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#1 of 25 Old 12-30-2011, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi

Im a stay at home mummy way down in Auckland, New Zealand although I do a little bit of volunteer work at my son's school. Im 23 and have a three year old boy and a five year old boy. I am a 100% barefoot mum, in fact I havent had shoes on my feet for the last four years, which actually isn't that uncommon here.

 

I always shop in barefeet, go to restaurants , family and school visits, all in barefeet. In summer of course its fantastic to be barefoot, our winters are mild here, so being barefoot is also quite ok. Both my boys too, are always shoeless. All children here play barefoot. I get the occassional comment from busy body bitches , usually older women, and I just ignore them or give them a good mouthful back! I have a good selection of foot jewellery such as toe rings and anklets, and my feet are heavily tattood , which adds to the attraction.

 

Would be keen to know if there are other full time barefoot mummies out there, and be keen to hear your stories!

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#2 of 25 Old 12-30-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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I'm in northern Canada, so the chance of me being barefoot outside right now in wintertime is pretty much nil!  (It's -26 right now with the windchill and there's tons of snow, just to give you an idea.)  But I'm 100% barefoot indoors!  Even when I go outside, I don't bother putting on socks, just put my foot straight in my boot.  Some people think I'm a little weird, but mostly just because of the temperature and they can't imagine not wearing socks or slippers at this time of year.  At the family centres we visit, they have no shoes policy indoors and nobody thinks I'm weird for having barefeet if I don't bring my handmade moccasins (which mostly I wear because they're pretty!). 

 

I belong to another message board and there are many people there who think it's weird not to wear shoes indoors.  I guess it's an American thing.  (I always thought it was just something I saw on TV, but I guess they do it on TV because that's what most people do in the States!)  Do people in New Zealand wear shoes indoors generally?  Here in Canada the vast majority of people take off their shoes when coming indoors and have either socked, slippered, or bare feet indoors. 

 

I would love to be barefoot all the time!  I really don't like having things on my feet, and when I do wear something, I like to wear things like moccasins or sealskin boots (in the winter) because it's like being barefoot, just warm.

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#3 of 25 Old 12-30-2011, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in northern Canada, so the chance of me being barefoot outside right now in wintertime is pretty much nil!  (It's -26 right now with the windchill and there's tons of snow, just to give you an idea.)  But I'm 100% barefoot indoors!  Even when I go outside, I don't bother putting on socks, just put my foot straight in my boot.  Some people think I'm a little weird, but mostly just because of the temperature and they can't imagine not wearing socks or slippers at this time of year.  At the family centres we visit, they have no shoes policy indoors and nobody thinks I'm weird for having barefeet if I don't bring my handmade moccasins (which mostly I wear because they're pretty!). 

 

I belong to another message board and there are many people there who think it's weird not to wear shoes indoors.  I guess it's an American thing.  (I always thought it was just something I saw on TV, but I guess they do it on TV because that's what most people do in the States!)  Do people in New Zealand wear shoes indoors generally?  Here in Canada the vast majority of people take off their shoes when coming indoors and have either socked, slippered, or bare feet indoors. 

 

I would love to be barefoot all the time!  I really don't like having things on my feet, and when I do wear something, I like to wear things like moccasins or sealskin boots (in the winter) because it's like being barefoot, just warm.


Shit thats cold! Never, ever gets below freezing here. Auckland is very mild in winter, so Im quite comfortable being barefoot all year round. In New Zealand we always take shoes off, if we are wearing any, before going indoors. Our next door neighbours, who are Korean, tried to get me to wear slippers when I visited them for the first time to welcome them to the neighbourhood. Obviously I refused, and said I would prefer to be barefoot, they have never asked me since, and they are trying to get Kiwi feet too!

 

I dont quite understand the American attitude to feet, they seem to make a big deal about it all, whereas in NZ it is a non-issue for us, I guess store owners are scared to get sued if someone stands on glass or something....very sad!
 

 

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#4 of 25 Old 01-01-2012, 12:03 PM
 
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Yep, it gets cold here!  I do love the four seasons, but it would be easier if it were mild all year round.  (And cheaper too...no winter gear, no heat at full blast all winter long.)  DH and I considered very seriously going to NZ for grad school, but our enthusiasm eventually fizzled when we bought a house and got settled a bit more.  But if it's barefoot-all-year weather there and acceptable, I think I may have found my people!  LOL. 

 

I've never really understood foot-aversion either.  They're just feet.  You never hear things about people being grossed out by hands!

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#5 of 25 Old 01-01-2012, 12:33 PM
 
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I can't really explain the American attitude about shoes, but like a lot of other "standard" practices crunchy people eschew, it seems to stem from wrong headed ideas about health. As in, bare feet are dirty, bare feet are dangerous, shoes are necessary for for good posture, etc. We know the opposite is true, but most mainstream Americans don't get it, in the same way they don't get homebirth, no vax, intact, etc.

 

In Hawaii, no one wears shoes in homes. Everybody's front door area is littered with flip flops.


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#6 of 25 Old 01-02-2012, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jess in hawaii View Post

I can't really explain the American attitude about shoes, but like a lot of other "standard" practices crunchy people eschew, it seems to stem from wrong headed ideas about health. As in, bare feet are dirty, bare feet are dangerous, shoes are necessary for for good posture, etc. We know the opposite is true, but most mainstream Americans don't get it, in the same way they don't get homebirth, no vax, intact, etc.

 

In Hawaii, no one wears shoes in homes. Everybody's front door area is littered with flip flops.


Thanks for your comments. Yeah I really dont understand some of the attitudes either. I think alot comes from the fear of being sued if you stand on something in the shop, the whole litigation mentality which the US has invented = it actually means you lose some of your personal freedom (unintended consequence). A 'no shoes, no service' would be completely ignored here in NZ, totally unworkable.

 

I actually think many women in the States would like to be barefoot more often, but they are afraid of social pressure, and conforming - being a bit different is just too hard, and it seems like many of the streets there are really filthy, I personally would watch where I walked just a little harder. Our malls and streets are perfectly clean. Almost daily I take my two boys and my dogs for a walk round the neighbourhood, always barefooted, and have never stood on anything nasty (apart from the occassional dog shit, which can be easily removed).

 

Being barefoot is so much better for your health, your posture, you feel connected with the earth, this fear about germs and other nasties is a complete urban myth, spread about by shoe companies! Unfortunately there are many gullible enough to fall for it!
 

 

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#7 of 25 Old 01-02-2012, 08:32 PM
 
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These are really good points solemum, very accurate.

There is a litigiousness in our culture which colors everything, unfortunately.

I'm not so sure about more people wanting to go barefoot, per se, but I do believe that they wouldn't even consider it because of social convention.

As to the issue of cleanliness and safety, yeah, our streets are pretty dirty, some places are worse than others; I would where shoes even less than I do were that not a concern (I never where shoes around my neighborhood unless I know I am going someplace sketchy like the mechanic's).
 

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Thanks for your comments. Yeah I really dont understand some of the attitudes either. I think alot comes from the fear of being sued if you stand on something in the shop, the whole litigation mentality which the US has invented = it actually means you lose some of your personal freedom (unintended consequence). A 'no shoes, no service' would be completely ignored here in NZ, totally unworkable.

 

I actually think many women in the States would like to be barefoot more often, but they are afraid of social pressure, and conforming - being a bit different is just too hard, and it seems like many of the streets there are really filthy, I personally would watch where I walked just a little harder. Our malls and streets are perfectly clean. Almost daily I take my two boys and my dogs for a walk round the neighbourhood, always barefooted, and have never stood on anything nasty (apart from the occassional dog shit, which can be easily removed).

 

Being barefoot is so much better for your health, your posture, you feel connected with the earth, this fear about germs and other nasties is a complete urban myth, spread about by shoe companies! Unfortunately there are many gullible enough to fall for it!
 

 



 


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#8 of 25 Old 01-03-2012, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jess in hawaii View Post

These are really good points solemum, very accurate.

There is a litigiousness in our culture which colors everything, unfortunately.

I'm not so sure about more people wanting to go barefoot, per se, but I do believe that they wouldn't even consider it because of social convention.

As to the issue of cleanliness and safety, yeah, our streets are pretty dirty, some places are worse than others; I would where shoes even less than I do were that not a concern (I never where shoes around my neighborhood unless I know I am going someplace sketchy like the mechanic's).
 



 



We've had some neat holidays in Hawaii, and was barefoot all the time, even flew barefoot in and out of Hawaii. Didnt find the streets and malls very dirty at all, no negative responses at all, I guess its seen as a bit more laid back and 'beachy'. We stayed at Waikiki. Restaurants were no problems at all, we were all barefoot and very touristy!

 

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#9 of 25 Old 01-03-2012, 02:09 AM
 
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Waikiki is nice. Honolulu seems to be a very clean city, and it gets rated highly for several standard of living points in surveys of American cities. I've only been there twice, briefly, but I admit that even though we moved here in part to be more rural, I would live in there in a heartbeat; my eldest and his girlfriend are planning to move there soon. Attitudes as far as bare feet and clothing (or lack there of) are definitely way more lax in HI than on the mainland. Some places do require more than a bikini and sarong, but mostly you can get away with that (not for "official" types of settings, but most businesses). The small town we live in, even though it's not very near the beach, is extra crunchy, so it's not uncommon to see guys at the natural grocery wearing nothing more than a tiny sarong.... literally, nothing more. Sometimes I wish it was a little less common! lol. Babies and small children often go naked at the beach and thermal pools, and there is a nude beach too (except it's kinda sketchy, so I completely avoid that). Funny thing is, locals are way more modest. Local women usually wear a sarong over there bathing suits, the younger ones wear bikini tops and board shorts. It's a hand me down from missionary times. When white people first came here, they found a native culture that wore items of decoration, but for all practical purposes were pretty much naked. They set about to change that straight off, and were quite successful. One time I went to the beach with a Brazilian girl; she took off her top (was not the nude beach) and even though no one else seemed to care, this local woman went off on her something fierce. OTOH, local women are most likely to go barefoot and have bare foot children, even more than the hippies, in my observations.


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#10 of 25 Old 01-03-2012, 06:21 AM
 
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I'm in North Carolina, and in the summer at the beach being barefoot is common — not just on the beach, but on the streets, etc, but if you get away from the beach it's very much not common. Flip-flops & sandals are super common, though.

 

Wearing shoes is definitely something that is taught here from a young age. In the summer I let my kids go barefoot a lot, but I hear other parents admonishing their kids to put shoes on at the playground/park because there might be broken glass and then they give me the evil eye because I have the kids with no shoes on. 

 

In NZ and Hawaii where barefooting is common do you have to worry about sharp poky things? I mean, in the woods or park if my kids are barefoot I do remind them to watch out for sharp things because there are a lot of sharp rocks and sticks and sandspurs (yikes those hurt in barefeet, done that more than once). I think a lot of people here really wear shoes for protection. It hurts to step on rocks (lots of gravel here) or burrs, not to mention the ever present phobias of broken glass or rusty nails.

 

sandspur


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#11 of 25 Old 01-03-2012, 10:06 AM
 
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sandspurs....yeah, they hurt. I spent many days at the beach in SC, I know them well. Not that that made me wear flip flops... my feet are so tough that the spurs can't go too deep anyway, so if I got one, I would just stop and pull it out. But it's different for small children, I would carry my little ones over them. Here we have some pokey stuff (all non-native) but I haven't come across anything as bad as those darn things.

Something that did take getting used to, even for a diehard like me, is the gravel here. It's crushed lava rock, so it's super sharp. My youngest, who was 15 months when we moved here, was the first to adapt. It took me several months. And some of the lava flows are next to impossible without shoes; the smooth kind of lava, pahoehoe, is usually OK even though it can be sharp, kind of like a micro cheese grater, but the chunky lava, a'a, can be pretty brutal.


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#12 of 25 Old 01-03-2012, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We dont seem to have any of those nasties down here in NZ. My two boys and I play happily in a small wooded area next to our house, and I have turned some of it into a veggie garden, all in barefeet. Absolutely no issues at all. Even put down some gravel paths to walk on round the garden, I find it quite easy to walk on, obviously the soles of my feet are very firm and quite leathery. I try to take daily walks with my boys and dogs round the neighbourhood (my feeble attempt at getting fit!), and always do this barefoot. Never had an issue with glass etc., I do think Kiwi's look after their neighbourhoods pretty well, compared some of the US city areas.

Certainly we do all our shopping in malls and neighbourhood stores, both my boys and I are always in barefeet. They are kept very clean, and I unconvinced you can catch anything nasty from dirty streets anyway...surely you would need an open wound for any infection to get in? 

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#13 of 25 Old 01-26-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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I go barefoot as much as possible but when I can't I wear a pair of vibram five fingers KSO 'shoes' they feel awesome! They are expensive in my opinion but worth it too. The only time I wear other shoes is when I was at work or in school.

http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/barefoot-sports/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=discount+vibram&utm_content=cheap+-+vibram+%28broad%29&utm_campaign=brand&mkwid=syj2FgR2u&pcrid=17299997989

 


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#14 of 25 Old 01-28-2012, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Must admit I havent seen those vibram five fingers down here in New Zealand, do you buy them retail up in the US, or are they available only online? I do like the different textures that I walk on in barefeet, but I suppose for exercise/running etc they would be good, although barefoot running has become very popular down here (so has barefoot walking). They do look a bit odd, I must admit, and Im sure you'd have to get exactly the right size, otherwise they would be really uncomfortable.

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#15 of 25 Old 01-28-2012, 05:27 PM
 
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I haven't tried them, but they are popular here and everyone I've asked about them LOVES them.


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#16 of 25 Old 01-31-2012, 02:31 PM
 
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Not quite a barefoot mama, but I love the concept. We are a family who kicks off their shoes the second we get in the door and we do walk barefoot in our own yard.

 

In the warm weather I will wear cheap flip-flops or a pair of sandals and avoid encasing my feet in anything (shoes, socks, etc.) for the duration of the warm weather. But it's way too hot and we have way too much paved surfaces here in the US to go barefoot in the extreme heat of summer (last year we had over 40 days of 100+ degree weather here in Texas). Plus it is super yucky to walk barefoot in a lot of places here (Americans can be pretty gross and I guess to most it's no big deal cause they all wear shoes). Then there are the no shoes, no service type places as well. Even bounce houses and indoor playgrounds where they want the kids to take their shoes off, the kids must wear socks!! 

 

My feet get cold pretty easily in cold weather, so I do wear socks inside our house about half the time when it's cold...but never shoes...I just can't stand wearing shoes inside the house. I do wear boots outside/away from home in the winter. 

 

There is definitely a cultural thing with the obsession to always wear shoes in America. I've noticed it a lot, especially when going to parties at someone's house and I take my shoes off. Many times I am the only one there shoeless (even DH who never wears shoes inside our house won't take his shoes off at other people's houses unless they have a no-shoes policy)...and I do get weird looks for that.

 

I would love for my child to be able to be a barefoot child, and he is already asking to take his shoes off the second we get inside our door...but it remains to be seen how much he will want to be barefoot elsewhere as he gets older.


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#17 of 25 Old 02-03-2012, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Weather in Auckland, New Zealand is always nice and mild making going barefoot very comfortable. Never gets really hot here and certainly not too cold. Our streets and malls are really clean so never a problem with 'nasties' at all. I have noticed Americans have an issue with 'no shoes, no service' policy, which I dont quite understand = I guess it comes back to your liability, litigation attitude, which is a real shame. Certainly NZ is much more 'barefoot tolerant' than the US, which is great!

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#18 of 25 Old 02-07-2012, 06:58 PM
 
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I hate shoes with a passion.  That said, I do wear shoes most of the time out of doors, but I prefer sandals or flip-flops so my feet can breathe.  My feet are normally pretty tough but we don't live in an area where we'd be overlooked as harmless-but-quirky if I just went without.  But gah, I feel almost blind if I have shoes on.  It's like I'm missing a sense.

 

When I was a teenager, I used to walk around barefoot in all seasons - even in the snow (although not for very long at any one time - such as letting my dog out and waiting around for a few mins with him).  My mom would always have a heart attack and worry that I would drop dead from a cold or something but I was none the worse for wear.

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I agree with the others about the hang up in the US with shoes. I also enjoy going barefoot but when i have to wear shoes i go with flip flops and when its colder out i slip on a pair of these http://www.flipflopsocks.com/   there are lots of companies that make them i find  Teva brand to be the nicest.

 

 

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#20 of 25 Old 02-22-2012, 02:41 PM
 
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I do wonder if some of it is not just out of habit. Most of the year here the weather is such that being barefoot is just not a viable option so those couple months where it is most people just don't change their habits much. Personally I go barefoot as much as I can but it's far from 100% of the time.

 

Fwiw - flip flop style shoes are really bad for our gait & subsequently muscle development. To keep flip flops on you lift your toes (& likely don't even notice it anymore). For the times you must wear shoes a mocassin or other soft soled closed back shoe is a better option 'cause they wouldn't affect natural steps as much.


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Quote:
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Must admit I havent seen those vibram five fingers down here in New Zealand, do you buy them retail up in the US, or are they available only online? I do like the different textures that I walk on in barefeet, but I suppose for exercise/running etc they would be good, although barefoot running has become very popular down here (so has barefoot walking). They do look a bit odd, I must admit, and Im sure you'd have to get exactly the right size, otherwise they would be really uncomfortable.



The five fingers shoes are at some stores, it's best to try on a pair and get the right size then order the style you want online. You feel the different textures through the rubber sole but the sharp ones don't hurt as much. Like I walk on gravel barefoot and it is okay but with these on I can run on gravel. I love them so much I am pondering getting another pair soon. I just wish there was a waterproof one for wearing in the rain, or maybe toe-boots, lol:)


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#22 of 25 Old 02-26-2012, 01:08 PM
 
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Not that much a barefoot person, though I live at the beach.  I just feel much better with arch support and some padding.  But I do agree that flip-flops are not the best choice for feet.  The lifting and also squeezing you do with your toes to keep them on can distort the toe position as much as pointy toe shoes!  I like slide style shoes or open style sneakers.  Comfort is number one!

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#23 of 25 Old 08-31-2013, 08:16 AM
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Might want to check out our new Barefooters group forum. Let the barefooting begin!   :thumb


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#24 of 25 Old 01-06-2014, 10:14 AM
 
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When I was little (8-10) we lived in New Zealand and it was pretty common to be barefoot all the time, especially the kids. Now I live in Michigan and shoes are pretty necessary in the winter!

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#25 of 25 Old 01-08-2014, 01:10 PM
 
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I am in the UK and my entire family are barefoot around the house and garden.  I will also go out barefoot but in the area I live it's not acceptable to go shopping or to restaurants without shoes.  I tend to wear light shoes, that I can kick off under the table!  In the summer I will walk the kids to school barefoot too...  I just hate the feeling of shoes on my feet, and I almost never wear socks.  

 

I'd love a pair of those Vibram Five Finger shoes, but Hubby is baulking at the price at the moment and telling me to go without seeing as I walk everywhere barefoot unless I'm forced to wear shoes by society or bad weather!


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