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A barefoot Imelda Marcos

March 20, 2012

How many pairs of shoes does a barefooter pack for a road trip to Utah? Trick question.

This barefooter is a little embarrassed to admit just how many pairs of shoes wound up in my suitcase. Worried that my Mississippi toes couldn’t handle Utah snow, I packed my boots, my Nike Frees and every pair of Vibram FiveFingers I own—that’s six pairs altogether. Of course, I probably should also count the ballet flats that are always in my purse and the flip flops that are always in my car (both kept on hand in case someone asks me to put on shoes or leave). Yes, that makes eight pairs of shoes! And thanks to the unseasonably warm weather I enjoyed in the Beehive State, I didn’t put on a single pair.


The first row is all the shoes I packed for me. The second row is all the shoes for the rest of my family.

That’s right, I was barefoot, 24-7, for almost a full 10 days starting on Friday, March 9, at about 6:30 a.m. until Monday, March 19, at about 5 a.m. I probably hadn’t spent that much time unshod since infancy. I loved it. The rest of the family, sans husband, got into it as well. My oldest son only wore shoes once on the trip. And my 3-year-old’s barefoot streak continues. He hasn’t put on shoes since we’ve been home. Even my daughter went out barefoot some, and she loves shoes so much that when she was a toddler she carried around a pair of outgrown Mary Janes like other children carry around blankies.

The whole family at BYU standing in the spot where I first met my husband. Two of us are barefoot.

I took my naked feet into every restaurant, store and grimy gas station bathroom I visited on my trip. (For the record, I cleaned off my feet with antibacterial wipes after every gas station bathroom break.) I even went barefoot to Brigham Young University, albeit nervously, and didn’t get hassled by a single honor code enforcing busybody. At BYU, basketball players can’t have sex with their girlfriends, but I am happy to report that alumni can walk down memory lane in their bare feet.

Yes, I needlessly lugged eight pairs of shoes 3,200 miles to and from Utah. I also packed several shirts, pants, bras and underwear I never ended up wearing, either. So what? I know my pioneer ancestors would be ashamed of my inability to pack light, but hey, I was driving a minivan, not pushing a handcart.


From → Travels

  1. Jake permalink

    I’m pretty sure that girl’s maroon skinny jeans aren’t HC approved.

  2. Elizabrth permalink

    I am a barefooter, but I would never go into a public bathroom naked!!! You are crazy girl!

  3. barfuessler permalink

    Hi, I am Peter, a german barefooter, and I am very interested to be in contact with people sharing the barefoot lifestyle all around the world. It’s great that you’re barefoot for your own whenever possible, but I am particularly pleased that you’re encouraging your kids to be barefoot everywhere. If you are interested in shoesless living in germany, please visit my blog.

  4. Hi I’ve been reading your blogs. You are hardcore girl! Very cool.
    Cheers Barefoot Steve

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