Follow TV Tropes


Magical Barefooter

Go To

Magicians, sorcerers, mystics, characters with extrasensoric powers, magical or divine/godlike qualities are frequently depicted as eschewing footwear. There are numerous reasons for this, which often overlap.

First, such characters very often have a connection with nature, and draw their magic from it; in this case, footwear may even interfere with their powers.

Second, if a character has some specific abilities (for instance, is immune to cold, able to levitate, or is a member of the undead), being barefoot may actually prove more comfortable and enjoyable than wearing shoes.

Third, shoes and even clothes are symbolically seen as a boundary in numerous religious and esoteric teachings (this is Older Than Dirt: Adam and Eve were both nude and barefoot before the Fall); and since portraying an "enlightened" or "higher-than-human" character as nude may prove problematic, bare feet can be a good compromise.


Finally, this may be a specific instance of Magical Minority Person. This usage is due to the fact that in earlier times lack of footwear was often associated with poverty, misery and mental instability, and nowadays it is a common attribute of nonconformism. A common character of this sort is a New-Age Retro Hippie or a Granola Girl who turns out to have genuine supernatural abilities.

Very often overlaps with Barefoot Sage; also compare with Barefoot Loon.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Asuna in her queen elf Titania form in Sword Art Online. Her dress lacks footwear, having only a strap around her ankles and feet in a a way similar to barefoot sandals. Yui also counts when in her fairy form or using her admin powers. Quinella wears only foot wraps and has the magic based skills.
  • Slan from Berserk. It comes with being a reality defying succubus who dislikes clothing altogether.
  • The witch Liselotte Werckmeister from 11eyes also counts. As she usually levitates thanks to her magic, she doesn't need footwear.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, Homura is shown barefoot as part of her black witch dress towards the ending.
  • The titular witch Zero from Grimoire of Zero has a fondness of feeling the dirt and grass under her bare feet, and readily walks everywhere barefooted until the third episode of the anime, when she gets new clothes at the insistence of the Mercenary. And even then, it takes a lot of convincing.
  • Kagura from Inuyasha is a powerful sorceress and necromancer who who has never worn a shoe, sandal, or sock in her life despite wearing elaborate and ornate kimonos. Both the manga and the anime adaptation love giving her feet close-ups now and again as Rumiko Takahashi has a well-known preference for drawing bare feet. Unlike most examples of this trope, she does actually walk on the ground (though she can fly atop her feather) - even in snow.
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, Sakura is usually in an ethereal dress with no footwear when she is in the magical plane. The Syaoran clone also counts, as he starts going barefoot at the same time he gains magical powers.
  • Aladdin and Judar from Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic are barefoot as part of their Magi attire. Also Hakuei whenever she uses Djinn Equip, as the resultant clothing transformation bares her feet.
  • The Demon Buddhists sorcerers of Shutendoji wear either ankle wraps or nothing as footwear. Miyuki also becomes a momentary one in the OVA adaptation, as she has a mediumnic moment in Ongokukai after having traveled there in a kimono and bare feet.
  • In the anime of Karin, the title character has to wear a long robe and no shoes for a magical ceremony.
  • Medusa Gorgon, one of the evil witches in Soul Eater, is always barefoot except when in disguise. It's such an identifiable part of her character that when she possesses the body of a little girl named Rachel Boyd, the first thing she does is leave the victim's shoes behind.

  • The sorceress from the "Magic Circle" painting by William Waterhouse is depicted doing her spells barefoot; it is implied that her powers are related to nature.
  • The titular character from "Magician invoking the Elementals" painting by Augustus Knapp.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman:
    • The evil enchantress Circe does not wear shoes save for to complete a temporary disguise or mocking appearance; this, along with her overall appearance, is directly based on her prototype from Greek mythology.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Athena avoids footwear, even when dressed in a modern suit.
    • Wonder Woman (2011): Greek Gods in the DC Universe during the New 52 can be distinguished by their lack of shoes; which seems to be their one physical constant (although the sea god Poseidon doesn't even have feet, being a chimera of sea creatures and Hermes has bird feet). Several of them (particularly the goddesses), barely wear any clothes at all.
  • The DC villainess Jinx goes barefoot because she needs skin contact with the ground in order to use her magical powers.
  • Jack Hawksmoor in Stormwatch and The Authority. Likewise, he needs to go barefoot because his powers depend on contact with his environment.
  • The Marvel Universe's mystic hero Brother Voodoo is barefoot in his classic look, to go with his Caribbean Voudoun theme.
  • The sorceress (and also a goddess in human body) Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribbean is depicted barefoot in the movie-based comics. This is also a part of her Voudoun image, similarly to the previous example. The Kingdom Keepers series also describe her as perpetually barefoot.
  • In Captain Britain, Brian Braddock's wife Meggan, a half-fairy empathic shapeshifter never wears shoes, likely a trait inherited from the fairy side of her family.
  • Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen takes this to its logical conclusion. As time went on, he started wearing less and less clothing, symbolizing how far his godlike powers were separating him from the rest of humanity, to the point that he eventually just started walking around completely naked full-time.

    Films — Animation 
  • The wizard Avatar from Ralph Bakshi's Wizards goes around barefoot, being a kind of hippie-elf. Avatar ultimately squares off against his Evil Counterpart brother Blackwolf, who wears cloth shoes or large socks. Also, Avatar's Girl Friday is the fairy Elinore, likewise barefoot, in contrast to Blackwolf's assassin Peace, who wears boots attached to his crimson onesie.
  • Mama Odie, the good voodoo priestess in The Princess and the Frog, is constantly barefoot. This is partly because her powers are related to nature, and partly practicality since she lives in a swamp.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Hot Witch Gillian Holroyd from Bell, Book and Candle (in her younger years, she even went to classes like that). In full accordance with the trope, when she loses her magical powers, she also loses her penchant for going barefoot.
  • The clairvoyant Marina Lemke from The Butchers Wife goes barefoot almost all the time, which is meant to signify her angel-like nature (especially prominent in the movie's cover image).
  • Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire doesn't wear shoes after his resurrection, implying that he now is an unhuman being who has no need for them. This trope is frequently used for characters who are somehow "above human" (magically gifted, enlightened or godlike), but in his case it indicates that he descended below human condition due to his dark magical practices and the destruction of his soul.
  • Constantine: Lucifer appears as a man with an impeccable white suit and bare feet that drip black tar. Just in case anyone were to mistake him for human, he also walks across a floor full of broken glass without ill effect.
  • At the end of Horse Girl, Sarah carefully removes her shoes before lying down on the ground and being beamed into the sky, suggesting she is preparing either to travel in time, or to return to the aliens for good. Due to the ambiguity of the situation, this action is suggestive of Barefoot Suicide as well.
  • Galadriel, Lady of Lothlórien, in The Fellowship of the Ring. She is shown going barefoot to meet Frodo in the sequence where he views possible events of the future through Galadriel's Mirror. Also in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies she walks barefoot into Dol Guldur to rescue Gandalf.
  • Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain has the Ice Queen, with her Playing With Ice powers, who is barefoot for the entirety of the movie.

  • Autumn Rain, an eccentric antique shop owner with ESP from the eponymous series by Rachel Ann Nunes goes barefoot whenever possible (including streets, police stations, etc.). This is due to the fact that she likes "direct contact with nature"; wearing shoes even gives her backache.
  • Sunshine Runningwolf from The Dark Hunters series is an eccentric artist and a Granola Girl, and the Word of God states that she has a preference for going barefoot. Coincluding with this image, she has a genuine ability to see auras.
  • The beautiful psychic Catherine Hilliard from the Sanders Brothers series by Barbara Freethy is of the "magical granola girl" type, similarly to previous example.
  • The psychic Maura Sargent from The Raven Cycle series is like the previous examples.
  • Coriakin from The Chronicles of Narnia never wears shoes, which may be due to him being a magician or the fact that he is a star. Another retired star Ramandu and The Hermit of the Southern March, who has the magical power of foresight (with the use of his water pool), also go barefoot.
  • Wizard Whitebeard from Where's Wally?; his overall image is based on the "wise old hermit wanderer" archetype, which combines this trope with Barefoot Sage.
  • In The Club Dumas, the mysterious girl who calls herself "Irene Adler" apparently enjoys going barefoot, and kicks off her shoes at every opportunity. At the end of the novel, she is implied to be a Fallen Angel, so her penchant for going barefoot may be a hint at her otherworldy nature.
  • Flute, a mystical child and goddess in The Elenium, always has bare feet. And her feet always have grass stains, even when she's been inside all day, invoking Fertile Feet.
  • Uprooted: Agnieszka starts to go barefoot when she fully settles into her role as Witch of the Valley. Neither Sarkan nor the witches and wizards of the capital do, but those who share her nature-based Wild Magic rarely bother with court.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Evil Sorcerer Gulnar in Robin of Sherwood is frequently barefoot, although he does wear shoes at one point when he has to escape on foot through the forest.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Video Games 
  • Voodoo Lady in the two first Monkey Island installments, of the Voodoun type.
  • Pink Panther: Hokus Pokus Pink: the wizard Strangeblood always appears without footwear. At the game's beginning, he is seen making a spell like this, so it may be a consequence of the way his magic works - or just a part of the "old hermit magician" persona.
  • Elika in Prince of Persia (2008) is a Non-Player Companion who handles all things magical for the Prince. Unlike him, she never wears shoes, which is strongly implied to be a consequence of her magic coming from the land itself, as her most powerful ability (to cleanse entire areas of the game of The Corruption) manifests itself as Fertile Feet. Several of her alternate costumes have shoes, though.
  • Dragon Age II:
    • Merrill is a mage with a strong connection to the earth and nature, and her unique abilities include sinking into the ground, traveling through solid surface, and appearing in an entirely different place—which may have "Never Wear Shoes" as a requirement, since she keeps stalwartly ignoring footwear even as she upgrades her other protective gear.
    • All the Dalish elves have this trait, whether or not they are practicing magicians. Given that the Dalish uphold traditions that the humans have tried to crush, however, this may be affectation in Merrill's tribe.
  • League of Legends: Zoe the Aspect of Twilight, as befitting a Cloud Cuckoolander capable of communing with the secrets of the universe, wears a variation on this — spat-like footwear with no heel or toe, just a strip of fabric running under her instep.
  • Corrin, Azura, and Kana in Fire Emblem Fates all forgo footwear and have mystical aspects to them. In Corrin's case he/she manifests his/her draconic heritage more strongly than the continent's other royals, on account of the silent dragon Anankos's being his/her father, rather than the distant ancestor he is the others, which grant's Corrin the ability to shapeshift into a dragon much like the Manaketes of previous titles. Kana, being Corrin's child, inherits the same abilities as well as his/her preference for going barefoot. Azura, on the other hand, is a songstress (Fates' equivalent to the Dancer class) who uses her Magic Music to various ends throughout the story. She's also Corrin's adopted sister and his/her biological cousin (their mothers were sisters), among other things, depending on how you play with the game's marriage system. Ironically none of the three are able to use magic by default. Corrin and Kana have the option to promote into the Nohr/Hoshido Noble classes, which can use tomes and staves respectively, but Azura can only learn magic by reclassing into a mage note , which also changes her outfit to one with shoes.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • The Wise Warlock from "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?" episode in Sabrina: The Animated Series. His whole image (including the fact that Sabrina first sees him meditating in his cave) is a parody of classical "magical wise hermit" type, which is both this trope and Barefoot Sage.
  • Nisa from Mission Odyssey is the only team member with a magical talent (clairvoyance). She is also the only human character who goes barefoot by choice.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Most Earthbenders from Avatar: The Last Airbender don't wear shoes because having a direct connection to the earth makes bending it much easier, though it's still possible otherwise. Toph, on the other hand, needs to be barefoot at all times, since she uses Earthbending to compensate for her blindness by feeling the vibrations in the ground, which get dampened considerably by shoes.
    • When dressed in her Painted Lady disguise, Katara goes barefoot.
    • This is less common in Sequel Series The Legend of Korra, but definitely still a thing; for example, the elder of Toph's two daughters wears boots with soles that can be retracted via metalbending, and Mama is no more fond of shoes at eighty-seven than she was at twelve.
  • Chikara, the lovably kooky fortune teller from Scooby-Doo! And KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery, never wears shoes even when she goes outside of her tent. It doesn't seem to be a direct consequence of her magical abilities, but rather a distinctive trait that is meant to signify that she's somehow "different" from others (it may be Barefoot Sage, Barefoot Loon, or this trope - or all three).
  • Mogul, a villainous alien space sorcerer from Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers.
  • Wuya from Xiaolin Showdown spends most her time as a small purple Bedsheet Ghost with a weird mask for a face. Whenever she does manage to regain human form she becomes a Hot Witch whose Limited Wardrobe stops just above the knee.
  • From the DC Animated Universe, Tala is an Evil Sorceress who doesn't even put on shoes to assault a monastery located high up on a snowy mountain.
  • DuckTales examples:
    • DuckTales (1987): In "Home Sweet Homer", the only time Circe wears shoes is when she's shapeshifted to resemble someone else.
    • DuckTales (2017): Magica DeSpell turns out to be one in this series after she gets her body back, contrasting with her high heel-wearing earlier incarnations.
  • Rose Quartz of Steven Universe was a very powerful Gem with several magical powers such as healing, and she went around barefoot.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: