It is illegal and unsafe to go many places without shoes. So...why would people walk around barefoot all day long today?
Millions of children in the world have no proper footwear for ANY day of the year, and this is the day set aside to draw attention to that! By encouraging people who can afford shoes to go about their daily business without shoes—feeling the discomfort and vulnerability of hot or cold pavement, stickery plants and mucky mud, pebbles and twigs and splintering wood—Tom's Shoes and Partners in Health hope to make a real impact on people caring about those shoeless kids.
It's sooooo nice to be barefoot on a beach, a well-cared-for lawn, or in my cosy, carpeted home. But going barefoot all the time, everywhere, summer and winter isn't so much fun. Diseases plague many kids who go barefoot because they have no choice. Podoconiosis is just one disease that could be prevented with proper footwear.
Naturally, I don't encourage you to injure yourself just to observe “One Day Without Shoes,” but if it's safe and legal to do so, walk barefoot in public and tell people why you are doing it. An even better response to the day is to make a donation of “lightly used” or brand-new shoes to a local charity—or donate money to Partners in Health.
By the way...
Those of us who are lucky enough to be able to wear shoes every day—and even choose which shoes to wear!—might also like to design our own shoes. Here is a website showing a bunch of shoe-design options.
Also on this date: