Monday, January 31, 2011

Did Someone steal your shoes at the shelter?

So my english class ended early today. The people of Providence were unusually vocal today. I got a lot of questions and a lot of stares and comments as I passed. I spent some time talking to Will. I asked him how his day was how his luck has been so far with donations etc. My mother swung by to give me the keys to my room that I had left at home. I now was able to grab the stuff I brought up earlier for him. I walked back to my room, got some more comments nothing major. The only real conversation I had was a man passing by who said "Your feet must be fucking freezing." I told him "No I never wear those things anymore." He then asked if I often have a skateboard I told him yeah that's me. We wished each other a good day and went our separate ways.

On the way back up right near Kennedy Plaza at what I think was the corner of Westminster and Eddy a car drove by and a woman said "poor soul" and as the car got closer she said "Please tell me there's a pair of shoes in that bag!" (I was holding a bag of things for will) I told her no I don't wear shoes its better for you that way. I turned around to see that six or seven people were staring mouth agape at me. None commented though. I went over to Will to see that he had moved down a lot because of the shifting sun. It wasn't more than two minutes till the car swung by again. They had both windows rolled down on my side and the woman in front said "Come here, yeah you come here." with that angry mother finger hook motion. I asked her what she needed and the older woman in the back put out a tiny pair of blue socks out the window. The woman in the front asked me "Did someone steal your shoes at the shelter?"I was blown away by that comment.

She and the other woman in the back seat continued to try to push shoes (One rain boot that looked like a woman's size 7 (I'm a mens 12)) or socks onto me. I told her that I have plenty of shoes back at my DORM ROOM (I'm not homeless!) and not to worry about me I don't wear shoes because being barefoot fixed my chronic back pain that tortured me for most of my life. Naturally they were talking about orthodics and things like that but my constant talking cut them off at every turn. I said shoes are actually unhealthy and I mentioned the elevated heel and how it shifts the center of gravity forward (which I didn't know until reading Daniel Howell's The Barefoot Book thanks!) she cut me off and said thats true but we are in the medical field and know what thats doing to you. Thats [barefoot] really bad on you and you'll get arthritis and all sorts of problems down the road. I told them theres a lot of information online about what Im doing and I am loving it. I told them I have never liked wearing shoes and I made this choice so I wouldn't have to live in pain. They insisted I would get arthritis later on and they were blocking the street so I figured I wouldn't waste my time telling them things they were going to just dismiss and thanked them for their concern, assured them I was alright and wished them a nice day. They said "God Bless" and drove off.

So readers, what do you all think of this? By the way I will be calling RIPTA (see earlier post) probably today. I will post later if I get to it what the results of that call are. For now though, tell me what you think of this group in the car? Is there anything I could have done to communicate better. I realize I couldn't remember exactly the conversation so parts are inevitably left out or slightly misquoted. The meaning is the same. So tell me what you think everyone!

Remember folks,

Barefooting is easy
Barefooting is good for you
Barefooting is NOT illegal
Join the revolution

Please comment!


  1. I just wanted to say I saw a sticker for this blog on a streetlight pole near RISD (I'm a Brown student), and decided to check it out. I've read several of your posts and I'm really impressed by what you're doing, that you've got the courage to stand up to stores and restaurants and the bus service and everything! (You're also very lucky you can tolerate the snow – I could never do that!) My boyfriend has done his share of barefoot walking, mostly in the summer, so I'm definitely supportive of it :)

    In terms of advice, maybe this would be too cumbersome, but you could carry around cards linking to websites that explain the research on why shoes are bad for you, and just give those to people when they ask or try to give you shoes. Speaking of which, do you have websites you'd recommend I read, so I can learn more?

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the visit and the kind words! I actually have a lot literally thousands of professionally made flyers cards ads magnets stickers etc. You most likely saw one of my home made ads.

    Sites I recommend include

    Urls I don't remember but worth googling
    The barefoot book (Daniel Howell)
    Barefoot and grounded
    Born to run

    I'll try to post more sites as my brain tries to remember. You can just google health benefits of bare footing, barefoot running, etc

    Good luck feel free to contact me via this, email, twitter, or Facebook at any time.

  3. I carry these cards with me:

    and when I am unwilling to spend time talking and answering questions about my bare feet, I just give a card and go my way.

  4. Before I clicked that link I thought to myself...wait arent you russian. I clicked it and realized I was right. Even though I am in America I am still tempted to make cards like that. It would be a quite a funny practical joke. I do have many many cards flyers and such. I will post them on the blog today