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The One Who Wears Shoes

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Funny Animal characters tend not to wear shoes. This is arguably even more common than their tendency not to wear pants.

The curious thing, though, is that in any setting where fully dressed, but barefoot or half-dressed cartoon animals are the norm, there will usually be one character who subverts this by wearing shoes, socks, or booties of some kind. Often this is a sign of the character's "otherness" among the cast, or employed to emphasize a character's femininity. (Or both.)

Being the shoe-wearer may signify them as the level-headed one... or the wonky one.

Sometimes, this is inverted by having footwear-wearing be the status quo and being barefoot be an exception.

Sometimes, the shoewearing animal character is contrasted with Earthy Barefoot Character animals.

Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal is a related trope. Subtrope of Appropriate Animal Attire. See also Prefers Going Barefoot for a character who has an explicit in-universe preference to be barefoot, as opposed to their mostly shoe-wearing peers.


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    Comic Books 
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • John D. Rockerduck, the youngest of Scrooge McDuck's biggest rivals, is one of very few male Duck characters to actually wear shoes.
    • Both Scrooge himself and Gladstone Gander wear spats, though without shoes, to signify that they're a little "finer" than most of the other male Ducks (Donald, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Fethry and others), who go around barefoot.
    • Female characters, among others Daisy Duck and Magica DeSpell, always wear human-foot-shaped high heels, despite having webbed feet like all the other ducks. The heels are part of their Tertiary Sexual Characteristics.
  • Miller and Farmer Smurf in The Smurfs, in the sense they have visible footwear instead of Long Pants.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert: Bob the dinosaur is the only animal character who wears shoes — a pair of sneakers. They were originally a joke about how he could have been stealthy enough to be hiding in Dilbert's house.

    Films — Animated 
  • Rock-A-Doodle:
    • Patou the dog. The reason why he had to wear shoes is because he is constantly suffering from bunions, and to him, his shoes make his feet comfortable.
    • Chanticleer the rooster is normally barefoot whenever he's still living on the farm, but later gains shoes after moving to the city and becoming a famous Elvis Presley-esque musician.
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox:
    • Cousin Kristofferson is the only animal character in the entire movie who regularly wears shoes. One gets left behind when he is kidnapped by Boggis, Bunce, and Bean.
    • Beaver's son wears shoes as a part of his Whackbat uniform.
  • In The Secret of NIMH, Nicodemus is the only one of the rats (or any of the furry characters) to wear shoes.
  • Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio, not counting the human characters.
  • Gazelle is the only animal in Zootopia to wear shoes (high heels). Ironically, Shakira, who voices Gazelle and heavily inspired her, performs barefoot.
  • Po the Panda is the only panda in the Kung Fu Panda and in Kung Fu Panda 3 who wears shoes. The mountain pandas are Earthy Barefoot Characters.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At one point at the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel, Eleanor wears platform sandals because Ian insists she has to be taller. Once the Chipettes realize Ian was Evil All Along, Eleanor takes off the shoes and throws them at his face.
  • Spice World: The title cover of the film shows all the Spice Girls barefoot, except Mel C, who is wearing sneakers.
  • In Theodore Rex, the titular character and partly anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus rex wears shoes made of three sneakers sewed together, one for each of his toes.
  • In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is the only human protagonist and the only one of the group who wears shoes, namely the Ruby Slippers. While the Scarecrow has boots, they technically are his feet, since his clothes hold his body together.

  • Most of the characters in the Geronimo Stilton series do not wear shoes, despite wearing every other article of clothing imaginable. One of the few recurring characters to wear shoes is Geronimo's assistant, Pinky Pick, as part of her young-and-crazy style (they're platform shoes with fish swimming in them).
  • In the first Redwall novel, it's often made note of in the early chapters how Matthias wears sandals that are too big for him (causing him to trip). Later Redwall villains of pirate/corsair variety occasionally have boots, and of course, there's Captain Tramun Clogg, famous for... well, guess what kind of shoes he wears.
  • Although not anthropomorphs, Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings are known for not wearing shoes.
    • In an early draft of LOTR, the character that eventually became Aragorn was a badass adventurer hobbit who was The One Who Wears Shoes as his feet had been damaged through torture in Mordor.
    • According to the prologue chapter "Concerning Hobbits", the hobbits of the Eastfarthing are singled out as different in a few ways: they sometimes built farmhouses instead of hobbit-holes, they could grow beards, and they "wore dwarf-boots in muddy weather."
  • Franklin: The turtle Franklin in the book and TV series by the same name... sort of. Most of the stories open with the phrase "Franklin could count by twos and tie his shoes," but Franklin actually isn't depicted wearing shoes most of the time. However, Franklin is the only character shown wearing shoes in the series. Also, most of the film Franklin and the Green Knight is set in winter, but Franklin is the only character seen wearing boots. All of the others are barefoot, or barepaw, as the case may be. Some of the later books do depict his sister Harriet wearing shoes and if Franklin is wearing boots, it's a safe bet she'll be wearing them too.
  • Richard Scarry's animal characters are generally shoeless, except for Lowly Worm, the one member of the cast who doesn't have feet.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Robbie Sinclair from Dinosaurs wears hi-tops.
  • Fraggle Rock:
    • Most of the Fraggles go barefoot (at least when we see their feet), but Traveling Matt very clearly wears both socks and shoes — maybe because he's the one character who spends the most time walking around in the human world.
    • Interestingly, the Gorgs and Doozers all wear shoes — even if none of them wear pants.

    Video Games 
  • The Bound from Bound by Blades have Teo the cat and Guren the rabbit, who forgoes shoes (they can obtain footwear later in the game as an equipment upgrade). On the othe rhand, their third member, Kota the bull, wears boots by default.
  • In the Crash Bandicoot franchise, Pinstripe Potoroo and Tiny Tiger are the only two of Dr. Neo Cortex's mutants who wear shoes. The other remaining mutants are depicted barefoot.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • In the first two games of the series, Funky Kong wears sandals, the only Kong in either game to wear any sort of footwear. In the third game he wears boots, but Wrinkly gains sneakers.
    • Swanky Kong also gains black shoes with spats in DKC3 (though not in the GBA version, where he's dressed the same as in DKC2).
    • Among the Animal Buddies, only Expresso the Ostrich (DKC1) and Squitter the Spider (DKC2 & 3) wear sneakers. These also happen to be the only land-based Animal Buddies who lack a Goomba Stomp...
    • The cartoon series also had Candy Kong wear sandals, while she wore sneakers in Donkey Kong 64.
    • Tiny Kong wore white shoes in DK64, and sandals after the characters were redesigned by Paon. In fact, she's the only Kong who still wears any kinds of shoes after the redesign.
  • Of the four elementals in Skully, Terry the Earth elemental is the only one who wears boots, despite being associated with earth where he presumably needs to be touching the ground at all times. In contrast, his sisters, Wanda of Water and Fiona of Fire are both Magical Barefooter by nature, while it's zig-zagged with his brother Brent of Wind who has Fog Feet (therefore, no discernible feet).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Chip in Sonic Unleashed is the inverse of this: he is one of the few characters who does not wear shoes. Given how running really fast is practically mandatory for all Sonic characters, many of the characters wear shoes, white gloves, and nothing else if they're male.
  • While technically not shoes, Veger in the Jak and Daxter wears heel socks after his Karmic Transformation. That, and the fact that's he's brown and not orange like the others of his (new) species set him apart visually.
  • Super Mario Odyssey has the Broodals all go barefoot except for Hariet, who sports a pair of high heels.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Wendy O. Koopa is the only Koopaling who wears shoes, pink high-heels. The boy Koopalings, no matter their dress, all lack them.

    Web Animation 
  • Happy Tree Friends: Disco Bear and Cuddles are the only Tree Friends that wear shoes, with Disco Bear wearing platform shoes and Cuddles wearing pink bunny slippers.

  • Inverted in the furry webcomic Transmission, the entire main cast wear shoes. In his earlier appearances Jason doesn't, but not by choice.
  • Kevin & Kell:
    • Baby Francis wears shoes. Justified in that he's the only human in the strip. In one strip Jessica (a calf) asks what they're made of, and is told she doesn't want to know.
    • A few very early strips had Kell in heels. Later shoelessness was the order of the day.
  • Ozy and Millie:
    • Millie's mother began the strip wearing shoes; this was gradually phased out of her design, and she became a Barefoot Cartoon Animal.
    • Isolde was rarely seen without her sneakers; her bare feet were shown only a few times in the entire strip.
    • Locke always wears his pirate boots. (Except in one early arc where he impersonates Millie.)
  • One character from the defunct webcomic Those Destined wears leather boots, which goes well with the rest of her outfit. The cast page pointed out that she was the only character with any kind of footwear.
  • Among the initial crew of Commander Kitty, CK himself is the only one who wears shoes... or a full set of clothes at all. It's not quite a thing for the rest of the galaxy, though, where full sets of clothes, complete with shoes, are apparently the norm.
  • Lieutenant Viktoria Lanius's civilian outfit in chapter 3 of Avania features fully-enclosed patent leather high heels—A rarity in a setting where spats and gaiters seem to be the universal footwear of choice.

    Western Animation 
  • Spring Robin of Birdz is the only shoe-wearing bird in the entire cast.
  • In Blinky Bill, Daisy and Meatball Dingo are the only members of the main cast wearing shoes.
  • Brightheart Raccoon in the Nelvana episodes of Care Bears wears sneakers on a regular basis, and is the only member of the cast, Bear or Cousin, to wear any kind of shoes.
  • In British children's cartoon The Caribou Kitchen, the main protagonist Claudia Caribou wears shoes while her staff and customers prefer to remain barefoot.
  • Boogie from the CB Bears wears purple and white boots. Also, Square the gorilla (from the Heyyyy, It's the King segment) wears white and red sneakers.
  • None of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers are known for wearing shoes; however, in the rare case that Gadget is sent in to infiltrate by dressing as a Femme Fatale, her costume invariably includes high heels.
  • You have to wonder how Daisy Duck manages to squeeze duck feet into those little high-heels she always wears.
  • Steelbeak, Megavolt, Quackerjack, Gosalyn, and Launchpad in Darkwing Duck. Although Gosalyn is the only of these who doesn't wear pants; all the others are fully clothed. Gosalyn wears a pair of red high-top Chucks to reflect her tomboy personality.
  • Among the non-Barbic bears featured in Adventures of the Gummi Bears, only Tummi and recurring character Gusto are seen wearing sandals; Sunni is the only one to wear boots.
  • Kaeloo: Stumpy wears shoes and Pretty wears sandals, while everyone else is barefoot. Lampshaded in one episode:
    Stumpy: 5000 dollars? Where am I going to get that kind of money? I don't even have enough money to buy clothes!
  • Foo, Moff, MJ and Officer Fredd may be examples of the only Harvey Beaks characters that actually wear shoes.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Princesses Celestia, Luna and Cadence are regularly shown wearing ornate shoes as part of their regalia. The majority of other ponies typically go barehoof, with the only exceptions being fashion (Rarity sometimes makes and/or wears shoes or boots, usually as part of a themed outfit) or protective use. Actual horseshoes are a further oddity: While they are commonly used as motifs and decorations (many cutie marks include them) and some ponies have left horseshoe-shaped tracks, nopony is ever depicted as having them nailed to their hooves.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Although several of the show's characters have shoes or boots, the titular character himself is the only one to wear shoes with laces. This is Lampshaded in the episode "Your Shoe's Untied," where SpongeBob forgets how to tie his shoes and can't find anyone who can help him. He finally has his shoes tied by Gary, who is secretly wearing sneakers under his shell.
  • TaleSpin:
    • Archaeologist Katie Dodd in the two-parter "For Whom the Bell Klangs" is one of the only characters to wear shoes on the show, period. Rebecca's dress while she's under the ghost captain's spell in "Her Chance to Dream" seems to include shoes as well, though this is inconsistent from scene to scene.
    • Within the main cast, Don Karnage and Gibber are the only recurring characters who regularly use footwear.
  • In the children's cartoon Timothy Goes to School (based on a children's book series called Yoko & Friends), the fox characters Lilly and Mrs. Jenkins are the only two characters to wear shoes.
  • On Tiny Toon Adventures, most of the non-human characters don't wear shoes. The ones that do are Calamity Coyote, Little Beeper, Fowlmouth, and (seemingly) Gogo Dodo.
  • In The Wombles Uncle Bulgaria wears tartan carpet slippers, but the other Wombles are generally barefoot.
  • On Yo Yogi!, adolescent Yogi Bear wears sneakers and Cindy Bear wears white boots.
  • Brattus from Mr. Bogus wears a pair of sneakers, in addition to his red pants and blue-green shirt.
  • The titular character from Julius Jr. wears shoes, as does Sheree. Which sticks out like a sore thumb because the other characters don't.
  • The Flintstone Kids has Philo Quartz and Granite Janet are the ONLY characters in Flintstones history to actually be seen wearing footwear while the entire cast of cavepeople don't!
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • Young rebel teen Lena is a duckling that wears shoes - in contrast to Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby running around barefoot. Once again, Daisy wears heels that look even more impossible for her to fit her duck feet in than the ones she's typically shown wearing in other Disney Duck media.
    • Launchpad and Mrs. Beakley wear boots and shoes, in contrast to Donald. Scrooge is an in-between example due to wearing spats.
  • In The Barkleys, the world is populated by barepawed anthropomorphic dogs. Arnie is frying up hamburgers on the grill but neighbors aren't interested. He says, fellas, take two—you can use them to re-sole your shoes!