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Barefoot friendly stores


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#1 barefoothippychick

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Posted October 22 2005 - 10:26 PM

Hello everyone,

Although I joined this forum some time ago, this is my first post. I've been a dedicated barefooter for 4 years now and my only regret is that I didn't start sooner. :-) Many of you may know me from my yahoo group dedicated to the barefoot lifestyle.

I just noticed a recent discussion about places some of you have been barefoot, and I thought it would be fun to start a separate thread where people share their list of barefoot-friendly places.

I realize that there is some regional variation when it comes to barefoot acceptance, so I will caveat my list with the fact that I live in Texas. However, I've also done quite a bit of barefooting in Michigan and the states in between (lots of road trips to visit family). Here it goes:

Melissa's List of Barefoot Friendly Places:

1. Blockbuster - This is the first place I ever entered barefoot, and it remains the friendliest. The staff at my local store know me as the "barefoot lady" because I'm in there at least twice a week and never have shoes regardless of the weather. I have also visited several stores in Michigan without any problems.

2. Target - I visit this store all the time and never have any problems. I've talked to managers and clerks on several occasions with feet in full view and have never received a negative comment. Most other barefooters I've chatted with have had the same experience.

3. Any convenience store or gas station in the Southern U.S. - I've literally been in hundreds over the years and have never had a problem. I have received the occasional warning from clerks about glass in the parking lot or dirty floors, but once I assure them that it doesn't matter to me...it has yet to matter to them. :-)

4. Albertsons - This is my local grocery store. Unlike some others on this list, mine is very barefoot friendly and I'm in there all the time.

5. Petsmart - Since they let dogs enter the store without shoes, I suppose it should not surprise anyone that barefoot humans are also okay.

6. McDonalds - The "sign" used to intimidate me, but now that I have a 3 year old I have stopped at every McD's with a playland between Texas and Michigan. Much to my surprise, my bare feet have never been a problem. Most of them also have really dirty floors.

7. Home Depot - I am often told to be careful or to watch my step, but I have never been asked to leave because of my lack of shoes.

8. Wal-Mart - When I don't go to Target I go here...probalby once a month or so. Given all the stories about problems with greeters, I almost always wear barefoot sandals to make it look like I have something on my feet. So far so good - the greeters have yet to stop me.

9. Best Buy / Circuit City / Comp USA - I've decided that these places don't care how the customers dress...as long as they buy something. :-)

Those are the biggest ones I can think of now....which stores are on your list?

Take care and keep em bare!!

#2 Au Naturel

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Posted October 24 2005 - 04:08 AM

I live in a small town in Central NC. Here are mine.

1. All airports and airplanes. I've been traveling bf on biz all year and have yet to asked to put shoes on. Most airport and airline personnel don't even notice. I haven't decided if I'll continue to bf during the winter months.

2. Local gas stations. I was in a small station over the weekend and the temps in the morning are getting pretty cool. I walked into the store after filling up and the older lady at the counter asked "aren't your feet cold?" I said "not yet".

3. Local hardware store. Very common to see bf in this store during the summer months. I love the hardwood and concrete floors in this store.

I haven't ventured into any larger stores just yet. I tried our local Wally World and was asked to put shoes on "for my safety".

#3 bfrank

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Posted October 24 2005 - 04:44 PM

If someone has found a certain store to be "barefoot friendly" that happens to be part of a chain of stores, that doesn't mean that every store going by that same name will also be barefoot friendly. Most stores have absolutely no official corporate policy on that, it all depends on the attitudes and prejudices of individual managers or employees. For example, the Wal-Mart I go to has never ever given me problems or said anything about me being barefoot. So would I say Wal-Mart is a barefoot friendly store? Well, that one is, but I know for a fact that they're not all like that.

For me, there are literally hundreds of stores, restaurants, airports, airlines, medical offices, and other places that I have been to that have been barefoot friendly (or at least barefoot tolerant). It would a much shorter list to list the ones that are not barefoot friendly, and again, it still depends on the individual store or manager or whoever there that may have decided to appoint themselves shoe police for that day.

Only one store around where I live has consistently barred me from entering barefoot, Costco. And they do in fact have a written policy (in their membership guide) saying "shoes and shirts are required." But that does not necessarily mean that every Costco all over the country is going to try to enforce that policy. Like I said, it all depends.

I have my own policy about going barefoot. I go everywhere barefoot. Even if there is some kind of sign, I ignore it. My policy is based on the fact that I'm doing nothing wrong and breaking no laws. I go into a store expecting to be accepted just like any customer, and I almost always am. If someone has some kind of problem with my attire, they can express that problem to me and explain why they don't need my business. Otherwise I'm never going to assume in advance that there might be an issue.

#4 NovaStarwind

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Posted October 28 2005 - 10:26 AM

This summer, I used to go into Columbia bank all of the time without shoes. Finally, one of the tellers asked me why I went around barefoot everywhere, and told me it was cool, but might be hard in the rain and cold. I don't know if Columbia banks everywhere are like that, but the people at this one are very friendly. I think that at most smaller friendly-type businesses, the people working there will allow it. And some, like my example, even think it's cool!

~Nova

#5 Au Naturel

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Posted October 31 2005 - 05:42 AM

A small town adjacent to mine had an arts festival on the streets of downtown. It was mild and I decided to hoof it BF. I was nice to feel the cool sidewalks in the shade and then feel the warm concrete in the sun. The old wooden floors of the shops were very soft and I loved the way they groaned when you walk on them. Some of the shops had carpet, but most were the original, 1800s wooden floors.

#6 Cool Spruce

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Posted November 05 2005 - 06:26 AM

This summer, I used to go into Columbia bank all of the time without shoes. Finally, one of the tellers asked me why I went around barefoot everywhere, and told me it was cool, but might be hard in the rain and cold. I don't know if Columbia banks everywhere are like that, but the people at this one are very friendly. I think that at most smaller friendly-type businesses, the people working there will allow it. And some, like my example, even think it's cool!

~Nova

Despite my usually negative feelings about banks, and all the horrid abuses they visit upon working people, they all seem great about my bare feet. I visit several branches of my regular (First Nat'l Bank of Bar Harbor) in several towns in this region. No problem. One manager did the usual "You're barefoot!" a fact I could easily have seen for myself. I just nodded, and then came the second thing I'm used to hearing when I'm in shorts off season: "Aren't you freezing---" I just reminded her we were in Maine, it was Indian Summer, and in another month we could have our little talk about freezing---

I cash checks at competing banks, too, with no comment. And, I actually was bare foot in a finance office this summer to co-sign for my wife's new car. These kinds of places don't even make me feel uncomfortable.

It's the big monolithic box stores, chain stores, and general petty control freak territory that gives me fits, and we all need to wear down.
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#7 Cool Spruce

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Posted November 05 2005 - 06:32 AM

If someone has found a certain store to be "barefoot friendly" that happens to be part of a chain of stores, that doesn't mean that every store going by that same name will also be barefoot friendly. Most stores have absolutely no official corporate policy on that, it all depends on the attitudes and prejudices of individual managers or employees. For example, the Wal-Mart I go to has never ever given me problems or said anything about me being barefoot. So would I say Wal-Mart is a barefoot friendly store? Well, that one is, but I know for a fact that they're not all like that.


And of course even a small town Walmart like ours is a huge store, probably 200 employees (?) and most of them have treated me well. It's the few petty control freaks who have an attitude---I reported on one such this summer. All it takes is one of these little piss ants to raise a stink, and even a very tolerant management may be "forced" to take action.

There are too many ignorant little people who are control freaks, (living fossils, in my opinion) who have so little on their plate as to have time to stick their ugly noses into other peoples' business.

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#8 april922

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Posted November 06 2005 - 05:45 AM

I go barefoot to carnivals, no problems there.

Movie theatres, but i usually were long jeans, so nobody notices.

I have been barefoot at the mall.

I go barefoot to all fast food places, no one says anything. Gas stations, never a problem.

Walmart is a problem they just have issues with barefooters.

Ive been on jury duty with barefoot sandals.

Ive also used public transportation barefoot, bus. school and regular.

#9 txbarefooter

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Posted November 06 2005 - 02:15 PM

I've been to Taco Cabana barefoot without too much hassle

no problems with Whataburger (texas chain) or Wendy's

no problems at gas stations, except once

Home Depot ok, Lowe's have had troubles

been stopped at the movie theater

Texas Ren Fest is great to barefoot at

no problems checking into and out of hotels: Holiday Inn, Hilton
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#10 robertdavies.net

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Posted November 16 2005 - 02:00 PM

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#11 sunshine'sbutterfly

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Posted November 16 2005 - 02:14 PM

I love to go BF. I love the feel of the dew in the morning or the rain. I love to feel with my feet ;)

I've been in:
*Bojangles

*McDonalds

*Walmart

*Gas Stations

*Beach stores the yeild the sign "Shirt and shoes required" (i just thought this akward considering its a beach store and your at the beach)

*School

*Taco Bell

Most people dont mind. but more often they just dont notice.

#12 sunshine'sbutterfly

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Posted November 16 2005 - 02:16 PM

The only place i am bothered about being BF is at the local barn i board my best friend clue at. They say for saftey reasons. i do believe them though becuase i now have a half-moon cresent on my foot. But i think it makes it all the more beautiful. and i still dont wear shoes.

#13 NudistMike07

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Posted November 16 2005 - 02:35 PM

The only place i am bothered about being BF is at the local barn i board my best friend clue at. They say for saftey reasons. i do believe them though becuase i now have a half-moon cresent on my foot. But i think it makes it all the more beautiful. and i still dont wear shoes.


That seems silly that a barn would require shoes for saftey reasons. Animals in barns dont wear shoes and if its dangerous for people then it is for animals too, why dont farmers make animals wear shoes in barns if its so dangerous then? I think thats just a convient excuse on part of the barn owner because they have some prejudice against bare feet and so to make them happy they come up with some lame excuse why you cant go BF in a barn.

#14 Myranya

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Posted November 16 2005 - 04:57 PM

It's probably the animals that are the most dangerous; a horse stepping on your foot is no fun, and while of course flipflops won't provide any protection from that, a pair of sturdy boots will. I've been to some barns that required boots; they didn't allow sandals either, well at least not for people actually handling the horses, they didn't care if you were just walking around. I haven't ridden horses for twelve or thirteen years so I haven't been in any of these places since I've started going barefoot... don't know if they'd make a bigger problem of that than of sandals/flops.

Some people would throw in the tetanus argument, but if you work with horses you should have a tetanus vaccination anyways... while it *usually* requires a deep puncture wound of the kind you'd get from stepping in a nail or whatever, it can in rare instances be caused by a smaller scrape or cut too; the kind I had on my hands quite often when I still used to do a lot of rough work in the stables. So if you're doing anything like cleaning the horses' feet etc, where you're in contact with manure and all with your hands, it's a good idea to get that vaccination even if you aren't a barefooter at all. Btw, same goes for gardeners and such, since it can occur in garden soil as well, not just in (horse)barns.
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#15 SunshineLovePeace

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Posted November 18 2005 - 12:49 AM

Yeah, Wal-mart is pretty barefoot friendly. And most movie theaters too. Gas stations dont mind either really. Other than that, i havnt really tried to go in barefoot, i just slip on a pair of sandals real quick.
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#16 april922

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Posted November 18 2005 - 03:29 AM

I am going to the county fair tonight, barefoot. Doesnt bother me at all getting my soles dirty.

#17 sunshine'sbutterfly

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Posted November 18 2005 - 08:20 PM

well the only thing that i dont understand is that its ok for me to wear sandals when i am handling the horses but i cant go barefoot. the thing is like April922 said up there-they dont provide much protection anyways. so i dont see why i cant just go barefoot. I do occasionally ride barefoot too but it sucks when we are on a trail and i have to get off to move something my horse wont jump over cause those pinecones and thorns are rough! :)

#18 sunshine'sbutterfly

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Posted November 18 2005 - 08:23 PM

How did the fair go?

I am going to the county fair tonight, barefoot. Doesnt bother me at all getting my soles dirty.



#19 Myranya

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Posted November 21 2005 - 09:24 AM

well the only thing that i dont understand is that its ok for me to wear sandals when i am handling the horses but i cant go barefoot. the thing is like April922 said up there-they dont provide much protection anyways.


Then they're just randomly discriminating against bare feet again, as seems to be so common, especially in the US. :( People like that are really annoying! You can try to talk to them, coming with a lot of information from various websites and stuff... or you could try to show up with more risky footwear (but be careful you don't hurt your ankles when walking around the barn with spike heels or platforms :p)... but chances are it won't work either way. When people got it in their head that bare feet = dangerous, it's very hard to make them see reason.
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