img_4508ASK JUSTINE…
OK, here’s where you get to ask your questions, do NOT ask anything creepy or mean-spirited or I will call you out on it in public. Be cool, play nice, and ask thoughtful kind questions. And yes, you can ask me about my feet… but don’t ask dumb shit like what size shoe I wear… I don’t wear ’em.

Place your questions in the comment box, and after I approve it, I will respond in kind.

So… who’s gonna be first?

Hey, group, I have been told by more than one person that my site is not allowing people to post comments. If you have had this problem, please go to my “contact” link at the top of the page and send me an email so I will know how widespread this problem is.

38 responses »

  1. Hi Justine,
    As a barefooter I have sometimes come across the barefoot police. These individuals did not want accept my explanation that I have hard calloused feet and therefore I am not worried about cutting or injuring my feet. I even explained to them that going barefoot in most places is legal and there are no laws against it! Any suggestions when dealing with the anti-barefoot types?

    • Oh… THOSE assholes. No, don’t deal with them, you can’t win, they’re positively stuck in that weird cowardly uptight ignorant indignant place. Here’s how I deal with it… I find places where the people are cool, loose, and know the laws. It’s a losing battle to fight those people, they not only can not, but will not be willing to consider it. However, with places like Walmart (which I ethically hate) who does not have a “no bare feet” policy, when some uptight prick or biddy comes down on me, I call corporate. Last time I found a reasonable woman at corporate who stood up for me, and the next day I had apologetic calls from two managers, one of whom I now use to say “Talk to assistant manager so-and-so…” in case I am harassed again. If you do not find a sympathetic individual at corporate, call until you do, it helps to mention that you know they do not have such a policy. Sorry my answer is so wholly unhelpful and disappointing… but no, there’s nor reasoning with frightened and uptight people. Bummer!… Next question…

  2. Thanks. I never thought about going to upper management because I felt they would also be jerks about it. Also, there is a woman at my bank that always makes flirty little comments about my bare feet and even has said several times that I have “really nice feet”. I don’t mind because she is so nice and cool. Besides the foot fetish types which I’m sure flood your website, have you ever had people make flirty comments about your feet in your daily life, whether stranger or someone you know?

    • Yes, Neil, I get flirty comments, which at best I rather enjoy, and at worst are inappropriate and creepy if not downright predatory. One day I will hear the right flirty comment from the right guy (or gal), and who knows…

      The ones that freak me out are the ones that come when I am alone on the street and some stranger says something revolting like, “I’d suck those little toes…” such comments only come from the least appealing sorts of men.

      Honestly, I figured by now I’d have enjoyed more of the sweeter flirtations… but it hasn’t worked out that way.

  3. Sorry to hear about the creepy, predator like comments. I guess as a guy I am not as likely to deal with such assholes! You seem like a cool, creative and spiritual person that doesn’t deserve such treatment, but then again no one deserves to be mistreated! You are also very attractive so I’m sure the right guy or girl will eventually come along. Keep them bare and fuck the gross jerks that say nasty crap about your bare feet!

  4. I go barefoot to stores and restaurants all the time and very rarely have any issues at all. I am constantly spreading awareness and acceptance for the barefoot lifestyle, not only for myself but for others as well. Sorry I don’t have a question at the moment. 🙂

  5. Hi Justine,
    What is the most extreme or difficult surface you have walked barefoot on? Are there any places you try to avoid?

    BTW I think it is so awesome that you go barefoot 24/7.

    • I am not certain if my answer will satisfy you completely, but since I am barefoot all the time, I more or less have hit all the extreme and difficult surfaces. Look through my blog pics, you will see me hiking in the snow (which I used to do for 90 minutes or more at a time), across hot Florida blacktop, and even in ruins over glassy floors. I’ve travelled long distances barefoot, I’ve kinda done it all. Are there any surfaces I avoid? I guess not, I mean I have simply had to face public restrooms without a second thought. It’s funny, but I’m a classic germaphobe, yet I have somehow managed to turn that mostly off from the ankles down. What I avoid is lengthy exposure to blacktop, asphalt and cement as those surfaces give me heel fissures, which I hate. I walk ’em, but when I have to be on them long term I stop and lotion a lot, I even wear band-aids on my heels just to keep them from splitting. I hope this satisfies your needs. Oh, down here in Florida I avoid going into the woods in the spring and summer (even fall) simply to avoid ticks and chiggers.

      • And the last time I owned shoes was 2 and a half years ago, and I hadn’t been wearing them before that anyhow. Be well and don’t be shy, I’m not upset about barefoot questions unless they get slimy. And yes, it is awesome to be barefoot 24/7. I have NO intention of getting over it or giving it up. Even lately I have gone into the BMV, courthouse, into a hearing, and always barefoot.

      • Have you ever had to stand still or walk very slowly on hot blacktop, such as at a crowded street festival or at a county fair with mostly asphalt fairgrounds?

        I know it burns a lot during mid-afternoon peak heat hours (enough to get that increasing prickly feeling), but did you have to find shade soon enough or where you able to just tough it out (by lifting a burning foot one at a time in the air to cool it off, or similar heat relief methods) for as long as you had to stand or walk more slowly?

        • Of course, I’ve had all those experiences. I worked a festival circuit for a summer, travelled all over to various festivals, most of which were on asphalt, blacktop and concrete. I’m not one to force sensation or endurance, life offers plenty of those opportunities organically. For the most part, when the ground is hot, I will tend to tough it out as long as I can, but merely as a matter of course. About once a year, though, I will find a surface that is simply far too hot to endure, and I will continue to walk it if I must, but will go around when the opportunity presents itself. After all, I live in Florida… the parking lots here can be a challenge to endure on many days. My soles are tough and inured, but I do have my limits… though wearing shoes is never an option. our feet can endure far more heat and cold than we realize.

  6. Justine,

    What do you think of firewalking? It is a hardcore barefoot activity but at the same time can be very spirtual and even life changing for some people. Do you have any thoughts on this subject?

    • I would be up for it. It’s a hardcore activity, perhaps, but even shoddies do it, so I’m not sure it’s about being a hardcore barefooter. The opportunity for me to do it has not really come my way. Lately the blacktop here in Florida has been about as hot as fire. HARD on the soles! Thanks, Max, keep posting, keep reading, keep asking questions.

  7. Hi ! hum I don’t really know how to ask, and I’m french so my english may burn your eyes…
    I just had a quick look on your site and if I understand, you made a story about a barefoot girl named at you, here is my question : is this character based on your personnal experience? or is she more like the girl you wanted to be? or something else.
    I know this may sound a little wierd, mostly because I don’t really have any passion for art in general but I though this could be interesting to know more about the process you followed.
    By the way I read some of you comments and answers, and I can tell you that here in “the country of human rights” (France) you can’t be barefoot unless it’s on the beach or on the grass without hundreds eyes judging you.
    I wish you good luck and fun 🙂

    • Thomas, sorry I just found your question. Yes, I did do a story about a barefoot girl, her story was a mythologized autobiography. I have always identified with other women in fiction, comics, movies and such, but I rarely found a woman I could relate to in eroticism. It was my intent to create a character that was far more complicated than usual, one with whom I could share joys, pains, sorrows and ecstasies. Yes, she kind of was who I wanted to be at my best… and who I am at my worst. As it turned out, I no longer want to be her, I am quite content as the woman I am. I rarely talk about that aspect of my past essentially because in the end I simply had to throw those shoes away and walk the walk for myself, and in the end, I’m not sure the work was all that great. It was far too personal to perhaps make sense to a wider audience. Your English was fine, far far better then the French of most Americans, never apologize for that. Anyone who can speak a second language (even poorly) is to be admired, never made fun of.

  8. Are you still answering comments here? Today was the first day I tossed my flippety-flops in my bag (I may toss them out) and walked barefoot all day. I still wore my homemade barefoot sandals though-I’m really proud of them. I did some protesting for a cause I’m involved in and walking barefoot really turned a lot of heads-people always seem to love to look at a beautiful barefoot girl, but it seemed distracting for a lot of guys especially the cop who took his sweet time talking to me. I enjoyed my first day and I’ll try it again tomorrow.

    Debi 🙂

  9. Hi there Justine. I saw on your Q&A section you don’t wear shoes. Is that a fetish thing, a statement (like rockers wearing long hair) cultural motif or something else? Is that you don’t wear shoes ever? And how do you manage. Do you live in an area where winters are not that cold? And how do you manage it socially? I mean there are certain places and events that have a certain dress code, so as much as I’d like to be barefoot all the time, there are certain situations and places that force me to wear some footwear like cold weather, dress codes in places I have to frequent (like the uniform at work that includes combat boots, social events that require business dress, celebrations that require evening dress all those and much more)

    • Mike, I can tackle these questions. It’s not that I “don’t wear shoes,” I am barefoot, that’s the difference. It’s not a lack of something, it is the way I am. Would anyone put shoes on a tiger? For me it is simply how I exist. I don’t own shoes, sandals, socks, nothing like that. It is a statement, but not to the world, to myself, it’s about liberation and a form of renunciation, particularly of senseless cultural norms, pressures, and artificial constructs that try to define everyone’s “reality” for them. Any event or function that expects me to change to suit it does not need me in attendance. I live by my own rules. I have found doctors, have gone to the hospital, everything barefoot. I fortunately live in a situation, town and environment that celebrates individuation, self actualization, and is barefoot friendly. I have found restaurants that welcome me (it is not a health code violation), and I have attended all events barefoot, people here would accept nothing less from me. I work at an independent school, and the founder of the school is totally dedicated to self expression and allowing each individual their personal liberties. I lived barefoot in Ohio for 2 years, through 2 winters, and used to shovel my drive, hike, everything barefoot… mind over matter! For the past 3 or 4 years I have been in Florida it has been easier, though it still gets well below freezing here. I guess the simplest way to put this is… if I have said “no” to even considering any social pressures to conform, I probably couldn’t get away with it if there was any question, but since that “no” is so solid in my being, people have come to accept it wholeheartedly.

      As one of the most influential barefoot women I have ever met said to me when I asked her about it years ago… “I have designed my life around it.” I design my life, not others. Everyone has the right to do so… but it’s not easy. As Ringo Starr sang “Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues… and you know it don’t come easy.”

      • Thank you for your answer. I asked because I live in Europe and besides Spain and certain parts of Italy most climate is temperate, which means really cold winters (when walking barefoot or don’t wear gloves and the temperature outside is -25 degress Celsius you can get frost bite). I plan to move to Germany in about a year, and it’s the most barefoot friendly country in Europe, people tend to go to school or college barefoot in warm days and as a matter of fact Germans in general tend not to intrude about most things if they are harmless (and walking barefoot is not only harmless, it feels great and looks great), and I intend to walk barefoot there as much as possible. Unfortunately summer is short and winters in Germany are really cold due to the Alps, in fact it still snows and the temperature is below 0 degrees Celsius in march, but when I’ll live there I intend to go barefoot since the snow melts untill it starts to snow again. Thank you for your insight.

        • I wish you a lot of fun in Germany.
          It’s true that you may get surprised looks but not usually rejection.
          In winter the crushed gravel and salt can be an annoyance. Otherwise it’s up to your temperature tolerance (I’m perfectly fine until the freezing point; below it’s a time limited affair usually.)
          I like the comparison of “putting shoes on a tiger” – my inner animal is the snow leopard and of course snow leopard paws are perfectly adapted to snow. I love feeling snow under my footpaws, it’s just that I cannot always generate enough heat to keep my toes warm nonetheless.

          • Having survived years in Ohio, I learned that going barefoot in the snow is easier if you wear legwarmers so the blood is warmed sufficiently prior to getting into your toes. BTW I’m not in Germany, the person who posed the initial question is from Germany. Peace!

  10. Hi Justine, Are you on facebook? I was looking for you on there but couldn’t find you….unless I was doing your name wrong.

    Also, are you familiar with fetlife and are you (or would you consider) being a member of that?

      • Why did you quit facebook?

        Anyway, fetlife is a fetish lifestyle social media site….kinda like facebook but geared towards people with many different alternative lifestyles and fetishes. If you are at all interested you could join without making a full profile and check it out for awhile. If it turns out to be something that interests you than you could add your full profile and interact with any of the groups on there that are of interest.

  11. As a female barefooter, I think it’s easier and more socially acceptable to be barefoot as a woman than as a man. I’ve noticed that when I go barefoot to stores and other public places I’m much more likely to be allowed to proceed normally than my husband, or when I am with my husband. In the latter cases, I’m more likely to be asked to leave the store or have my feet remarked upon than when I’m alone. I wonder if you could write about your own experience or view of this. Do you think this is a pattern?

    My younger sister was laid to rest barefoot. She wasn’t a barefooter herself – it’s just that the thought of her in her casket with shoes against silk lining didn’t sit right. We gave a blouse and black slacks to the funeral home and that was that. When my grandfather died we used the same funeral home and brought a suit and black socks. The funeral home called us TWICE asking for shoes. When we asked why they had called this time and not the last time they just said “the circumstances were different”. The subtext is that it’s proper to bury a 22 year old woman barefoot but not an 80 year old man. This gendered view of feet and shoes seems to extend longer our lives!

    • Well… I tend to agree with both aspects of this, while I feel people have a right to do as they please… being barefoot has always seemed “feminine.” I get a lot of emails from male barefooters, but I’m not interested in that very much. I’d rather have a guy who enjoyed my being barefoot than a guy who is barefoot. I mean, part of it is, the LAST thing I need complicating my life is some guy who is also barefoot increasing my chances of being spotted and kicked out of places… it’s hard enough to get away with without some guy drawing more attention to it. I wouldn’t want to date a fellow barefooter, yeah, I’d definitely rather date a guy with a fetish for bare feet than a guy who is barefoot himself. All that said, THAT is really a highly personal viewpoint that has no relevance to how other people should live or act. Live and let live.

      Also, it does seem to be true that socially it is more acceptable for women to be barefoot, when women are barefoot it’s considered “cute,” and when men are it’s considered “weird.” So, yes, it is easier for women to get away with it.

      I’m in no way saying this line of thinking is right (not even my own line of thinking about it), but it is what is. The truth is, I feel ultimately people should do what they want to do without regard for social norms and with no fear of social judgment. But… you asked a question so I spoke honestly about how I feel about it. As I said before, how I feel about it is totally irrelevant, people really should just follow their bliss, and for me, that’s the bottom line that supercedes all my own personal preferences. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want my personal preferences to become a law or social norm any more than I feel any need to live under laws and social norms that would censor my vision of self.

      Be who you are, male of female, and let the chips fall where they may.

  12. Okay I have an art question for you. I know there are two approaches to drawing: observational, and constructive (like Loomis). I know both have value. Someone I know wants to start learning to draw and asked me where to start. Which approach would you advise them to start with first?

    • Constructive… our observations are almost always wrong, and ingrained poorly understood observations are hard to shake. It’s easier to learn than unlearn and learn again. By the way, I am a teacher at The Sequential Artists Workshop (, so day in and day out I have to contend with these issues. On the other hand… no one really cares about truly great drawing anymore, we live in a culture that insists bad drawing is good drawing. Look at 90% of all New Yorker covers and cartoons… dreadful.

      • Thanks, I had not thought about it that way, but you are right. My son goes to the Air Force Academy and wanted to do something in his spare time (I’m not sure how he has much of that), that is totally unrelated to the rest of his activities. My perspective on it was constructive but for a different reason (but I think your reason is actually better). His free time is limited to his dormitory so there is not a ton of interesting subject matter to draw. Anyway, thanks for the response!

  13. I had another art question related to my last one. I asked about constructive vs. observational drawing. Is there a painting method equivalence to constructive drawing? If there is, I have not heard of one. Specifically I am gearing this question to oil or acrylic, not water color, although it could apply to water color I guess.

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