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Barefoot in Fabulous Las Vegas

January 31, 2012

For just a moment as I walked through that metal detector at the airport last Wednesday, I was just like everyone else—shoeless. But by the time I made it to my gate? Yep, I was a freak again, exposing my feet to the world like some kind of creepy exhibitionist. Other than a few comments about forgetting to pack my shoes, I managed to fly to and from Las Vegas completely barefoot without a glitch.

In fact, I spent the majority of my time in Sin City without shoes on. I could have really blended in with many of the women I saw if I had I brought a pair of stilettos to use as a prop. With those torture tools hanging from my fingers and swinging at my sides, no one would have thought twice about my bare feet padding up and down the Strip.

Fit to be bare

After traveling all day, the first thing I did when I got to my room was document my dirty feet. Then I scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed.

I was visiting for the Las Vegas Balance fitness conference so most of my days were spent in workshops learning about new exercises and better ways to teach. While there I met one fellow barefooter who after injuring his back discovered significant relief by taking off his shoes and exercising barefoot. Being barefoot helps your spine align properly. From the article “Benefits of Barefoot Exercising” on The Epoch Times:

It is also common that knee and back pains rise from sources like improper foot mechanics. Artificially supported shoes can force unnatural pressure into the knees, spine, and even neck.

The majority of the others at the conference were in their clunky athletic shoes. Although I did see some Vibram FiveFingers in the foot crowd. The Vibrams company (pronounced Vee-brams, something I learned while I was there) was one of the sponsors of the show.

A highlight of the conference was meeting Stacey Lei Krauss, an advocate for barefoot fitness for more than a decade. I attended her workshop on barefoot running and was so impressed that I stayed for her class on her barefoot exercise program called WillPower & Grace, even though I wasn’t signed up for it. A few attendees were obviously not aware that they were going to have to take their shoes off for the class. When Stacey said, “Everyone take off your socks and shoes,” one woman stood up and walked out, as if to say, “Show my feet? Hell no!”

Shod on
While packing for my Vegas trip, I hadn’t planned for much more than the conference and relaxing in my hotel room at night. Call me boring, but curling up with a good book in a quiet room with no distractions is far more exciting to this mom of three than blowing my money in some smoke-filled casino. But on the first day I made a friend from Rhode Island who “dragged” me out on the town. Fortunately for me, my hotel was connected to a mall and I loved an excuse to buy some Vegas-appropriate attire. The clerks at French Connection U.K. didn’t seem to mind or notice my lack of shoes. I found a cute little dress on the sale rack and I was ready to go… Or so I thought.

After the Cirque du Soleil Beatles show. Too bad my eyes are closed. 😦

All dressed up without shoes? I just couldn’t do it. Before I headed out to meet my friend, I went back to the mall in my bare feet and picked up a pair of ballet flats at the H&M. They were no stilettos but they helped me complete my outfit.

So even though I was fine walking around the mall barefoot, eating at the sushi and seafood buffet barefoot, as well as the cafe in my hotel casino barefoot, I lacked the courage to hit the high brow restaurants of Vegas without shoes. Maybe I’ll get there, someday…

Can’t hold it forever
Last time I checked in with y’all, I hadn’t had the pleasure of using a public restroom in my bare feet. Obviously, flying from Jackson to Vegas without using a public restroom would require a catheter or severe dehydration. I opted for neither and went ahead and graced those filthy tiles in my bare feet. No big deal. I just scrubbed my filthy paws when I got to my room and before I climbed in between those crisp, white, hotel sheets.


From → Travels

  1. TimeTraveler permalink

    There have been several studies done regarding germs in public restrooms. They tested average ones that were not too dirty and not too clean, but reasonable enough to go into. Guess what they found? That the floor had the LEAST amount of germs. The worst were the faucet handles and countertops. And door handles. The toilet seats were actually cleaner. So it’s your hands that spread all the germs. And beaches have lots of germs on them. Seagulls do not use toilets. So going barefoot everywhere in most cases really does not expose you to any more germs than you would touch with your hands anyway.

  2. Interesting Time Traveler. I would love to see a link to one of these studies so I could read more. Do you have one? Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. BarefootKW permalink

    Hey Shodoff!
    It’s great to see a new barefooter, our numbers seem to be growing! Going on 14 years barefoot here and I can say that public restrooms are not a problem. Getting past the “ick” factor is the hardest part. Good luck and happy barefooting!

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