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Shoefoot Shoes

Feet within feet
  [vote for,

Even though I've posted a few shoe-related ideas here, I generally prefer to walk barefoot. So do lots of other people, and they can usually do so without hassle.

However, in some places (particularly the US, it seems), some stores, restaurants, museums and the like turn away barefoot customers, telling them to put shoes on. "No shoes, no shirt, no service." There are no laws, OSHA regulations, etc. against bare feet in these places: the bans are generally based on misinformation, fear of lawsuits in case of injury, or simply prejudice against barefooters.

Barefooters handle these confrontations in different ways. Discussing the reasons for the ban with the staff or manager can help change their minds when it's based on misinformation, while offering to sign a waiver accepting responsibility for injury can also help. However, when the ban is based purely on prejudice or podophobia, these tactics rarely work.

In such case, some barefooters just give in to avoid hassle and wear shoes next time, some try to fool the staff by wearing 'barefoot sandals' (straps that make it look like you're wearing sandals when you aren't), some stop shopping at that store.

I'm lucky to live in New Zealand where barefooting is relatively accepted, but if I found a store where the manager banned barefoot customers purely out of prejudice, I might be in the mood to go back wearing my Shoefoot Shoes.

These shoes are handmade, based on a photo of your feet. The sole is made from tough, supple leather or vegan leather, while the rest of the shoe is made from thinner, more flexible material, coloured and designed to look like a bare foot. Not just any bare foot, but yours - we can add hair and freckles based on the photo you send us.

The toes have artificial nails, again designed to look as natural as possible. (You can even apply nail polish to these nails if you want to!)

A discreet flesh-coloured zip on the back of the heel helps you to easily slide in and out of these shoes. Now, when you go to the shop and the manager comes rushing over to tell you to put some shoes on, they'll be in for a surprise!

If they still insist on you leaving the store, when you *are* wearing shoes (albeit unusual ones), just because your shoes *look* like bare feet, their podophobia is clearly revealed to all and sundry.

After a few visits wearing the Shoefoot Shoes, you can return to going barefoot, since the staff will assume you're wearing your Shoefoot Shoes. But that's a side-benefit. I just like the idea of catching the manager out - making them storm across angrily, yell at you, and then be taken aback when you unzip and show them your Shoefoot Shoes.

imaginality, Sep 30 2006

Barefoot Sandals http://www.barefootsandals.com/
[imaginality, Sep 30 2006]

Society for Barefoot Living http://www.barefooters.org/
A good resource site (and discussion group) for barefooters [imaginality, Sep 30 2006]

Shoe feet http://www.melodyro...es/Feet%20shoes.jpg
This is just one example [xenzag, Sep 30 2006]

Vibram Five Fingers http://www.vibramfi...gers.com/index.html
A shoe with toes [imaginality, Sep 30 2006]

Shoes that look like feet http://stllf.ytmnd.com/
JJ Casuals "Shoes That Look Like Feet" from a Saturday Night Live fake commercial [PollyNo9, Sep 30 2006]


       It's a lovely idea, but it's been done - will find links to images.
xenzag, Sep 30 2006

       Ah, yep, nice! Are those for sale, or just an artwork?
imaginality, Sep 30 2006

       The thing is [imaginality] I have a set of slides of shoes that I put together last year for a project that I did with my students. I have a lot of shoe ideas myself, some of which I may put up here at some stage, but I digress.   

       One set of images shows the original painting by Rene Magritte of the shoe/ feet, and this was subsequently used as the basis to make up a pair of leather, wearable shoes, by Pierre Cardin (according to the notes I made), but I can find no reference now on the internet. I have the slide in front of me and will email it to you because it's a real gem.   

       (+ ) for your idea, by the way because despite it all I believe it was an original thought on your part, and because I love shoe ideas.   

       I do not look for references in order to puncture people's good efforts.
xenzag, Sep 30 2006

       //I do not look for references in order to puncture people's good efforts.//   

       That's the last thing I'd accuse you of. I just asked because, if there are such shoes for sale, I'm tempted to buy a pair! :-)   

       Thanks for the encouragement, by the way - most appreciated.
imaginality, Sep 30 2006

       Do they faithfully replicate verrucas?
pertinax, Sep 30 2006


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