National Barefoot Day is on June 1 and this is an opportunity for us to not only enjoy the feeling of walking around barefoot but also support a charity that strives to provide underprivileged children with shoes. Often, we don’t realize how privileged we are to have something as simple as shoes to wear. On this day, it’s imperative to take cognizance of our privilege and give to those in need.
History of National Barefoot Day
An unfortunate Indian Ocean tsunami disaster in 2004 left many adversely affected by the event and drove them towards poverty. In an endeavor to help those victims, Soles4Souls created National Barefoot Day.
While being barefoot is indeed liberating and helps us connect to nature, shoes provide a plethora of benefits and are extremely functional. It would be ideal if everyone living in the world had at least one pair of shoes that they could use in their daily lives.
The primary goal of this charitable day is to encourage people to donate footwear, be it used or new, that can be given to the underprivileged people who desperately need shoes. Instead of just discarding your shoes when you’re bored of them, wouldn’t it be better to give them to someone who could really make some use of them? We underestimate the difference a usable pair of shoes can make for someone who doesn’t have any. Many people are unable to go to work or school only because they don’t own shoes. Donating shoes will not only help solve this problem but also prevent your shoes from simply ending up in landfills.
Since the inception of this cause, there has been unprecedented and overwhelming support with over 40.5 million pairs of shoes being donated across the world. People are encouraged to help and bring about joy in someone else’s life through the simple act of donating a pair of shoes.
National Barefoot Day timeline
In Britain, King Edward II declares barleycorn as a means to measure shoe sizes.
Shoemaker Joseph Sparkes Hall invents the first women’s boots for Queen Victoria.
Jan Ernst Matzeliger invents the lasting machine that can produce 700 pairs of shoes per day making footwear accessible to everyone.
The term ‘sneakers’ is used for the first time when this type of shoe, that doesn’t make much noise is introduced.
National Barefoot Day FAQs
Is it OK to go barefoot in public?
Yes, but make sure the public places you go to are clean as your feet can be exposed to bacteria and fungi.
Is being barefoot illegal?
No, there are no federal laws prohibiting you from going barefoot in public places.
Does walking barefoot increase foot size?
Yes, it has been found that growing up walking barefoot most of the time can increase the width of the feet.
How To Observe National Barefoot Day
Even though many people do have a single pair of shoes, they are worn out, ill-fitted, or do not provide enough protection from harsh elements. Thus, donating used or new shoes can help to put them on someone’s feet who needs them the most.
Organize a shoe collection drive
How about organizing a shoe collection drive in your garage or driveway? Encourage your neighbors, friends, and family to donate their old shoes. The collected items can go towards a charitable cause.
Go on a barefoot walk
Walking barefoot provides several health benefits such as better foot positioning and mechanics, strength and stability in muscles and joints, and more. On National Go Barefoot Day you can go for a barefoot walk in the park or on the beach.
5 Facts About Shoes That You Did Not Know
Shoes as a status symbol
Around four centuries ago, the European upper-class, wore six-inch heels to signify their status.
Floating shoes in space
Neil Armstrong’s shoes worn on the moon are floating somewhere in space as he discarded them fearing they would carry contaminated particles.
No left and right foot shoes
Not long ago, shoes did not have a left and right foot and were all identical.
The largest pair of shoes
The largest pair of shoes was made in Marikina City, the Philippines, and is 17 feet long and 8 feet wide.
Mexico’s cowboy boots
Mexican boots can have pointed toes that reach up to one meter long.
Why National Barefoot Day Is Important
It’s a global celebration
National Go Barefoot Day is a global celebration that encourages individuals across the world to donate to make lives of the underprivileged better. When the entire world comes together for a single cause, it can make a much-needed monumental change.
It’s a charitable day
National Go Barefoot Day is a charitable event for donating shoes to help the underprivileged. This simple yet mighty effort can touch so many lives and help to make the world a better place.
Being barefoot can be liberating
Being barefoot can be indeed liberating for the mind and body. Walking barefoot can help to improve balance and awareness, and provide relief from pain and certain restrictions caused by footwear.
National Barefoot Day dates