I immigrated to Southern California when I was ten years old. We were near the beach and everyone that was cool was barefoot so I decided I wasn’t going to wear shoes. Well we weren’t that near as we had to walk for 45 minutes to get there. I ran from shade to shade as my pale Scottish feet were burned by the hot California tarmac. I didn’t give up though and they soon toughened up. I went barefoot from morning til night. I prided myself on tanned feet with not even the strap of flip flops to block the sun. Every summer there was this breaking in period as my feet got used to their summer role as shoes and the shoes didn’t return til i got back to school.
Years later I moved to New York City where I wore motorcycle boots with steel toes. The subways aren’t barefoot friendly. I would go to the beach still but wear the boots right out on to the sand.
Now, my wife laughs at my white feet. My legs are tanned but the feet never see the light of day. I don’t know why, they are quite lovely, but it’s become a habit. Recently we got the carpet cleaned and its been too hot to wear slippers. I’ve been walking around the house in bare feet. It feels pretty nice. I might even stick them out the window for some sun.