I've always avoided wearing shoes when possible. I'm happy to find so many others like me! I've been blessed with a job that lets me get away with being barefoot. I'm shoeless at most of the births (as is one of the midwives I work with) but have slip on shoes so that I can quickly avoid stepping in birth juices.
I'm so thrilled with the ballet flat trend. They're so much more comfortable than traditional dress shoes. It hadn't occurred to me to buy actual ballet shoes, I don't know why. I'll have to look for some.
I've always thought the "safety" argument against bare feet in public was silly. When I'm barefoot, I instinctively keep one eye on the ground so I don't step on anything sharp. I think that's pretty normal, right? I read on a barefooter's site once that most states don't have any laws that require shoes in public, so if a store owner tries to tell you that they do, chances are they're just ignorant.