One of the major reasons people don’t spend more time barefoot in public places is because they (along with business owners) think that it’s illegal. Businesses can have their own dress code, but most “laws” are actually more like recommendations.
Driving Without Shoes
It’s perfectly legal to drive barefoot in all 50 U.S. States, Canada, and in the UK (Thanks Primalfoot Alliance!). A police officer in any state could give you a ticket for reckless or negligent driving, though, if he or she feels that being barefoot is affecting your driving skills.
While there have been no conclusive studies on the dangers of barefoot driving, some argue that the soles of your feet have less traction than rubber on a shoe, thus making barefoot driving more dangerous than shod driving. Check out gas pedal covers, such as the Barefoot Gas Pedal Cover, if you are really worried about it.
On the other hand, some believe that the increased sensitivity and control will give the driver better gas mileage.
Stores & Restaurants
While each business is free to create his or her own dress code, which should be clearly posted; however, to date, there are no OSHA regulations or state laws that ban shopping or dining without shoes. OSHA (Occupational and Safety Health Administration) is a division of the United States Department of Labor, whose regulations are to protect the employers and the employees only, and therefore do not apply to customers or clients.
If you get questioned, see it as an opportunity to spread the word about how safe and sanitary going barefoot actually is. Ultimately, it is their establishment, so if they continue to push the issue, you can always take your business elsewhere!
A good compromise might be taking a pair of Vibrams or another minimalist shoe in a backpack or bag to slip on when you are inside the building, and then pop them off when you leave!
What have been your experiences? Shout out any barefoot friendly establishments in your town in the comments!
Photo Credit: shaggyshoo on Flickr