Thank you, readers form around the world, from the USA to Japan and everywhere in between! We’re grateful for every visit to our blog. And now, we thank our newest readers who have joined us from down under.
Almost Barefoot is getting daily hits from Australia and New Zealand, and we’re finding that barefooting is quite popular there. The climate may have something to do with it, but then again, our most abundant groups of visiting barefooters to our blog (outside the USA) are from Germany and Russia, where winters are long.The website Mum's Gone 2 Aus is a site designed to help people who are relocating to the Land Down Under, and it reports that about half of the nation's population lives within eight miles of a beach. Jimmy Buffet ought do more songs about Australia! With no disrespect to the exalted leader of Parrot Heads, lets just say it makes sense that Aussies tend to be more barefoot friendly.
In a place where half the people will beat the beach as frequently as Americans are at the mall, barefooting can honestly retain support through shear practicality. Ever walked on a beach with shoes. Even the world's biggest anti-barefooter will agree after five minutes of walking on the beach that the shoes must come off. One can honestly hurt an ankle by keeping them on in most cases unless they've had special training.
I'll take a moment to salute the many military personnel who've landed on beach heads in all seriousness to carry out important missions. We're approaching D-Day (June 6, 1944) just to name one. My grandfather was among the countless heroes who stormed the beach in the line of fire. Countless Australians supported the allied effort and I salute all of them as well. There are too many heroes to name.
We found reports from people who visited the city of Caines, in the province of Queensland, Australia, that barefooting was quite common in that city.
"From what I saw, about 5% of the locals just normally go about their business barefoot in this town (this was in the downtown area, so it probably is greater overall). .... I happened to be going past a junior school at going home time, and a quick count showed that 50%+ of the school pupils appear to go barefoot to school," reported Graham Long, a native New Zealander who was living in the area.
".... saw news footage a couple of years ago from Cairns. The film showed many children walking out of the school and most were barefoot. I just got back from my short holiday in Cairns. At Cairns North State Primary School probably about 60 to 70 percent of the children I saw in the playground were barefoot. In my travels around Cairns it seemed pretty general that bare feet are the norm in the state primary schools," said Jeff Pages, a resident Australian.
We were unable to verify the dates of these reports, which come from unshod.org, but some picture images suggest that they were recent, and the Mum's Gone 2 Aus report is only two years old. Some class pictures of school children were as old as 1997.
Barefoot for gym class in Australia. Source: unshod.org
We found a link on an Autralian blog forum called All For Women that revealed that barefooting was quite regular in parts of Australia as late as 2009, but opinions varied among the local people.
A woman named Angela found barefooting quite offensive as she observed many people going about their business unshod.
"I've been well against this for a long time. I even put a letter in the Brisbane paper about it, but got no feedback. Why is it people are aloud to walk through shopping centres and supermarkets barefoot? Its ok around beach areas, and on the street, but not in a indoor public place. Westfeild shopping centres should have a ban on it, and more importantly.....be fined for it. Sure, its not hurting anyone, but its out of courtesy and decency. Surely, people can afford thongs. I got told by a neighbour that people in queensland have been doing this for years, and if I dont like it, I should go back to victoria. Its a filthy attitude, even if your feet are clean. There were shopping centres in the USA that had signs up "Barefeet will be fined", etc. Why cant they have that here?...." Angela wrote.
One woman identified as "ll EL85" responded:
"I have never worn shoes... growing up in Cairns hardly anyone wears shoes anywhere. I wear them a lot more now but I am know to nip into the local shops or video store without shoes. I have even stopped at the local shopping centre without shoes but thats only if I hadn't taken any where I was going then realised I needed something. Most people just wear thongs, they are hardly shoes anyway. I run around my yard, my house, my parents and friends houses without shoes on all the time. And they all do the same.
It's just how it's done up here and how it's always been done, it's hot and people don't wear shoes. You just have to accept it. "
Most others said they didn't go barefoot themselves but didn't object.