a concert prompted him to remove his shoes and socks while conducting. The music video for "Don't Worry, Be Happy" also uses discarding of footwear as a visual metaphor for developing a positive outlook.
  • The lyrics of Bruce Springsteen's "Jungleland" (the final track on Born to Run) mention a "barefoot girl" who's dating Rat, one of the song's characters.
  • The girl in the Sammy Johns song "Chevy Van":
    "A dirt-road main street, she walked off in bare feet"
  • Imagine Dragons' "Believer" music video provides a "youthful innocence"-related example, as the kid version of frontman Dan Reynolds appears barefoot, while the present-day and future versions appear wearing either sneakers or boots (save the parts with present-day Dan taking his younger self's place, while wearing an outfit similar down to an absence of shoes).
  • Jazz/improvisational singer Linda Manus-Cobine often performs shoeless.
  • Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood promoted going barefoot to gain "chi", eventually appearing shoeless in the music video for "The Numbers".
  • The Spinners' "Rubberband Man" describes the eponymous musician hooking one end of the rubber band onto his toes, which would mean by necessity, he performs without shoes.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The wise wizard Merlin from the Arthurian lore is frequently depicted barefoot in illustrations. The same goes for Morgana LeFay.

    Pinball 
  • As with the source, all of the characters in The Flintstones eschew shoes.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Ur-Example in this field is probably Clarence Eklund, a catch wrestler who became famous for wrestling with bare feet as opposed to wearing the boots or wrestling shoes which were and are synonymous with pro wrestling.
  • Back in the 1940s-60s, Hawaiian wrestler Alo Leilani would wrestle his exhibitions barefoot. According to the commentators at the Chicago International Amphitheater, most Hawaiians wrestled this way.
  • Most Wild Samoans wrestle barefoot, to help put over the "island savage" gimmick (exceptions include Rikishi, Manu, Samoa Joe, and The Usos). Rikishi did go barefoot earlier in his career when he was Fatu of The Headshrinkers (WWF) and the Samoan SWAT Team (WCW). In the mid-90's, the Headshrinkers had a gimmick where their manager, Captain Lou Albano, tried to "civilize" them by making them wear boots in the ring, and they had trouble climbing to the top rope and doing other moves because they couldn't get used to not being barefoot.
  • Wrestling barefoot was common for Japanese wrestlers in America in the 70's and 80's, usually done to emphasize their Oriental roots through the connection to martial arts like Judo or Karate which are trained barefoot. Even long after those times, Mixed Martial Arts footwraps or footguards are popular between shoot-style wrestlers or those with martial arts gimmicks.
  • 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.
  • Velvet McIntyre wrestled barefoot during the 80's while she was in the WWF. This is because her wrestling boots were stolen.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Joshi wrestlers Carlos Amano and Kana (who is a long time shoot-style fan) both forgo footwear, with the exception of Kana's footguards.
  • 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.
  • Defied by Chico Alvarez. He tried a barefoot gimmick but broke a foot as soon as he stepped in the ring. He came to like shoes a lot and encourage anyone else not wearing them to change their ways.
  • Delirious sometimes wrestles without boots or socks, though it doesn't seem to be a consistent thing and with him, not much is consistent anyway. It is probably less disliking shoes and more liking working up a sweat and using his smelly feet for an advantage.
  • Jungle Grrrl, from the women's wrestling promotion WOW. It went defunct in 2001 but returned in 2012 and Jungle Grrrl became the promotion's champion.
  • Stinky Garbage Man, a jobber from Arizona who was a Take That! to Garbage Wrestlers in Tucson, was always barefoot, which is probably why he stank.
  • 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.
  • UltraMantis Black often goes barefoot in CHIKARA. Maybe it's the difficulty of getting vegan wrestling boots.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • WWE wrestler Rusev used to wrestle in footwraps, mostly due to having trained with the Samoan Rikishi. After suffering an ankle injury during a match, he took to wearing wrestling boots and because of this, wrestling without shoes in WWE is no longer allowed.
  • WWE interviewer and NXT commentator Renee Young, has a habit of not wearing any shoes while doing interviews. She's been called on it.Twice.
    Triple H: The big question is why don't you wear shoes when you do these?
    Renee: "I... don't have an answer for that."
  • Matt Riddle wrestles barefoot since he is a former MMA fighter and became accostumed to fighting barefoot.

    Puppet Shows 

    Radio 
  • The titular character in the German franchise Pumuckl is a mischievous but lovable kobold who wears a yellow shirt and green trousers, but no shoes.
  • Bibi Blocksburg is showcased to only go around in her socks when out and about. Oddly she takes them off when going to bed in the animated series. The live action movies forgo this however.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay have several species who don't wear shoes:
    • Halflings, for the same reason as Tolkien's hobbits. Their feet are hairy and leathery.
    • Jade (and amber) wizards often chose not to wear shoes, as they are extremely in tune with nature (or beasts).
    • Beastmen have hooves, and no horseshoes.
    • Many Orcs and Goblins also go without shoes, particularly the "jungle native"-styled Savage Orcs and Forest Goblins.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • 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.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 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. The same seems to hold true for the 5th edition ("D&D Next") so far.
    • Kobolds are described as never using footwear in the 3.5 edition (the idea never even occurred to them!), and are rarely if ever depicted using footwear in any edition.
      • It's even reinforced in this Pathfinder-based book series, Ren of Atikala
    • 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.
    • Goblins and bugbears are usually depicted without footwear, but Hobgoblins are usually shod. Of those three, the latter are the most organized and militarized, so their use of boots may be a reflection of that.
  • Halflings in Pathfinder are vaguely hobbit-inspired and play the trope straight again.

    Theatre 
  • Armida in the play A Village Fable. "No shoes, no shoes, I refuse to wear shoes!" is practically her Catchphrase.
  • 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 some productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, one or more of the Fairies are perpetually barefoot.
  • 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.
  • In The Light Princess, the titular princess, Althea, is almost never seen with shoes on. As she's always floating, she has no need for them. When she has been weighted and is on the ground, she puts shoes on. However, as she's seen without shoes on at the end, when she's on the ground of her own volition, it's most likely she is this trope.
  • Louise in Carousel spends most of her stage time barefoot, which is apparently a trait shared with her father, Billy.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 
  • Coffinshaker, Pai, and some minor characters from Whats Shakin and Coffin Comics never wear shoes.
  • 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).
  • Belkar Bitterleaf from The Order of the Stick. Being a halfling, this might as well be a racial ability for him. In his own words, he is "A SEXY SHOELESS GOD OF WAR!"
    Belkar: Pffft. Shoes are for suckers. All part of a big conspiracy on the part of the cobblers.
  • Terinu himself (you try finding shoes for guys with three toes) and Ninetta are the worst offenders. Not to mention every Vulpine not in a spacesuit...
  • Mab from Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures. Her official biography once stated that "Mab has a deep-seated dislike of wearing shoes."
  • 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.
  • Almost all of the female characters remain barefooted in 1977: The Comic. Many of the boys wind up that way, as well. Creator W. Byron Wilkins once stated on his blog that he "always had a thing for chicks who never wore shoes."
  • The title character of Daisy Is Dead usually walks around barefoot.
  • Meghan, the lead character of Arpeggio, has "got no use for shoes... and can get rather militant about that." After she's chastised by an administrator, Meghan's best friend asks, "Meg, do you even own shoes?" The response: "I think I saw a pair at the bottom of my closet last spring. Maybe."
  • Hope from Alone in a Crowd embodies this trope. She explains her reasons in this comic. (She's also not averse to some occasional skinny dipping...)
  • 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.
  • The wights of Vanadys: Tales of a Fallen Goddess go barefoot, largely because they have big, clawed feet and shoes would be impractical.
  • Elf Blood:
    • 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.
  • Penelope Mortinez from Violet Zombie never wears closed-toe shoes and goes barefoot at any opportunity, especially when wearing her main outfit.
  • 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. Neither does her Walkyverse counterpart, nicknamed Tootsi.
  • Most of the cast of Camp Weedonwantcha walk around barefoot. Somewhat expected in that children tend to lose their shoes when they get outside.
  • Katia Managan from Prequel is actually an aversion; she's not averse to boots, but can't afford any, so she spends half the comic barefoot (only getting some footwear when whatever outfit she's loaned comes with them). Rajirra in Kvatch, meanwhile, is a straighter example of the trope: it being summer in the south of Cyrodiil, she consciously chooses to go around town barefoot. Presumably, this helps with her acrobatics, as she's stated to be fairly adept at those. (Unfortunately for her, an earlier conversation between Katia and Aggy led to a layer of snow covering the ground...)
  • The title character of Go Get a Roomie! is a Shameless Fanservice Girl who prefers not to wear anything, but even when she is otherwise fully clothed she still won't put anything on her feet.
    Lillian: [points down at Roomie's bare feet] Aren't you forgetting something?
    Roomie: I am, aren't I? [leaves and comes back a panel later, wearing a headband] NOW I'm ready!
  • Teal from Delve is a Slime Girl who looks almost entirely like a human but with green skin and hair. While scant she does wear clothes to keep herself covered, but any outfit she chooses for herself never seems to include shoes.
  • Sydney Brooks, the titular character of Sydney's Pokemon Adventure, is a happy-go-lucky and ever-barefoot tomboy who became a Pokemon trainer four years late at the age of fourteen. She never wears shoes because she's spent nearly all of her young life at home and never needed to. She used to wear just socks, but switched to bare feet when she got older because she's morphed into a tomboy who takes after her lazy brother. She happily embarked on her journey while remaining barefoot, because it's what she's used to and the most comfortable in. However, the author has plans to indoctrinate Sydney to shoes at some point.
    Professor Oak: Were you always barefoot?
  • Everblue:
    • From a young age, Luna has either worn open-toed sandals that she tends to kick off (and loses) with ease, or casually gone barefoot. Her love interest Ten is the same way.
    • Dagger is a Stripperiffic mercenary who wears shin guards but no actual footwear of any kind.
  • From PHD, Tajel is a Granola Girl who originally wore sandals, but somewhere along the line she apparently decided to forgo footwear entirely. It's never commented on, and the vast majority of the time everybody is only drawn from the waist up anyway.
  • Pixel Lucado of Grrl Power always wears flip flops, and kicks them off as soon as she gets indoors. This turns out to be a Justified Trope since she is a were-jaguar whose feet become digitigrade when transformed and make it impossible for her to wear shoes, necessitating she stick to footwear that can be removed quickly and easily. Not to mention she practically triples in size, so even if she could wear shoes in her were-jaguar form, anything that would fit her rather diminutive human form would just get torn to shreds upon changing.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Yokoka says in the first Q&A strip that she goes barefoot because she was never given any shoes, but she likes walking barefoot anyway.

    Web Original 
  • In an obvious display of Author Appeal, The Barefoot Sorority, a series of stories by southerncrossfire44, is built around this trope. The concept is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The first story is here. southerncrossfire44 has also written two other series, also available at his DeviantArt site: another Slice of Life story called No Shoes Pizza, and a Spy Drama called Barefoot Agent.
  • 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.
  • Curly from Shiny Objects Videos rarely wore shoes in the earlier videos. Real Life Writes the Plot.
  • The Nostalgia Critic wears battered sneakers when he goes outside, but when he's in his house he'll nearly always just be wearing socks.
  • 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 than 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"
  • Ashly Burch from Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? is almost always barefoot on camera.
  • Vivian James, the 4chan-originated character, usually wears just socks, due to being a gamer who never leaves her house. Otherwise, she's in sneakers.
  • Vesta from Beyond the Impossible always goes barefoot. It's even the first thing we learn about her when she’s introduced:
    Vesta is a very strange waitress: she never wears shoes. She's also immortal.
  • Joanna Martin and Millie Smythe, two of Inspector Spacetime's associates. Joanna loathes shoes, and as they fall in love Millie follows her eventual wife's lead, although she once had All Women Love Shoes tendencies (and occasionally still does). They go on to form a team called the Barefoot Bounty Hunters.
  • Malinda Kathleen Reese from Translator Fails usually has bare feet, either in her videos or on her Instagram profile.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • Ice King is constantly barefoot, since he's both a Cloudcuckoolander and An Ice Person who is comfortable in the cold.
    • Susan Strong is always barefoot, to go with her Noble Savage theme.
    • Flame Princess as well, though those might be too hot to post.
    • Princess Bubblegum seems to vary between episodes. Sometimes she's shown as barefoot, although usually when indoors, and other times she is wearing shoes. Most of the time her long skirt completely hides her feet, however.
  • Archer: Cheryl takes her shoes off often. A lot of the time it's when something bad is happening to someone else (that's a fetish of hers), which could hint at a foot fetish.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • 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.
  • The Batman's incarnation of The Joker tends to go barefoot, as does Poison Ivy.
  • If the animated version is anything to go by, Bibi Blocksbergnote  only ever seems to just wear socks. Averted in the live-action film, where not only does she wear shoes, but a slightly different outfit 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.
  • Jeff da Maori from Bro'Town goes barefoot throughout the series.
  • Captain Caveman from Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, being both a Contemporary Caveman and a Reused Character Design of the Slag Brothers from Wacky Races.
  • The Owl, one of the villains in the Spy Fiction parody Cool McCool.
  • Fang from Dave the Barbarian is barefoot in her regular outfit.
  • 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.
  • Wooldoor Sockbat of Drawn Together never wears shoes, always going about in socked feet regardless of the situation.
  • The Captain's Daughter from The Drinky Crow Show is another barefooter.
  • DuckTales (2017): While the majority of the cast are Barefoot Cartoon Animals as usual, Dewey is the first to explicitly state that he does not like wearing shoes, after trying out a pair. He even awkwardly stumbles around in pain while wearing shoes.
  • Peter Griffin from Family Guy went through this as a phase, going as far as to refer to shoes as "foot prisons". Since it was a Cutaway Gag, though, it's unknown if it actually happened.
  • Absolutely everyone in The Flintstones and its Spin Offs and adaptations.
    • One comic book story actually centered around the invention of shoes, but they failed to catch on.
    • Though the primetime special "Jogging Fever" did show that the people do wear jogging shoes.
    • A Cartoon Network bumper featured Fred, along with Weasel, Huckleberry Hound, and Quick Draw McGraw attempting to get service at a gas station. The attendant refuses them service because of Fred's lack of shoes. Fred then requests to buy a pair of flip flops. But the attendant refuses, so Fred can't buy shoes, because he doesn't have shoes. After the group huddles up, they dress Quick Draw in Fred's shirt and get him to ask for service. He still refuses, because horse hooves don't count as shoes. And Quick Draw lacks pants.
  • Kim, the Pirate Girl from Flipper and Lopaka. In fact, all the island natives go barefoot and half-naked, but Kim is the only outsider not to wear shoes, strongly implying that it is by choice.
  • Leela from Futurama does regularly wear boots. However, in one episode, she claims to never do so- right before hastily removing her boots under a table and propping up her bare feet, staying barefoot for the rest of the episode. Her reason for doing so is because a boot print was found on the back of one of several people she previously murdered. (This is all just a what if scenario though, so those events don't actually happen.)
  • The Gargoyles from Gargoyles, due to having talons. Though at one point in the series, Demona has a spell cast upon her that makes her transform into a human during the daytime. From that point on, there are some occasions in which she wears human clothes with shoes. Other times, she continues wearing her usual gargoyle clothing, thus remaining barefoot.
  • Possibly the strangest example has to be Magnolia from the 2007 George of the Jungle cartoon. She is the girly girl to Ursula's tomboy, so she is hard-wired to LOVE shopping and fashion of all kinds, especially shoes. Yet, being a Jungle Princess, she is never seen wearing them.
  • Nearly all of the villains and few of the heroes in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) follow this trope.
  • Jana of the Jungle, another barefoot Jungle Princess. She also was shoe-less during her Super Friends episode.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes:
    • Beezy. Not immediatly noticable at first since he's not human, but everyone else, including his father, wears them, human or not.
    • Also Heloise, which is part of the reason why her feet are never seen.
  • Lua from Kong: The Animated Series. The Jungle Princess Shaman is never seen wearing shoes.
  • 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. Xuan Chi is another example, clearly by choice.
  • The natives on Mike, Lu & Og don't have access to shoes, until one episode where a crate of them washes up on shore and they go nuts for them. The shoes end up causing them problems, so they give them up. Mike, on the other hand, is a Tomboy and therefore doesn't like shoes (in the sense that All Women Love Shoes), but other than in the aforementioned episode, she is the only one who actually wears them.
  • Nisa from Mission Odyssey doesn't wear shoes because she likes being barefoot. However, in episode 17, she and the others visit an icy land, and when they enter a kingdom warmed by magic crystals, the sweltering floor is too hot for her bare feet to handle. She's then given a pair of fur-lined shoes when their ruler notes she has sensitive feet unlike them, who have adapted to the conditions. Unfortunately, the citizens are all huge in stature and the shoes fall off quite easily, so she goes snooping around in the hope of finding a pair more her petite size and stumbles upon something she wasn't meant to see, resulting in her being taken captive. Ironically, the one time she wears shoes, the rest of her friends are alerted to the fact she's in trouble when one of the shoes falls off again as she's carted off to a dungeon and they find it in the snow. She reverts back to being a barefooter after this adventure. A couple of other characters don't wear shoes among the crew, either, being inhuman species.
  • Most of the main cast of Sandokan – The Tiger of Malaysia. Sandokan and Kammamuri start as an example of Barefoot Poverty and later simply retain the habit (more in the latter's case, however), while Tremal-Naik does it due to his indigenous ways.
  • In The Simpsons, "Treehouse of Horror X". Lisa is always barefoot after becoming the superhero Clobber Girl, because the accident that turned her into Clobber Girl also knocked her boots off her feet. Blame Limited Wardrobe for why she didn't bother to just walk across the room and get them back.
  • Miracle from Sit Down, Shut Up goes barefoot as one indicator of her Hippie Teacher/Granola Girl/New-Age Retro Hippie personality.
  • Nat Smurfling in The Smurfs wears brown footless pants.
  • South Park: Kyle's character in World of Warcraft.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Lapis Lazuli is perpetually barefoot, ostensibly by choice as all Gems can freely manipulate their appearance, including clothes. She only wears shoes in her baseball outfit in "Hit the Diamond", and she wears a pair of gold sandals after regenerating.
    • Rose Quartz didn't wear shoes either, an interesting coincidence as both Rose and Lapis are also the only two Gems to wear long dresses regularly. Downplayed with Steven and his father Greg, who almost always wear flip-flops.
    • Stevonnie, Steven and Connie's fusion, is usually barefoot as their feet are too large to fit either Steven or Connie's shoes. The only time they were wearing shoes, it was a very flexible slipper that Steven had been wearing that could presumably stretch.
  • Anna from The Story Keepers. The Other Wiki even calls her "the barefoot streetwise member of the group".
  • Half of the cast of the Mondo TV rendition of Sandokan go barefoot, including Tremal-Naik, Kammamuri and sometimes even Sandokan himself.
  • Tangled: The Series calls a lot more attention to Rapunzel's preference for going barefoot everywhere than the original movie did (which mentioned it a grand total of once, and even then not directly). "The Way of the Willow" introduces Rapunzel's aunt Willow, who shares a great many personality traits with her, including going barefoot. Another episode featured O.O.C. Is Serious Business, where Rapunzel willingly wearing shoes is a sign to Eugene that something is very wrong.
  • ThunderCats (2011):
  • Athena, the green-skinned female elf from Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon, is always barefoot.
  • The title character of Canadian/French series Tupu is the "Wild Girl of Central Park". As such she generally wears a T-shirt and slacks but no shoes.
  • The two Butler kids on the 70s cartoon Valley of the Dinosaurs are always barefoot, even though both of their parents wear shoes. All members of the primitive tribe the Butlers stay with are barefoot as well.
  • Lazy Luke and the Slag Brothers from Wacky Races are permanently barefoot, to go with their hillbilly and caveman gimmicks. Luke gets extra points for steering his car with them.
  • Similarly, Hanna-Barbera gave the evil side of the hillbilly spectrum some representation in Laff-A-Lympics, where Daisy Mayhem is seen going barefoot even in snowy climates.
  • Wakfu:
    • 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.
  • Wuya in her human form from Xiaolin Showdown.
  • Young Justice:
    • 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 civvies, 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.
    • Icicle Junior also forgoes shoes when iced up, and chooses instead to use the ice to make his toenails longer and sharper. This could be a matter of practicality, or simply aesthetic.
    • In season 2, Beast Boy follows this pattern as well, since he's an animal shapeshifter with a primate as his main form.

Alternative Title(s): Do Not Like Shoes, Does Not Wear Shoes

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