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A Rothschild but not allowed to go barefoot says David de Rothschild

Updated on September 7, 2015

Barefootin' not allowed by Apple stores

Adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild, who has recently completed an epic voyage across the Pacific Ocean on his boat named The Plastiki, was asked to leave Apple stores because of a crazy rule.

David posted on his Twitter site on 18 August the following tweet:

"Apparently Apple stores have a no shoes no entry policy? They just asked me to leave the store! Under the guise of health& safety! Creative?"

Buy the book Barefoot in the Head on Amazon

Barefoot photo

Healthy feet by Lorenz kerscher
Healthy feet by Lorenz kerscher

Going barefoot

I supposed to whoever enforced that petty ruling it was more than their job's worth to let David stay in the shop but isn't it crazy that such a policy exists?

But this could have happened elsewhere it seems and Wikipedia informs us: "Many stores, restaurants, and other public venues have policies against bare feet. In the United States, this most likely arose during the 1960s as a way to keep undesirable hippies out."

But why didn't David de Rothschild have any shoes you are probably asking? Well, actually I have seen photos of him barefoot and I expect he got used to being like this while on board the Plastiki catamaran on its long journey across the ocean.

But going barefoot is actually a very healthy thing to do, providing of course that you don't step on broken glass or something equally harmful.

Going barefoot lets the skin breathe and strengthens the foot. It is after all the natural way. What animals do you see that wear shoes besides us humans?

Going barefoot puts you directly in touch with the Earth and this has got to be good. For many tribal people it is the norm to go around in their bare feet. All the photos and videos I have seen of the Mamos (shamans and leaders) of the Kogi tribe show these men going barefooted.

Barefoot running, barefoot skiing and barefoot hiking have all become popular and martial arts are practised with barefooted participants.

Barefoot in music and literature

I can think of a book and a song that the word "barefoot" brings to mind:

Barefoot in the Head is a brilliant science-fiction novel by Brian Aldiss that tells the tale of a future war in which the weapons are bombs of potent long-term mind-altering drugs. Society tries to carry on despite the madness caused to the majority of people in it. It shows what happens to a world plunged into chaos with people affected by the hallucinogenic drugs they have been exposed to.

The hero of the book is a man called Colin Charteris (presumably making reference to Leslie Charteris the author of The Saint books), who finds himself leading a crusade like some sort of crazy guru in a world of altered reality.

In many ways it makes reference to the late Dr Timothy Leary's plan to "turn on the world" and the psychedelic sixties. The popular rock band Procol Harum are made reference to in the book too.

Barefootin´ was a smash hit for R&B and soul singer Robert Parker back in 1966. The first verse goes:

"Everybody get on your feet,

You make me nervous when you in your seat

Take off your shoes and pat your feet,

We're doin a dance that can't be beat

We're barefootin', We're barefootin',

We're barefootin', We're barefootin'."

And does anybody remember Sandie Shaw, the "barefoot pop princess of the 1960s," as she was called? It was certainly a gimmick that got her noticed and helped her get many a hit record at the time.

Robert Parker - Barefootin'

© 2010 Steve Andrews


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    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      There's a lot of information that does not get circulated much including the story you have just read.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      8 years ago from Kaufman, Texas


      Guess nobody knew who he was, because if they had, then surely they'd have realized that the man could buy out Steve Jobs on credit or with cash.

      Going barefoot is nice when it's possible; and I'd love to have the cal louses that it would surely develop. Sadly, in my profession, it's much safer to wear steel toed boots.

      David's got my "vote" for the guy to lead the NWO in a few years; he's preparing himself for that role, it seems. Funny, I don't know much about his French Uncle's family, guess David Rene doesn't have any sons?

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for your feedback! Personally I am not very worried about bacteria which in their very many different types are all over everything anyway and rarely cause harm to humans or animals with healthy immune systems. Hookworm is a different matter though I agree. What is your opinion of the Kogi who do not wear shoes and are known to have long lifespans?

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Bard of Ely,

      I have studied bacteria and one of the reasons why our health is better is the fact that we don't go barefoot. I know it sounds silly but if you look at the many illnesses that bacteria causes, shoes of any sort are a true help to our health.

      Hookworm is a real health concern -

      Often hookworm will lay dormant for decades and only affect the person's health once other immune problems take place.

      Additionally, from a risk perspective the store risk management is better for enforcing the rules consistently.

      I admire your work and David de Rothschild's but I had to give my opinion that shoes sadly are necessary from a health perspective.

      From my personal perspective, I am not the normal female, if I could wear leather moccasins and never wear shoes again I would be perfectly happy. Shoes are not my thing except when it comes to health matters.

      Thank you for listening.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for posting, Mimilinks!

    • MiMilinks profile image


      8 years ago from London

      I really enjoyed the hub. Being barefoot feels so natural. There is something beautiful and peaceful about your feet meeting the earth.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Dallas!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      I attended University of Hawaii and graduated from Chiminade University of Honolulu, and many of us students were "barefooted" at both universities. I went everywhere, but to shows "barefooted." Show floors are "nasty." Enjoyed the hub!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Animals all go barefoot but people are not allowed to - how crazy is that? Thanks for posting, Lilly!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      8 years ago from Central Oregon

      I too am barefoot,(and braless, per my new movement; "5 Reasons to Stop Wearing a Bra") as I post this comment. Thank you for speaking out for the most natural of dress. I guess if "Dog[sp] wanted us to go barefoot, we would have been born that way!"

    • profile image

      cameron polmanteer 

      8 years ago

      Yes, going barfoot can be a healthy and "connect" you to the Earth; but seriously friends, fet like other parts of the skin can pick up and absorb many undesirable toxins, germs and diseases. I suppose of no one let their dogs pee/poop and sidewalks, nor dropped their gum or spat on the sidewalks and even tiles floors in public spaces that would be ideal, but people are careless and thoughtless and David Mayer should protect his soles as we all should in public places (unless they imbed pans of natural disinfectants oat crosswalks

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for reading and posting, Ivorwen and Wendy!

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 

      8 years ago from Maryland

      I am barefoot right now as I'm reading this. :)

    • Ivorwen profile image


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      While I have never heard of such a rule in an electronic store, I know that it is a (government) health standard in any place that sells food in the USA.

      As a child, I would see signs that said, "NO shirt, NO shoes, NO service!" and think 'Fair warning! They certainly don't sell shirts or shoes, and no help is ever available.'

      I love going barefoot, but after seeing what comes off of some people's shoes, I wear shoes in public.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      I am pleased to hear it!

    • Milla Mahno profile image

      Milla Mahno 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I love going barefoot when I can :)

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      It's hot here too and lots of dusty rocky ground that is hard on the feet even in shoes!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Yo Bard! I surely thing he should be able to go barefoot but stores may have some legitimate reason even they aren't aware of. Carpet tacks. But I don't even know if they were using tacks. I have to be careful with my carpet. There are some spot that poke me. But yes- bare-footing is great. I wish I could do that more but asphalt and sidewalks are so hot!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for your feedback, Tom!

    • justom profile image


      8 years ago from 41042

      Such a silly rule, many years ago I was not allowed to eat at a place because I was wearing jeans and the odd thing was it was smack dab in the middle of the local hippie area of town. When they relaxed that policy it made no difference to me, I NEVER went back. Joss Stone always performs barefoot, I just don't get these silly rules. Peace!! Tom


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