My Phobia of Bare Feet

As long as I can remember I have had a phobia of bare feet. There is no rational reason I can think of for this, but what I do know is that it does impact on my life in quite surprising ways that many without this phobia may not have considered.

When I was young my hatred of bare feet made me very uncomfortable doing sports in the gymnasium at school, not least because if using much of the gym equipment and the landing mats etc, we were required to go barefoot. I was very self conscious of my feet, even though they are perfectly normal and petite in size. When being bullied at school I desperately wanted to take up a martial art for self defence, but was put off after one Judo lesson, when I realised that going barefoot was going to be essential. I never went back, and the bullying continued.

As the years have gone on my foot phobia has not reduced, and even now I will never walk around the house in bare feet, always choosing to wear shoes or slippers. When in bed at night if my Husband has not been banished to the spare room for snoring too much, then I keep my own feet well away from his. Occasionally in the night his feet will accidentally touch mine, and I will flinch as if I have been stung, instinctively moving my feet to the opposite end of the bed. In many ways I am not sure if this reaction is because I can't stand the contact from his bare feet, or if it is because I can't bear him contacting my bare feet. Either way, I dislike the contact intensely.

Unfortunately for me my Husband has a bad habit of walking around the house with no socks or slippers on. This makes me cringe, and even though I have bought him slippers, I still find him walking barefoot in the home. It is frustrating because he knows I hate feet, and even when I point out to him there is no point in having a bath and then walking around with no socks on, because in a house with three cats who are in and out all day, his feet will quickly end up filthy from simply walking on the kitchen floor tiles, (even though we mop them regularly....... the tiles, not his feet!), he continues to walk around barefoot without wearing the new slippers I have bought for him.

I was even at my own Mother's house on one occasion when my Stepfather had to cut her toenails for her. Witnessing this made me feel quite nauseous, and there is no way I can imagine ever doing this service for her myself.

The very idea of bare feet just makes my nose wrinkle up in distaste and my whole body cringe. For the life of me I cannot understand how people enjoy foot fetishes, or can cope with foot massages. When I see a bare foot all I see are the most unattractive parts of the human body, with the potential to smell truly appalling, the ability to contract fungal type infections, a verruca haven and an ugly, knobbly pair of appendages in general. In fact on a personal level I won't even buy or wear open toed shoes or sandals of any kind, nor can I see why others choose to draw attention to their feet by painting their toenails.... Yuck!!

My recent online browsing has given me a lot more information on my phobia. In fact it is far more common than I realised. Apparently the phobia of feet is called Podophobia, Podiaphobia or Petaphelaphobia (latter the fear of people touching your feet), and can consist of a fear of not only your own feet, but also other people's. In extreme cases some sufferers of Podophobia or Podiaphobia, can't even go into a shoe or sock shop without a problem. This actually made me feel a little better, mainly because I am not literally scared of feet, I just find they make me cringe, but not in the same way as say a large house spider would if it touched me, in other words a bare foot would not send me rapidly to a state of clinging to the ceiling shaking like a leaf. I suppose I am more what I have seen described as a 'Foot-o-Phobe', i.e. I feel uncomfortable, even irritated when I look at feet. I hate people touching my feet and I don't like discussing feet or problems with feet, on a face to face basis. I certainly would not enjoy watching any kind of TV documentary on feet, and don't even like adverts on the television where they talk about 'Happy Feet' etc. I don't even find children's feet tolerable, so when I see a Mum playing with her baby's feet, possibly nuzzling them with her nose, blowing raspberries on them etc, I squirm totally.

Some of the Main Symptoms of Podophobia or Podiaphobia

  • Sweating, breathlessness
  • Change in body temperature
  • Change in blood pressure
  • Nausea, dry mouth
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Full blown panic attack
  • Feeling exceedingly terrified and queasy


There are treatments available for this phobia if it has become a real problem in your life. Most of these appear to consist of either:

Psychological Therapy: especially suitable for people who suffer from panic disorders. The long term success of this kind of treatment is proven.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): Apparently this is one of the most effective methods of treatment for feet phobias. This greatly assists in dealing with difficult situations. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), have suggested 7-14 hours of CBT which a patient suffering from agoraphobia and panic disorders is supposed to complete within the period of four months.

Exposure therapy: In this kind of therapy, patients are gradually exposed to the element they fear. They are taught to control their reaction through deep breathing and positive thinking.

Hypnosis: For those capable of being hypnotised this is an option that could be very successful and is certainly worth considering.

Support groups: The main aim of support groups is to make people discuss and share the experiences which are unpleasant to them. This should help them to connect with others having similar feelings.

Medication: Podophobia or Podiaphobia is one of those which is difficult to cure only with counseling and behavioural therapies. Some medication is also frequently necessary in order to help the patient deal with their phobia.

  • Antidepressants: These are used to treat depression and can take several weeks before they become effective
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): These are also a type of antidepressant that increases the level of serotonin in the brain.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: These also work as antidepressants, keeping the brain and mind calm.
  • Beta –blockers: These can control anxiety and its symptoms such as sweating and trembling. Beta-blockers slow down the heart rate, which reduces the pressure at which the blood is pumped, resulting in reducing the chances of panic attack.

There is no guarantee these treatments will work, but until the sufferer tries them they won't know. Certainly it is worth persevering until your therapist concedes that the current choice of therapy is not succeeding.



Summary

Although my phobia of bare feet is annoying and at times frustrating, I was relieved to find out that I am not an extreme case. My advice to anyone who is suffering from this would be to judge carefully how much this impacts on your day to day life, and if the answer is 'too much' then seek out one of the therapies above, (or as many of them as necessary to cure the problem).

My advice to anyone who has a friend, partner or family member who suffers from this phobia, is to be considerate, don't play the fool and do idiotic things such as pinning the person down and rubbing your bare feet on them, or surprising them by draping your bare feet over their shoulders when they least expect it. Whilst these immature actions may seem funny to you, remember to them this is serious and very distressing. Try to consider how you would feel in they exploited a phobia of yours in a similar way, e.g. if you are scared of snakes, rats or spiders and they chose to plant one of these in your bed, your briefcase or elsewhere.

Do you have a phobia of bare feet?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Sometimes it Depends
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Comments 94 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

I can honestly say that I have never heard of such a phobia but I know how frightening phobias can be. Strangely enough, you have mentioned mine in your Hub - cats! I cannot even visit a house where there are cats. I hope that your page proves helpful to others with the same affliction and am sure it will.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Gordon, I have not mentioned any other serious phobias only because this hub is totally about the phobia of feet. Actually I do have a friend with a fear/phobia of cats though. A little difficult when he comes to stay as we have three, plus a neighbours cat that spends a good chunk of its time in our house. My Father had a fear of feathers, another weird one, and quite difficult to deal with as we had chickens, a pet mynah bird and two green singing finches at the time!

Thanks for your feedback, I hope this does help others, plus raising awareness of this annoying, yet relatively common phobia.


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Cindy, I have not heard of phobias of bare feet, but not surprised, as phobias can be about anything. I developed an anxiety issue after the loss of my nephew and entering menopause, its as if my brain could take so much at the same time, and its disconcerting, such is the fragility of the human mind, but I will heal it. I think everyone has an issue, it may not be a phobia, but we all have something to work on.

Thanks for sharing!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

PS. Gordon just another thought, I also had three pigeons, loads of feathers but we never tormented our Father with them!!!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Violet, it is already proving interesting that my first two comments are from people who have not heard of this phobia. At least you can see how this can happen, and now you can identify with others who might on occasion voice their own dislike of feet. I do sincerely wish you luck with your own personal anxiety issue.

Thanks for the feedback :)


jandee 5 years ago

Hello Misty,

just said to hubby 'the things that go on in Guernsey' . Did you know that walking barefoot is the very best exercise i.e yoga. It is brilliant for healthy 'feet' and for the back. Everytime I go near a cat I get bitten,they are beautiful creatures though!

enjoyed with thanks,jandee from Jersey........


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Jandee, just cannot bear the idea of walking barefoot, no matter how good it is for 'healthy feet' or a healthy back, (although I know it is good for you). Soz! The other option is to try MBT trainers, based on Masai Barefoot Technology. The health benefits are just as good, but no need to go barefoot. I have hubbed on these MBT's if you are interested.

You must be really unlucky with cats, as even after working in 2 vets surgeries I have never been bitten by any!! They must know you fear them I guess.

As for Guernsey, well you know us, we are strange folk all in all ;)

Cheers for stopping by :)


diogenes 5 years ago

I think it's a bit mean of your husband walking around barefoot when he knows it's seriously disturbing for you. I was trying to think if I had any phobias at all and I don't really, but I know people who do. One friend has agrophobia and has been house-bound for 30 years! They are no joke. If one has to have a phobia, I suppose yours is one of the lesser ones as far as disturbing the quality of your life goes. Mind you, I do try to avoid the divisions between pavement stones because bears live down there which might grab your feet...oh, sorry, I really didn't mean to do that. Very good and useful hub, Misty, which will be a click-leader for you quickly I am sure...Bob


Beege215e profile image

Beege215e 5 years ago

I am happy to notice that you have done your research on this and are quite capable of controlling your reactions. It is upsetting to have phobias, mine is dentistry, it scares the heck out of me. Good luck, and thank you for a very interesting read.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Bob, great to see you here. I agree, mine is one of the less intrusive phobias, and I certainly feel for anyone who feels unable to leave their home for 30 years. What a nightmare.

I heard about those bears between the cracks in the pavement too!!

Hi Beege215e, thanks for stopping by. I don't think many people like the dentists, although I am not too bad because I worked at one many years ago, plus I have never had anything very nasty done, and only have 3 fillings.

Glad you enjoyed the hub :)


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

I have a question for you. I assume that you have children. Were you able to bathe your kid or kids, and avoid your phobia while doing this, or did even this bother you too?


revmjm profile image

revmjm 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

Thanks for sharing all this information about your phobia of bare feet. I might have a phobia or two, but fortunately for me that is not one of them because the first thing I do when I come through the door is pull off my shoes, and I do not put them on again until I leave home. I go bare footing all the time!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas

Being Texas born and raised, going barefooted comes second nature. I can only imagine how it must be for you. I had never personally met someone with a true phobia until I met my husband for the first time. We had talked for several years online before meeting, so I knew he didn't like spiders. He called it a phobia, but I took that to mean he just didn't like them...in the way other people I knew didn't like them. When I flew to England to meet him for the first time I took a plastic spider with me and put it between the sheets at the hotel for him to find. He was not in the least bit amused and I truly got a sense of how different a phobia is to a general dislike. I promised him I would never ever do anything like that again. I truly thought it was something he could laugh at like others I knew. Not so.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Dave, thanks for commenting. No I don't have children, so fortunately this isn't something I have had to deal with. I would have loved to have children, but due to 'bad internal plumbing' it seems that even IVF would be very unlikely to work. I have hubbed on that aspect of my life in a few of my other hubs.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi revmjm, you are lucky, for me even the expression "bare footing" makes me shiver. I actually cringe when I hear songs that refer to bare feet e.g. Mustang Sally "you'd better put your flat feet on the ground" etc.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi KCC, I do understand your Husband's phobia, as I am not keen on spiders either, although I have the problem much more under control than when I was a child. However, I have a friend who is terrible with spiders, and even a tiny wispy spider sends her to the other end of the building until someone else can get rid of it. Funny thing is, she is actually a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse. One of the vets we both worked for also had the same phobia in a big way, and he was a South African chap who you would assume had seen lots of spiders in his home country and at Vets School.

Thanks so much for the feedback :)


quietnessandtrust profile image

quietnessandtrust 5 years ago from Carbon Canyon, California

I love naked feet!!!

And if a woman "looks like an 8"

but has pretty feet, she moves to a 10. =)

I am "The Foot Inspector" hahahahahahaha


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Q&T, nice to see you here, it's been a while. Sounds more like you have more of a foot fetish than a foot phobia, rather you than me :)


The Funny Guy profile image

The Funny Guy 5 years ago

Im sorry to hear you hate FEET. I too hate feet, only because my mother made me wear shoes that were always too TIGHT, turned my feet into Gorilla feet. I wrote a funny story called The Ingrown Toenail Story. I warn you now, if you wish to read it - it's pretty graphic BUT FUNNY

I hope you can overcome it and just be thankful that you don't have Gorilla feet like me.

The Funny Guy


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL The Funny Guy, I am thinking my own curiosity might just allow me to cope with reading that hub:) Thanks for commenting here too.

PS. Our Dad was always really tight with money, so going to the opposite extreme our Mother was always forced to buy shoes a couple of sizes too big for us as children, meaning we went to school looking like we were wearing a pair of canoes until we 'grew' into them. I am not sure which is worse, your experience or ours!


The Funny Guy profile image

The Funny Guy 5 years ago

Hi Misty (see I didn't call you "ROSIE")

OMG!!!!!!! - My Mother was completely OPPOSITE to yours when buying shoes. I posted my Ingrown Toenail Story (a few more stories about my Mama) and if you decide to read it, you see what I'm talking about.

P.S. I'll give you a hint (I think my experience is WORSE than your)... Lol


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I will definitely be reading those The Funny Guy, I find your stories hilarious :)


AuraLee 5 years ago

Wouldn't it be terrible if you had a foot phobia AND a foot fetish? It would be extremely internally discomfitting! Similar to a devout christian who comes to believe they are gay.

Do you know what started this whole thing? It has to be more than just the smelly, fungal, ugly side of it...

Re foot documentaries - do you think they are common?! Who would want to make a foot doco, apart from a fetishist, lol?

@diogenes - I don't think it is necessarily "mean" that her husband walks around w/out slippers. Personally, I must remove my shoes as soon as I walk in the door. They constrict my feet (regardless of what kind of shoe or slipper) and I would be (probably overly) uncomfortable if I was forced to keep slippers or shoes on. But if he is just being slack then yeah he should wear the slippers if at all possible.

Congrats misty that you consider reading the toenail story. I really thought you would knock that one back! So you aren't that phobic after all! Maybe it is just one of your 'foibles', something can make a person extremely uncomfortable and 'cringey' without having full on panic attacks over it.

For example - I get really cringey when reading/talking about certain gynecological procedures or topics. I'm nowhere near a prude or anything. But I can get so cringey I almost faint! Maybe that's normal; men would probably feel similar if hearing about some kind of testicle operation.

A good site for dental fears is dentalfearcentral.org It lists so many different categories of dental related fears. There are so many different reasons that one is scared of the dentist - pain, drill, being numb, not being numb, childhood abuse, choking, needle phobia etc etc!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi AuraLee, LOL re-the foot phobia versus foot fetish problem.

I have no idea when exactly or why my phobia started. Certainly not from any event I remember.

No idea of how common foot documentaries are, I am guessing that it is more common to see these kinds of phobias on a documentary on a number of different phobias.

I did read that ingrowing toenail story, and although it was enough to make me really cringe, it was actually really hilarious. You should read it too.

Thanks for the link to the dental related fears site. It might be very useful to people reading this. :)


Totally Tiffany profile image

Totally Tiffany 5 years ago from Henderson

I sort of understand. I have a foot phobia too. Not of others feet but I cannot stand to go barefooted, even in my home. My daughter makes people take their shoes off coming in her door. I hate that. I don't have ugly feet, I just cannot stand for anything to touch them. What if there is mud or dirt from someone else's shoes on the floor? Yuck. Like you I don't want my husband's feet to touch mine at night. I liked this article a lot.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Tiffany, I guess we experience similar although not completely identical problems. Neither of us like our own feet, but you don't mind other people's, whereas I do, (as well as not liking my own to be seen or touched by others). Nice to know I am not alone here :)


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 5 years ago from Massachusetts

I'd never really heard of this as a phobia, so interesting. :) For the most part, other people's bare feet don't bother me (although some people's feet are inelegant enough that I'd rather they pop some socks or shoes on). LOL I do have one thing with bare feet, though, and that's that I can't stand walking around without something on my feet. That's more of a "dirty feet" thing, I think, though. :)

As far as other people's bare feet go, for me it's mostly whether they're unattractive or not. I love all "beebie's" (baby's) and little kids' "feetsies". If a woman's feet are pretty I think they're nice. Some guys have nice enough feet; but a lot really don't. In any case, I wonder if bare-feet phobia might have something to do with how "ugly" feet are perceived to be. :/ (Those pictures you have (the one with the woman and a bunch of feet, and the particularly the one with the guy and feet) are pretty gross. I don't think anyone needs a foot phobia to find those disturbing. LOL )


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Lisa,

I am the same about having to have something on my feet, I hate walking around in bare feet and get really cross when Hubby keeps on doing it, pointing out to him that he will end with filthy soles to his feet.

This phobia is actually pretty common, and I can only assume it may stem from childhood where jokes about ' sweaty or cheesy feet' etc are all too common, therefore planting a thought in the subconscious that feet are an unpleasant part of the body.

Certainly men seem to have the uglier feet of the two sexes, although I have seem some really gross feet on women (such as the cashier with the infected toe who worked for me once). I can't say I find any feet nice to look at though, even with foot jewellery, painted toenails etc. I guess I just have to tolerate them and look away. :(

Thanks so much for commenting :)


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 5 years ago from Amman, Jordan

Hi Misty. Nice one! Are sure you dislike seeing bare feet because from the graphics you put in your article above, it might hint at just the opposite, that you can live with them at least. Just checking! An interesting read as there are many around there with foot fetishing tendencies.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi marwan asmar, my problem (at least in my case) is with the real thing more than the pictures, even though the latter make me cringe a bit too. The real things move, smell and you can see all the graphic details of them such as dry skin, overgrown toenails, hair on the toes, smell any cheesiness etc.

I am the same with spiders, I can cope with photos or film footage, but the real thing does freak me out, although I do have that phobia mostly under some level of control.


riobec 5 years ago

Very interesting. I read your article carefully and I can say that

we have lots in common. However I am a little higher in the scale

than you. For example, I cannot stand even the pictures, so I find

the top of the page repulsive.

To Dave: I have kids and yes it bothers me! No exceptions.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi riobec, I know people who are like that about spiders, rats etc too (can't even look at the pictures). Thankfully I can tolerate the pictures although they do make my nose wrinkle up lol.


Baskerville 5 years ago

Curiously most articles concerning this topic is that they tend to post images of the very thing we dislike.

I hate TV commercials that display bare feet, male or female, even though the product being advertised has nothing to do with the foot. I find feet very unattractive from any angle, top, side, or (the worst) bottom.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Cheers for commenting Baskerville, yes, I guess posting those pictures is kind of unavoidable, (even for me!) in an article on feet!

Nice to know you too understand the who foot hatred thing, right down to the TV adverts (I so get this). I don't even like the mention of feet in songs!!


Bakserville 5 years ago

Thank you, misty. I wouldn't call my dislike of f**t a "phobia", but rather a dislike, a negative aesthetic reaction. Some f**t are less displeasing than others, but I'd rather not see ANY.

--I think there are many more of us than we realize.

-- Notice how female TV reporrters, weather girls, etc., never wear shoes that show their toes? I suspect that this is not is their own choice, but some station policy.

--Been a long time since I have seen a Playboy magazine, but I clearly remember NEVER seeing the models toes in any of the pictorials, so Mr. Hefner may very well be one of us.

--I do not find the entire extremity as unatractive as the five little appendages in which it ends.

--Capri pants with gladiator sandalsm especially those that cover the heel, but expose the toes, are a HUGE turnoff, bringing attention to the very part I most dislike.

--What's up with the current trend of TV crime dramas showing ever more realistic-looking decomposing bodies in the morgue, including dead bodies with toe tags, YUCK! Yet they blur a glimpse of a nipple, ala Janet Jackson "waldrobe malfunction". Go figure!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Baskerville, I am beginning to think I am more like you, and have more of a strong dislike of feet than a phobia (I can cope with pictures okay). I just loved some key points in your most recent comment, e.g. "-I do not find the entire extremity as unatractive as the five little appendages in which it ends." and "What's up with the current trend of TV crime dramas showing ever more realistic-looking decomposing bodies in the morgue, including dead bodies with toe tags, YUCK!". I had to laugh and agree strongly with both those statements. With regards to reporters and weather girls, well most of the ones I see on British TV seem to be cut off below the knee, so I couldn't say what shoes they are wearing, but you are probably correct on that too.

Thanks again for your great comment :)


brandon 5 years ago

girls feet are the best thing ever


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I am guessing you fall under the category of people with a 'foot fetish' Brandon.


elanger333 profile image

elanger333 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I had a friend in highschool that absolutely hated feet. She would laugh about it, but now I wonder how much she was really affected by it. Her boyfriend would tease her but she really became upset when he touched her with his feet - the relationship ended shortly.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi elanger333, I reckon my relationship would not last long either if my hubby KEPT on touching me with his feet. Luckily it only ever happens accidentally (which I can forgive). If it was done as a joke or to wind me up, I expect I would soon be putting a snake in his bed or something else he had a phobia about, then he might 'get it' LOL.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Misty - I have never given it that much thought and I am not afraid of feet either - just slightly repulsed..ew! I can't stand to feel the floor beneath my bare feet. I do try to buy my husband slippers too but he won't wear them. I didn't know this was a phobia...it should be! lol


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

You sound so much like me RealHousewife, right down to buying your Husband the slippers and him not wearing them! This problem we have is most definitely a recognised phobia, but at least we are not alone :)


Ruby 4 years ago

I completely understand. I cannot stand feet. They look like disgusting pudgy, hideous forms of fingers. People with really disgusting fingers or fingernails also really creep me out. I don't understand why people parade around with their feet out, i feel violated that I have to look at them wherever I go. Why on earth would anyone want to see your feet? I think perhaps those of us that are really perceptive notice things that disgust us when most people pay no attention to them. How can you not! Feet are just horrible. I don't care if they're babies feet or not it's the same thing. Completely unattractive and should not be shown in public. I don't like it when you tell people how you feel and they claim their feet are normal. No ones feet are normal they're all ugly. Men's feet push me to the point I feel like literally throwing up I feel disgusted that they're out in the open. The worst thing is its so bad you can't even look away. The only feet that are acceptable are cats feet because they are paws. I don't think it's irrational to hate feet. Feet are gross, dirty, contaminated and look horrible. Cats however, I don't think you should fear a cute adorable loving pet!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for your feedback Ruby, you are definitely someone with a foot phobia, in fact an extreme one by the sound of things. Glad you like cats feet though, (so do I).


shanne 4 years ago

omg im terrified of feet and im 16. i can stand my own but not anyone elses, or anyone elses feet atchually touching mine. i want to do beauty therapy in a years time in college. im going to have a hell of a time! literally!!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Sounds tough shanne, have you considered a different career, as dealing with feet day to day might leave you involuntarily wincing facially, and this might be a bit disconcerting to your clients? You could concentrate on beauty therapy from the waist upwards possibly!!


Corinne 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing your story Misty. I don't have a phobia of feet, but I dislike them immensely. All of the pictures you have posted with people's feet close to a person's face are so gross to me! And so many commercials seem to show people's bare feet when it has absolutely nothing to do with the product. Why do I need to see some woman's bare feet all propped up with her toes wiggling when the commercial is about cheese? Why?? I also don't want anybody touching my feet. I always do my own pedicures, and I don't even let my sweetie massage my feet.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Corinne, actually I would say you do have a phobia of bare feet, and it sounds about the same level as mine. The phobia does not have to be extreme to be real, and what you just described sounds typical of the phobia without it being too terrible.


Corinne 4 years ago

Hi Misty,

I guess I always thought of a phobia as being an actual fear. For example, I have a fear of heights. I realize it's not rational, and it's more that just not liking it, I am actually afraid to be up too high even if I'm completely safe (like inside a car, on a bridge). I also have a fear of snakes, as in I would knock down old ladies and small children to get away from one (sorry, just being honest). But I don't fear feet, I just find them unpleasant.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL Corrine, no a phobia doesn't have to be that extreme, it can also be a strong dislike of something, quote from just one online dictionary

"1. A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.

2. A strong fear, dislike, or aversion."

Note the terms 'dislike or aversion' as relevant in our case.

I also have a phobia of heights,(although I am fine in vehicles), and a slightly more 'under control' one of spiders (I can at least catch the spiders in drinking glasses using an envelope and then put them outside). No problem with snakes though, I quite like them and have handled quite a few belonging to friends and acquaintances.


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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

This website provides various definitions for the word 'Phobia' that illustrate more examples of why it doesn't have to an actual 'fear' as such.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/phobia


Laura from Aus 4 years ago

I am completely foot phobic. I will not touch other peoples feet at all and dry retch if they come near me. Even if i am fast asleep, if hubby's feet touch me in the middle of the night, I will be out of the bed and across the room. My dad passed away last year, and while he was sick I was asked to put his shoes on. I would have wiped his bum if needed (which luckily wasn't) but i could not physically make myself touch his feet. When I told his partner why I couldn't do it, she got all confused that I had a foot fetish as she just couldn't understand how someone could be scared of feet.

I don't mind barefeet (if i don't look at them), I don't mind my own feet and live in flip flops over summer. I just can't touch or look at other people feet. To me it is a germ thing, yet I am not fussed by germs from anything else. I also don't know where it came from.


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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Laura, I am sorry to hear about your Dad passing away. It sounds as you say, like your phobia is a classic example of how bad it can get. I wonder if his partner ever looked up the phobia for herself in order to understand it better, as it is FAR from a fetish as you know.

Thanks for sharing your experience here :)


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alexadry 4 years ago from USA

I remember one of my bosses once admitted she was freaked out by seeing feet and I thought she was just being finicky and obsessed with hygiene. I was thinking ''who do you think you are for freaking out at other people's feet?! you know you have feet too!'' Now that I read your article I see it under a different light. To tell the truth, some of your pictures make me cringe and I do not suffer from feet phobia!


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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi alexadry, thanks for commenting. I am afraid lots of people don't truly understand phobias until they research them a bit more. I had a friend who knew someone with the phobia of buttons. Apparently 'for a laugh' a load of his work colleagues pinned this guy to the floor and rubbed their buttons all over him. Sounds funny at first, until you think how traumatic that must have been for the person with the phobia.

I am pleased this article helped you to understand the phobia better :)


Empress's New Shoes 4 years ago

Ok here's a conflicting comment. The only time I want to see a pretty woman's bare feet is when she is giving me orals. Why do all women wear flip flops now?

I too feel violated when I have to go out in public, and be forced to see all females feet. I miss the days when women wore slippers, left some to the imagination, or you had to 'get to know' the girl before you saw that personal part of their body. Now, women's feet are constantly exposed.

When I am looking at a girls soles and toes while she orals me, I feel like I 'own' her, totally, and it is an empowering feeling. I want my woman to have tough calloused soles and toes, from going barefoot all her life, something for me to lick and kiss. But, at the same time, I hate commercials that show womens bare feet, while selling cell phone plans.

On a pretty girl, bare feet are pornography, plain , simple, everybody knows it. They should be censored from media. I know you probably can't understand my feeling feet are "sex" on a pretty girl (you are a straight woman who hates feet, and I HATE men's feet period).

So , I guess I hate/love womens feet. I miss the days when not every woman or girls feet were totally exposed for the whole world to see. I think the women of the future will go the extra step, out of flip flops, and just barefoot all the time- it seems to be what they are all trying to push. It tells you a lot about a woman, when the first thing you see is her bare feet:

That she is promiscous, untrustworthy, vain, basically nothing good. I must say, I think I do have a fetish/phobia.


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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Errrmm, what can I say to that Empress. It does sound like you have a fetish, or even a potential problem if you think a woman showing her feet means she is 'promiscous, untrustworthy, vain, basically nothing good.' I might not like feet, but even I know this is not the case for most women, and that at the end of the day feet are for walking on, not a sexual object!


Empress's new shoes 4 years ago

I don't expect you to be as smart as you think you are. Going barefoot in public is not vain and slutty? Think it thru. As for sex, why do you think all barefoot practicing women want their feet kissed from every man they bed? And why do you think they show ther feet to men in flirtation? You don't know everything, and your expirence doesn't span all human existance....I am sure you strongly disagree.......


Empress's New SHoes 4 years ago

and lets get into the part of the foot game, played by girls, where "feet don't mean anything' lol.


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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

You really are quite strange Empress. You were the one who said a women going barefoot in public meant she was "promiscous, untrustworthy, vain, basically nothing good.". I merely quoted this back to you, and now you are saying "Going barefoot in public is not vain and slutty?", in other words, you are contradicting yourself!!!

As for your other remark "As for sex, why do you think all barefoot practicing women want their feet kissed from every man they bed? And why do you think they show their feet to men in flirtation? ", this in itself is clearly an assumption on your part, (probably based on your own fetishes). I can think of plenty of people/women I know who happily wear sandals or walk around barefoot, but that doesn't mean they have a foot fetish and want them kissed (where on earth did you form that idea from lol?) I should add that your 'experience' doesn't span all human existence either, but it is pretty clear you are younger than me, and no doubt trolling this article. Perhaps you should consider the fact that tribes around the globe still go barefoot and don't treat feet as things they want kissed by every man they bed (except in your imagination), and I am sure if you want a poll put up on this very article I can do it and prove your theory very wrong, at which point I am sure you will have no problem offering me a full and unreserved apology for your insulting comment and remarks that infer I cannot possibly know as much as you do!!


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Winterfate 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

@Empress: You have quite an interesting viewpoint there. I consider female feet to be one of the most attractive parts of their body (right up there with the eyes), but I don't see it the way you do at all. I think women show off their feet because they like to, not because they're trying to be flirts.

And no, showing off feet in general, and female feet specifically, does not mean anything in of itself. They only have meaning if you give them meaning.

@mistyhorizon2003: Very interesting hub. I found this hub by following one of those "Discover More Hubs" hyperlinks. I should say I'm surprised such a phobia exists, but I'm not, as there are many weird phobias out there! My greatest phobias are fear of crowds and fear of heights, so I can relate to what you're talking about here, if in a roundabout way. I'll share this hub with my followers. Great work! :)


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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Winterfate, I love your comment as it is perfectly rational and sensible all round. I hope Empress reads it too somehow. I too have the fear of heights you do, and am not really comfortable in crowds. I am also claustrophobic and scared of spiders. I guess we all probably have at least one or two phobias of various things :)


Jimbo 4 years ago

I've got 2 perfect solutions for you foot phobics:

1. Move to China. They consider feet inappropriate.

2. Have your feet severed from your body. Believe me, you'll long for those "disgusting things" back.

I personally think this phobia is an obsessive mental disorder that desperately needs treatment. It is just as abnormal as someone who washes their hands raw, or brushes their teeth until they begin to rot. I think it's a spoiled rotten condition.


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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

What a strange comment 'Jimbo', I certainly don't understand the 'spoiled rotten condition' part of your comment either.... what on earth about this well recognised phobia has a connection with being 'spoiled rotten' ? lol.

I guess some people just don't understand phobias. I am sure there is at least one phobia you have, maybe snakes, spiders, rats etc, but you would be irritated to death if someone suggested that your ' phobia was an obsessive mental disorder that desperately needed treatment' and that it was 'just as abnormal as someone who washed their hands raw, or brushed their teeth until they began to rot' and the added that 'they thought it was a spoiled rotten condition.'

Basically your comment shows a complete lack of knowledge and empathy, therefore perhaps you have the 'mental disorder that needs treatment'...... Think about it!


Jimbo 4 years ago

Rats, snakes, spiders are pests that can poison, harm or infect. Feet are absolutely not, unless you're using public showers. Big difference.

The grossness you perceive is one of humanity's allies. Brevibacterium. Get over it; for real.

Seriously lady, quit being a baby. Imagine we didn't have them. Life would suck, and people would not look right.


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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Good Lord, not only have you failed to explain the 'spoiled rotten' part of your comment, but you also are scraping the barrel with your opinion of rats, snakes and spiders. For a start there are numerous varieties of snakes and spiders that are non venemous, and yet people are still terrified of them with no logical reason for being so, e.g. try living in the UK where spiders and snakes are non-venomous (apart from the Viper which is a non life-threatening venemous snake.) Rats (if non-sewer rats) are generally harmless, and in fact make excellent pets that are incredibly clean, intelligent and don't smell. I see rats all the time by our fishing lake, and they are clean. beautiful creatures that pose no threat to anyone.

I never suggested people should 'not have feet' so to say 'people would not look right' without them is just a silly trollish thing to say. All I recognised is that there is a known phobia for feet, just like there are known phobias for many things, including 'buttons', 'outdoor spaces', 'heights', 'cotton wool' etc etc. Doesn't meant that those fears make sense to those who don't experience it personally. What you need to learn is to understand is that your opinion is based on not having any knowledge of the fear in question, and therefore you are being unsympathetic to those that do. Honestly, this attitude makes you the lesser person, and the one people will look down on for being so ignorant and lacking in empathy or knowledge. Still, can't be helped I guess!


Jimbo 4 years ago

scrape under your big toenail and take a big whiff


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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL, okay, so no intelligent answer then.... much as I suspected!


Anti-Feet 4 years ago

I think feet are disgusting myself. People that go barefoot in public make me want to vomit. I don't like wearing sandals or any thing that shows off my barefeet. I still do regular maintenance on them, but no one will convince me to like feet. They look gross.


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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I completely understand what you describe Anti-Feet, it is pretty much how I feel too.


Jessa 3 years ago

I HATE feet as well. When I watch those "baby story" shows on TLC and the mom is giving birth with her bare feet in the doctor's face I want to reach through the TV and slap her! I don't have a phobia though. I hate my feet but I will still wear sandals and paint my nails and loofah the soles to keep them looking as nice as they can. My husband has nice feet actually (for a man). I LOVE my kid's feet. I kiss my baby's feet all the time. But other people's feet put me off especially other women's feet. BLECH. Even when they have had a pedicure and look clean I just hate them. I find it annoying that women showcase them as if they are something sexy. The only phobia I suffer from is trypophobia which is horrible so I feel bad for anyone with a true phobia of feet. Phobias suck.


Luca39Luca 3 years ago

Im a foot fetishist so i really don't understand you. I love womens feet


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mistyhorizon2003 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Lol, well on that basis I understand why you don't understand me. Some people's fetishes mean they like to be urinated on by their partner, or even pooped on, but I don't understand that either, and I expect you might struggle to understand that. Basically everyone sees things differently, and mine is not a sexual thing, it is a pure and simple phobia which makes it fall into a different category to a fetish.


barry 3 years ago

for 59 yrs my bare fee have never touched the dirty ground. my dear old mom would tell me 'u will get hookworms'. scared me.


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mistyhorizon2003 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Lol Barry, what would we do without our Mum's eh?


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trish1048 3 years ago

Hi Misty,

I have come to hate my feet, due to an ingrown toenail surgery I had many years ago. I was being treated for it, and would visit the doctor every 6-8 weeks or so. On the last visit, he said to me, you know, I could fix it so the ingrown toenails never come back. I thought wonderful, do it! It would certainly eliminate my need to get injections in both feet and have the offending toenails temporarily fixed. So, I opted to have them permanently removed, and although I no longer suffer with ingrown toenails, it has permanently affected the way my toenails grow. The doctor failed to mention that my remaining toenails would not grow straight, so I am left with two crooked nails. I hate it! My daughter gets pedicures regularly, and would often ask me to go. I was too embarrassed to go, until one day, I said, well, perhaps they can make the two toes look a bit more normal. My daughter assured me there was nothing to be embarrassed about, as the nail technicians see a lot worse. I can tell you, that is one job I could never do! Once I went, I was hooked. It's a very relaxing experience, but more importantly for me, I can now stand to look at my feet. I have a question for you, what do you do about swimming?


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mistyhorizon2003 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Trish, how awful for you, I can totally understand why you feel a dislike for your feet after going through all that, but at least now you know a pedicure can improve their appearance for you. To answer your question, well, firstly I only ever go swimming about once a year if we go away on holiday somewhere hot so I rarely have to worry about it. When I do I simply have to switch off the fact I don't like my feet and avoid looking at them too much. Other people's I definitely avoid looking at. If I am walking around near a swimming pool I always wear some kind of footwear to cover up my feet e.g. pumps, deck shoes or espadrilles.


Joe 3 years ago

And here I thought I was all alone in the world. I don't think I have a phobia of feet per se as I am not afraid of them, but I am utterly repulsed by the amount of attention bare feet get in the media, and how much overall people go around barefoot in public where they should have shoes on. First and foremost are the idiots that prop their nasty bare feet up on dashboards while driving down the Interstate. Every time I see this I wish I could grab these morons and beat them senseless. I believe this is a fad of some kind, because the only type of humanoid I see doing this 99.9% of the time are white women. Not only is it extremely dangerous to be riding that way, but it is absolutely tacky, redneck and disgusting. There are only about 4 places in the WORLD someone should be barefoot and they are the beach, a pool, a bath/shower, or in bed…and that’s it! Then you have commercials…oh those lovely commercials. I don’t care if the commercial in question is selling cow manure, I can almost guarantee you there will be someone featured in that commercial who is barefoot. Don’t believe me? Start paying attention to this. I think advertisers are playing on peoples sick sexual fetishes which is why this is the case. Again….pay attention, 7 out of 10 commercials you see will feature barefoot people, most of the time the camera will even zoom in and focus on the feet. WTF is up with this? How about all those products that they sell on TV, you know the ones that say hey I’m not stopping there call now and I’ll double the order? 3 out of five of these products will be for the feet. Hot Booties, Ped-Egg….and the list goes on and on. What about those low-life chicks that walk around in stores and stuff barefoot? GROSS!!! I saw some nasty ho just today…October….65 degrees in a convenient store parking lot where people spit, throw up and God knows what else walking around BAREFOOT! Are you effing kidding me!?!?!? Sign of the times I guess. Hey idiots…put your damn shoes on! Good Lord!!!


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mistyhorizon2003 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Lol, what can I say other than I feel exactly the same way you do right down to not actually being afraid of feet, but loathing them and the way they seem to constantly be portrayed wherever you look.


Miguel 2 years ago

I shudder even before I see feet because most women insist on wearing flip-flops, and you can hear the disgusting, moist-sticky sound of their stank pods flapping nearby. I never understood how anyone can pretend not to hear that sound, which makes a long wet fart sound like Handel. Vein-engorged, bulby toes spilling out of the front of shoes like ripe maggots out of a cadaver, bony, fleshy, sticky grossness. And that goes for ALL feet, period. I don't care how much pedicure time you get in, how colorful your bacteria-laden toenails are, how much jewelry you've festooned to your rankness, or what tats you've put down there, all with the aim of trying to draw attention to the most disgusting of body parts. If you took a turd and painted it, bejeweled it, and/or tatted it up, it's still a turd, just like anyone's feet. There is nothing remotely attractive about feet, and they're actually even more disgusting the more bling a woman puts on them. Only perverts who are partial to bacteria, stink, and raw nastiness will find anything interesting there,


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mistyhorizon2003 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

ROFLMAO Miguel, that truly has to be the best comment I have ever received on this article. Absolutely hilarious and so well put. You should be writing comedy for a living. Brilliant.


Miguel 2 years ago

I am a writer, actually, which precludes me to use rather vivid terminology. :) Thank you for letting me vent here.


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mistyhorizon2003 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Loved the comment Miguel, please feel free to leave such 'ventings' any time you like lol.


hate 2 years ago

i hate feet, smelly and ugly


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mistyhorizon2003 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

+1 'hate' I totally agree :)


Mthir 24 months ago

Mistyhorizon2003; i feel EXACTLY the same as you do about nasty bear feet..I Cannot be attracted to a female if she is bear foot. I will not touch them "gross". I hate people who like to be bear foot all the time. I also consider warning shoes without socks or stockings still bear foot. I will NEVER understand how a woman will spend hours getting dressed up with hair done and makeup, put on a sexy dress then ware her heels while bear foot. It just ruins it. Not to mention its nasty..bear feet are repulsive!!!!! Women need to wear stockings when warning a dress. It's classy looking, very sexy, and Covers the nasty feet.


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mistyhorizon2003 24 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Mthir, thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you and would always wear tights or stockings with any shoes that showed feet, although I refuse point blank to wear shoes where you can see toes with or without stockings.


Alice 15 months ago

I have the same problem as you. I hate going barefoot and I always wear socks when I'm at home even if it's very hot outside and even at night I always wear them.

I remember this phobia started when I was around 6 years old, in the summer my grandpa would make a inflatable swimming pool in the garden so his grandchildren would play in there but I really hated going barefoot so I never went in there.

My feet also has long toes and my smallest toe is curled so it's not completely perfect 'normal' and I hate it. I also dislike watching other people's feet and cant stand the thought of somebody touch my feet.

Sorry if my English isn't perfect I'm not a native speaker :)


Michelle 8 months ago

I only wish this article wasn't covered in pictures of feet! It made it quite difficult for me to get through it, but I really wanted to because I can relate.


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mistyhorizon2003 8 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for your comment Michelle, I totally identify with how you feel.


a man 2 months ago

I had this phobia for man year, however not as intense as what is written this article. But during my childhood and teenage years, I felt shameful to go to the gym or be barefoot in school, however my feet was normal without any special problem.

But at the same time, I became interested somehow a foot fetish, especially to the clean feet and painted toes of women, and this fetish developed.

Now I see that how my mind and my foot phobia changed during these years, however, still I may have a little foot phobia in some situation...

Anyhow, human mind and human behavior is a very complicated issue..


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mistyhorizon2003 2 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for sharing your experience of this a man.


Matty 2 weeks ago

I don't have the phobia, coz I like human bare feet and I like to touch them.


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mistyhorizon2003 2 weeks ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Fair enough Matt, not everyone is the same of course :)

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