i see a lot of people comment about this sort of thing on here, and i'm curious where this sort of thinking originates. like, most hipforums barefooters seem to have never had their shoes off until they became adults. did your mom make you wear shoes around the house as a baby? were you literally never barefoot under any circumstances?
Actually, my mom and some of my so-called "friends" tried to pressure me into taking them off in ways that made me feel disgust towards the thought of being barefoot. And that was the big issue, really: People who fussed over it and turned it into some huge deal instead of, you know, letting me decide for myself? Everybody tried to control me and do my thinking for me, so of course I resisted. It was pretty ridiculous, really, and left me feeling quite a bit of regret, because in hindsight, I now know I probably would've enjoyed living a barefoot childhood. I sometimes curse my family and some of the people that I knew with a passion...
What also made things worse is the fact that I'm on the autism spectrum, so therefore, among other things, pretty sensitive about my body in general. Taking my bare feet to a public setting was a massive hurdle to overcome in itself. As far as other clothing goes, I still don't remove my shirt in public, unless it's in a public pool, a doctor's appointment, or if there's a promise of sex to be had. I also don't much care for shorts.
Of course, I did bare my feet in situations where it was appropriate, or the only smart thing to do. Shower, swimming, gym class (what the Britbongs call PE)... Gym was one of few times where I was able to go barefoot while being relaxed about it. All the other kids went barefoot as well, this was mandated by the gym, because they didn't want their expensive lacquered floor ruined with shoes, so my feet didn't stand out in that flurry of naked toes. And it was a nice opportunity to check out some of the barefoot girl students as well, in their oft relatively revealing gym clothes. When I was 12, I also did experiment with barefooting briefly during this one summer, when my parents were away from the house more often than usual and I had an abundance of private time. But it didn't stick as a habit that time, I was still too nervous about it.
Eventually, adulthood hit me, I moved out to live on my own, and was for the first time in a situation, where others couldn't influence me in any way. Upon the discovery of a case of fungus in my toenails, I decided to revisit my childhood barefooting experiment, and that time it stuck. It cured the fungal infection when I ventured into the realm of snow footing, and some of the other supposed health benefits seem to be real as well, not to mention, having well developed foot muscles feels surprisingly satisfying, after years of suffering foot pains from poorly fitting sneakers.
In conclusion, some of us have had troubled childhoods regarding the use, or non-use of footwear, and only later have we had the chance to do something about it. If there are others still willing to reply, I'm certain that stories similar to mine would begin to emerge.