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Earthy Barefoot Character

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Apparently, animals tend to gravitate more toward people who don't wear shoes.
Rapunzel: You never wear shoes either?!
Willow: I've always said, "How can you know where you stand in the world if you can't feel the ground beneath your feet?"

Characters who walk barefoot are often shown to be close to nature, animals and their surroundings. These characters generally live in tribal, rural or even coastal environments, where going barefoot is culturally acceptable and most everyone simply Prefers Going Barefoot out of preference. They are sometimes depicted as a Wild Child or even a Nature Hero, and they tend to live away from civilization or in small communities like villages or beach towns. They tend to be deeply connected to animals (and may even have the ability to talk to them) and plants in general. They tend to be more respectful of the land and the earth. At the very least, they are the Nature Lover.

As for personality, they are usually carefree, down to earth, stubborn or energetic. Normally these characters are normal people rather than a Magical Barefooter, but when these tropes overlap, 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 often used for earthy or rural characters 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 Prefers Going Barefoot. Characters who double as Magical Barefooters sometimes require this connection to the earth in order for their powers to work.

This trope is sometimes used to depict the deeply connected to the land characters in contrast to the more land ownership system believing characters; the former are barefoot and the latter wear shoes.

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

Related to Fertile Feet. Commonly, but not always, married with Prefers Going Barefoot. Compare and contrast with Barefoot Poverty, Barefoot Sage, Barefoot Loon, Magical Barefooter, and Undead Barefooter. The Hot Gypsy Woman, Nature Hero, Jungle Princess and Noble Savage are frequent examples of this trope.


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  • A barefoot runner in a Mercedes-Benz commercial monologues about being "addicted to the road", apparently maintaining a strong connection with the ground through both running and driving his Mercedes.
  • A businessman in a BMW commercial decides to walk around barefoot, and visit lush areas of the city where he works, finding serenity as he feels new tactile sensations in the more natural environment.
  • A Lipton commercial proclaiming that "natural feels nicer" has the iced tea's natural recipe inspire its drinkers to discard their shoes, then visit the grassy park in their bare feet.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Akari Mizunashi of ARIA is a milder example. She normally wears shoes, but in a situation where having them off is preferable, like wading, she finds it very pleasant to go barefoot. It's explained quite well here. If Akari put her boots back on after they got waterlogged, it would be pretty unremarkable. However, her personality is optimistic: she sees it as an opportunity to have fun in an adorable and fun way. During Aqua Alta, her boots seep with water, so naturally, Akari spends the whole day in bare feet, and the second time around, she gets Akatsuki to join in on the fun. Need proof that a barefoot Akari is a happy Akari? Look no further. The cobblestone delights her. Does it bother her to forego shoes if she has to? No. She loves it.
  • In Episode 10 of Esper Mami, this goes into effect with realistic consequences when Mami Sakura takes off her shoes and socks out in the lush countryside, forgets them, and spends the remainder of the episode running around barefoot, even when teleporting back home for a moment, and for a while, she starts wearing a flower crown, too. When she has to go home for real, though, her shoes and socks are hopelessly lost in the tall grass and she goes back home with her feet still bare and her father laughing at what happened.
  • Mavis Vermillion of Fairy Tail, spent a lot of her childhood growing up in a forested island, and is a nature and animal lover with an unshakable habit of going perpetually barefoot. She did not plan on growing up to becoming this kind of character, but after having her shoes taken away, she decided it actually felt better to be barefoot, and pretty much gave up using footwear forever because of how much she loves going without shoes. It's such a persistent aspect of her character that it becomes one of her most recognizable aspects. In fact, her very reincarnation, Mio, "forgets" to wear shoes out of absentmindedness and a paper-thin excuse that it was too hot to wear them, and Arleos, Zeref's reincarnation, seems poised to take off his own shoes and affectionately walk barefoot alongside her in a moment of Meet Cute.
  • The titular witch Zero from Grimoire of Zero initially comes off as a case of Barefoot Poverty, first seen clad in only a ratty travelling cloak. It turns out she has plenty of valuable gems on hand to afford new clothes, but she sticks to her cloak out of stubborn sentimental attachment, and intentionally travels around without any shoes or stockings because she likes to feel the dirt and grass under her bare feet. The Mercenary has to coerce Zero into using footwear when the time comes to make her improve her wardrobe.
  • Princess Noelle Ardelade in L/R: Licensed by Royalty is a free-spirited country girl with a love for singing, nature, and free will. Her most prevalent trait is that she adores running around barefoot at every waking moment and absolutely hates shoes. She wants nothing to do with them, because she feels confined in them and feels free when her feet are bare. It's a symbolic representation of how she favors a carefree life in the country over her royal obligations. In fact, the first thing she complains about in the care of Jack and Rowe is not being allowed to run around in bare feet anymore, since she got to be barefoot to her heart's content indoors and outdoors in her homeland, so she quietly rebels by kicking off her shoes and socks and being barefoot in the privacy of her room. By the end of the series, she gets her wish, when, after finding it impossible to walk in them, she is mercifully allowed to ditch her princess slippers (no one can see them underneath her dress, anyway) and comes of age in her bare feet.
  • Such is the case with the titular Ronja from the anime of Ronja the Robber's Daughter, who enjoys being barefoot outside, depending on the weather and time of year. Birk also likes to ditch his shoes.
  • Treyni the Dryad from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is a tree spirit descended from fairies who goes barefoot and serves as a protector of the Treants and the manager of the Great Jura Forest.
  • Downplayed with Cheryl in Tico of the Seven Seas. In episode 13, her toes briefly flutter and wiggle after she feels the sound vibrations of distressed yelling from below deck under her bare feet. Cheryl wears shoes in public and on the mainland, she just happens to be fresh from a shower and adopting the casual style of the crew to forego footwear. Everyone on the Pepperocino prefers to walk barefoot because footwear is kinda defunct in a place that's like home and aquatic.
  • Enforced with Chitaru of the Witches anthology chapter "Thief of Songs", as a low-key, modest, and public-friendly alternative to her real preference of full-blown nudism seen later. Chitaru is compelled to walk around barefoot because she enjoys being Exposed to the Elements, and gets a Feet-First Introduction to emphasize her unusual free-spirited state of bare feet on a cruise ship deck. When Hinata Komine meets her, Chitaru almost immediately coaxes Hinata into getting barefoot just like her, and sounds like a Cloud Cuckoolander in her approach, but with some strong encouragement, Hinata sheds her shoes and socks. When Hinata notices that it really does feel nice to go barefoot because her feet are being exposed to several nice sensations that they weren't while coddled away in her footwear, Chitaru notes her feet have just "awakened" and has demonstrated the rationale of her barefooted state. Hinata then adopts this trait for herself and opts for bare feet for the rest of the voyage, when she arrives on the island Chitaru told her to visit, and when a supercell hurricane is about to obliterate her from the face of the Earth.

  • The Kiss (Klimt): The woman is notably barefoot while kneeling in the flower field. She has Flower Motifs, so this helps reinforce her feminity.
  • Primavera: It shows characters from myth, including spring goddess Flora, barefoot in a fertile garden.
  • The Return of Spring: Spring stands naked and barefoot in a flowery field.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman's plant-themed villainess Poison Ivy is sometimes a barefooter, Depending on the Artist and the adaptation.
  • Minor DC Comics 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.
  • The Hot Gypsy Woman from the Justice League of America is always barefoot.
  • 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. His feet have been visibly adapted, having gray, ridged soles.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Marya was living a solitary life in the wilderness when she first encountered Diana, and even during her stint as a student at Holliday College refuses to wear shoes. This rather limits what jobs she can take to support herself living in a city so she ends up being a lifeguard.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Artemis, goddess of the hunt and wild creatures and places, wears shoes the least often of any member of the Dodekatheon outside of Athena who refuses shoes entirely.

    Fan Works 
  • Likewise, Aurora's male counterpart Rory as peasant Bryan in The Prince and the Spindle. When he's forced to wear his princely attire, he describes the boots as being confining, after being barefoot all his life.
  • In Sleeping Beauty (Gender bender), Aurora's male counterpart Aland as the peasant Briar is one as well.
  • In Somnium, the forest-raised Aurora still dislikes shoes despite not living in a wilderness anymore. Giselle is even able to identify her on horseback by her lack of shoes. Aurora combines this with Magical Barefooter as she's a seer.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the animated music video for Gotye's song Bronte, the Girl used to be one of these, wild and untamed and running around barefoot, playing with bison in the forest. However, as she gets older, she becomes gentrified. One day, when she has matured into a young college age woman, she spies her beloved forest again, instinctively abandons her shoes and trades them for bare feet. The scenes focus on her shod feet, sneakers left behind in the grass, and her bare feet crossing over a low-lying tree branch. It suggests she has freed herself from society to run wild again.
  • Disney Princess: The Disney Princesses who go barefoot; Moana, Pocahontas, Ariel, and Rapunzel are portrayed as earthy.
    • The Little Mermaid: Ariel is a rather energetic mermaid princess who loves adventure, spends most of her time out in the wild, goes barefoot whenever the scenario allows, and is loved by (almost) all animals. Special mention goes to the scene in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea where a more proper, strict Ariel takes off her shoes so she can soak her bare feet in some ocean water as a way to reconnect with nature.
    • Moana has the titular character and all islanders go shoeless, as they are a sea and island dwelling culture, they are connected to the nature of the ocean.
    • Pocahontas is a barefoot Powhatan woman who is connected with the earth, contrasted with the colonist John Smith who wears shoes.
    • Sleeping Beauty: Princess Aurora is barefoot and a Friend to All Living Things when she's living at a forest under the disguise of the peasant girl Briar Rose.
    • Tangled: Rapunzel never wears shoes. Makes sense considering her down-to-earth attitude, her way with animals, and her healing powers.
  • The mountain pandas in Kung Fu Panda 3 are barefoot and earthy, unlike Po The One Who Wears Shoes among the pandas.
  • Mavka: The Forest Song: The eponymous Mavka is a Nature Spirit and always walks barefoot (except when she attends the village's festival dressed like the local women).
  • 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. This is Truth in Television as the real Johnny began to go barefoot on his travels and ended up being a perfect example of this trope.
  • Mebh Óg MacTíre in Wolfwalkers is a Wild Child who lives in the forest with wolves, so naturally she doesn't wear shoes. Her feet are extremely dark with dirt as a result.

    Films — 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.
  • Kira, the female gelfling from The Dark Crystal. It's hard to tell in the film, but The Merch reveals this to be the case. It's also the same case with the podlings/Pod People, who raised Kira after the Garthim killed her family.
  • In Legend (1985), wild nature boy Jack walks around without shoes. Or pants.
  • While in the first Maleficent film Aurora isn't one of these, by the sequel she's living entirely in the woods and totally barefoot while there, just like her animated counterpart. The villainous Queen Ingrith even mocks her for it. Additionally, the Dark Fae in their Hidden Elf Village are all barefoot as well.
  • In mother! (2017), the titular character played by Jennifer Lawrence is one of these. Not surprising, considering that she symbolizes Mother Nature and/or Mother Earth.
  • In Shandra: The Jungle Girl, the title character is a Jungle Princess who spends the entire movie barefoot. At multiple points, other characters discuss how much more primal and closer to nature she is than normal people.

  • In Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Changeling, Ivy Carson is definitely this.
  • Circle of Magic by Tamora Pierce has Rosethorn and Briar, who like to feel the earth. They even have their first bonding moment about this. In fact, a witty joke is later made that if arrogance were shoes, Briar would never be barefoot.
  • 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.
  • Outdoorsy adventurer girl and daydreamer Frieda B Herself. of the titular Frieda B series, is introduced as an one of these, under the rhyme that she's "a girl with wiry, fiery hair, and she rarely wears shoes because she likes her feet bare."
  • 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.
  • Lucy from Small World (Tabitha King novel) is a down-to-earth, motherly artist. We get a lot of descriptions of her bare, dirty toes.
  • Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire could be considered this: She spends a lot of her time barefoot, one of her two childhood nicknames was 'Arya Underfoot'. Later in the story she spends the majority of her time on the run in the Riverlands' forests, also she can warg into her direwolf as well as several other animals.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • Izzy Bee in the Netflix docuseries Izzy's Koala World. Izzy helps her family run a koala hospital on Australia's Magnetic Island and is constantly roaming around the island picking fresh eucalyptus leaves for the koalas or looking for good places to release them. She clearly likes the outdoors, and Magnetic Island has a warm climate, so she's barefoot in nearly all of her scenes.
  • Tash in Jam and Jerusalem only thinks she is this.
  • Caine from Kung Fu (1972) is usually barefoot and is very close to nature.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: The Harfoots are more in In Harmony with Nature than their descendants. They are a Wandering Culture, moving from place to place, and don't need to wear shoes on their strong, hairy feet.
  • Invoked along with Barefoot Poverty in an episode of NCIS by Jimmy Palmer when the Victim of the Week is found without shoes as a possibly reason and he turns out to be highly knowledgable on the subject, having written a report on feet/footwear (because Palmer is more enamored with them than he'd care to admit). It turns out to be neither: the victim was struck by a taser and it accidentally triggered an embolism that led to his death by stroke, and one of the side effects he felt while dying as his nervous system fried and broke down caused the nerves in his feet to become so unbearably hot he reflexively bared his feet in his final moments of delirium.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Greek Mythology, the giant Antaeus lost his Healing Factor powers if he was not in physical contact with the earth. Hence, he is always depicted barefoot.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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 the 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. Those spells they use that do not involve Making a Splash or their Green Thumb involve Dishing Out Dirt.


    Video Games 
  • The indie game, After Us, sees you playing as Gaia, a nature spirit exploring the earth After the End. She's barefoot the entire game.
  • Beastieball has Riley, who is the first to speak out against the destruction of the Rutile Town nature preserve, while also posessing a strong connection to the wild beasties, which do not seem to mind her presence. And yes, she is indeed always depicted as barefoot.
  • Blade & Soul: The Lyns tend to be barefoot in many of their outfits. This is linked to their lore, which mentions how the Lyns have a deep connection with the Spirit Realm and the earth. It should be noted that the Lyn tend to have small, dog-like paws for feet instead of human feet.
  • Carmen Sandiego's ThinkQuick Challenge: Snarla Swing is an Evil Luddite who goes barefoot.
  • Nuri from Chains of Satinav is kind to everyone, always barefooted, and treats all animals as though they were sapient. Given how this is in the grim setting of The Dark Eye, her general niceness stands out all the more.
  • Demon Front have one of it's playable characters being Maya, an alien native from an entirely jungle planet, who's the only character who forgoes shoes.
  • Demon Skin have you playing as a Barbarian Hero. Being born in the wilderness, you spend the whole game kicking ass sans shoes, even - especially - the first stage which is a snow-covered wasteland.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age II: Merrill and Fenris, the elf party members. Merrill is from one of the Forest Ranger-style Dalish clans, while Fenris presumably just Prefers Going Barefoot. As most of the game is spent in a grimy city, they'll occasionally complain about stepping in something unpleasant.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition has Solas, an elven apostate companion, go shoeless. He outright notes that being outside for so much of his life means he doesn't even mind when he's in snow or a desert.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Zophy, who lives in the wilds and adventures with a talking lion, wears little more than a golden thong and some jewelry. Shoes don't make the cut.
  • Milla Basset from Freedom Planet is the the only character to be a Barefoot Cartoon Animal; her description in this art of her notes "she has a strong connection to the earth" alongside her distaste for shoes, implying this trope is why. Considering this is from a cast full of Fully Dressed Cartoon Animals, this would also make her an inversion of The One Who Wears Shoes.
  • Genshin Impact: Nahida does not wear shoes, and she uses her Dendro powers by hopping on the ground. Justified, as she is the Dendro Archon, and thus is greatly connected with nature, particularly plants.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Ilia is introduced feet first and is the only villager, besides Talo, to not wear shoes. According to the supplemental material, she spends more time at the Ordon Spring and the surrounding forest, than the village itself. Or occasionally pitching in at the ranch. Bonus points for essentially being an expy of both Saria and Malon, who were friends with nature as well.
  • N Harmonia from Pokémon Black and White used to be this when he was a child raised by Pokémon, as shown through concept art and a flashback. He wears shoes as an adult, though he's still earthy as ever.
  • Elika from Prince of Persia (2008) is a perpetual barefooter, able to restore corrupted ruins into gardens brimming with life.
  • Often the case with druids in World of Warcraft, who combine this with Barefoot Sage. In their case, of course, it emphasizes their connection to nature. Their starting equipment comes without shoes, as do many of their iconic armor sets.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: In the World of Remnant version of "The Story of the Seasons", Spring walks around in bare feet, unlike all her other sisters who wear shoes. It completes the nature theme that is associated with her, as she also wears a crown of leaves and carries seeds, fruits, and flowers in a basket.

    Web Comics 
  • Blindsprings: Tamaura lives in a fairy forest, wears flowers in her hair and is always barefoot ... at least at the beginning. When she is forced to migrate to an urban setting, she is also forced to don footwear - which seems to be a metaphor for loss of innocence.
  • Charby the Vampirate's K'ale goes barefoot everywhere through the forest, being forced to wear shoes actually restricts his movements since he can't climb as well. He's not really a fan of clothing in general and hates to wear anything more than a simple l loincloth.
  • Eureka Seven: Paradox Makers: Claire Hannah is a botanist and gardener, as well as a Friend to All Living Things, with a mystical power to tap into the spiritual aspects of life. She also has an affinity for going barefoot since she was little - a habit which she flimsily hides in public by putting up with shoes, but fully embraces in private. The one time in her life when she actually desired a pair of shoes, they were a collector's item and her inconsiderate pursuit of them over watching over a loved one fueled a very heartbreaking tragedy. This served to make Claire even more determined to remain barefoot when unsupervised.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court:

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Earthbenders in general go barefoot, or at least bare-soled, to stay connected to the Earth.
    • Toph goes barefoot all the time, even destroying the soles of shoes so she can still feel the earth easily. It's more of a practical matter for her than other earthbenders, as Toph is blind, and can "see" by sensing the vibrations in earth. 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.
    • Played with Toph's daughter Lin in 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.
    • Aiwei 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.
  • Big City Greens: Cricket Green is a barefoot, earthy country boy who moved to the big city with his family.
  • The titular heroine of Jana of the Jungle, a Jungle Princess who has lived in the Amazon since childhood.
  • Recess, in the episodes, "Rainy Days", and "The Legend of Big Kid", it would seem that the kids can be like this. TJ in particular, as he is the one whose idea it is to play in the rain in his bare feet and without a coat in the former episode (though all except Spinelli, who keeps her stockings on), and he is also the older kid who is kidnapped by the kindergarteners, and starts behaving like them in the latter episode. The kindergarteners seem to be normally barefoot anyway.
  • Tangled: The Series:
    • The series explores Rapunzel's habitual shoelessness further and gives it a little Lampshade Hanging. She Prefers Going Barefoot. ALWAYS. Rapunzel is always barefoot because she likes to feel the earth and wiggle her toes without restraint, even if people make fun of her for it (a living embodiment of the Be Yourself Aesop) and will only wear shoes if she must use a disguise, has to don full royal attire, or if it's winter. Mother Gothel called the habit "underdressed" and tried to guilt her into feeling ashamed of it, but Rapunzel persisted in it. If she actually puts shoes on, Rapunzel is so unused to them it changes her center of balance, she wonders "How can people walk around in these?", and they go off at the first opportunity. In "Rapunzel's Enemy", she got chastised for being "a royal in bare feet". When she got brainwashed into acting more civilized, she put on shoes voluntarily, which Flynn took as a huge warning flag that something was really wrong with her, and when Rapunzel snapped out of it while trying to save Flynn from a lethal fall over a cliff, she discarded her shoes so she could dig her feet into the terrain and wouldn't plummet off as she pulled him up with her hair. She didn't even wear them to her wedding in Tangled Ever After, electing to get married barefoot (as the concept art reveals). The trait is partially inspired by her voice actor, Mandy Moore, who has a preference in real life of being barefoot when she performs onstage.
    • Also from Tangled: The Series, in "The Way of the Willow" (Season 1, Episode 15), Rapunzel's titular aunt is introduced. Willow turns out to also have a no-shoe stigma and is very much a barefoot bohemian like her younger niece. Not only does this elevate the instance of the trope to Shared Family Quirks, but it also happens to be the very first thing Rapunzel and Willow ever talk about and bond over, with the scene also showing that the two girls are barefoot so often they practically adapted to communicating through their feet and toes, and can even hold a conversation by gesturing with them, and are better off without shoes to hold them back.
  • The eponymous character from the French/Canadian cartoon Tupu. Due to having been raised in the wild, she almost never wears any kind of footwear.
  • From Wakfu, the Sadida are a race of Plant People with Green Thumb powers, and either go barefoot or wear sandals to be more connected to the earth. The joke is that "Sadida" spelled backwards is "Adidas", a sportswear company that makes a lot of shoes. Sadlygrove also stops wearing shoes after going through Character Development and becoming more acquainted to his wild side. His daughter, Elely, who takes after him more, doesn't wear shoes either.

    Real Life 
  • This was once the norm for every culture, with people avoiding wearing anything on their feet long after the advent of shoes. However, as fashion changed over time more people began to emulate the rich. Later on shoes basically became mandatory in the Roman Empire and barefootedness outside of one's home began to be seen as a lowly practice suitable only for slaves and philosophers (the last in virtue of it being a very Greek thing).
  • Once the British Empire started up, it was considered a gentlemanly practice to snub barefooted peoples and treat them as primitive. One of the last major refusers of shoes was the first world-class Indian Football team — who refused to play in the world cup for a couple of years because Fifa wouldn't allow a barefoot team. Unfortunately, instead of starting their own international league, the Indians caved in and wore shoes to the tournament (where they did quite poorly). Some teams of kids still play barefoot, and the unfortunate "tradition" of making them wear shoes when they go international persists.
  • Hippies, naturally. And the Barefooter movement, following on from them.
  • The Earthing movement is based on this trope. Harder to connect with the earth if you are wearing shoes. Minimal and toe shoes, as well as socks, toe socks or not, are not as inhibiting in this respect.
  • Johnny Appleseed was a real guy began to go barefoot on his travels and ended up being a perfect example of this trope. Unfortunately, re-enactors tend to portray him in shoes.