Upon my first encounter with a person, I am instantly interested in their shoes. What made them choose this specific pair for today? Why did they buy them in the first place? It is easy for everyone to make initial judgments about other people based on something so superficial. I believe that we should put our bare foot forward.
One of my earliest memories does regard my feet, I remember hearing the bells around the door handle jingle as my mother and father lead me inside to buy new shoes at the children’s shoe store. My feet were measured and they joked about their interesting shape, square. Growing up, it was a challenge to find shoes that fit my funny sized feet just right while at the same time meeting my high standards for being the coolest pair in the store.
Each fresh pair is an experience. They hurt at first, and sometimes leave you with blisters that you think will never go away. After those first few painful weeks, they become comfortable, almost routine. Eventually the soles aren’t so white and the laces aren’t so new. Holes develop and you become envious of your friend’s new pair with flashing lights and fancy decals. You make that important trip to the shoe store hand in hand with a parent in search of a new pair.
As I’ve grown older, my interest in shoes has changed from a childlike need, to a teenage interest. Every time I enter a shoe store I labor over which pair is the most worthy of my purchasing. Over time, I’ve become less concerned with the way they look and more concerned with the way they feel. I’ve learned that I am more than the way my shoes look. The truth of my personality lies within the interesting exterior of the shoe and with my bare foot.
The bottoms of my feet are dirty, covered with dust and god knows what else. On days that I take off my shoes, people often remark on how dirty the floor is and the potential damage I am doing to myself. But like a person, without a little exposure, my bare feet wouldn’t be able to endure anything.
By showing our bare feet, we are making it possible for strangers to judge us not by the brand names of our shoes but by other attributes like our personalities our smiles, or even the gaze of our eyes.