20-year-old Kasandra Smith, from Macon, Georgia, has shun all kinds of footwear for the last three years, and claims that despite occasionally stepping on glass shards or metal pins, going barefoot full-time has done wonders for her confidence and overall well-being.
Kassandra Smith was never really big on shoes. In school, she would often wear flips-flops just to have an excuse to get out of participating in gym class, but the more she wore them, the freer she felt, and the more she loathed the thought of putting on shoes. She started wearing flip flops when shopping or going to the restaurant, and after leaving school in 2015, she started walking completely barefoot as well. Just two months later, she decided to give-up footwear all-together, and she’s been walking barefoot ever since.
“Not only do I feel lighter and more spiritually grounded when I don’t wear shoes, but it makes my skin healthier and gets rid of the chance of athlete’s foot or something similar,” Smith told Xposé.ie. “The only reason I can see myself wearing shoes again is if I found a job that required me to. But it would need to be a job I really loved to be worth it, and I’d speak to them first to see if there was a way around it.”
Kassandra says her feet have toughened up in the three years that she’s been walking barefoot, but she admits that she has suffered a few accidents. She once stepped on a pin that went right through her flesh, and on another occasion, she stepped on a glass shard. But that was in her early barefoot-walking days, and the 20-year-claims her feet are much tougher now.
The woman's bare feet
As for people’s reactions, Kassandra says they have been mixed. On one occasion, she was asked to leave a home and hardware store for her own safety, as staff were worried about something falling on her feet. Another time, she got a disgusted look from a mother, who even pulled her child back after seeing her barefoot, but for the most part, people are just curious to know why she doesn’t wear any footwear.
“The most asked question is, ‘Where are your shoes?’ People aren’t that negative, they’re more just interested,” Kassandra said. “I get asked a lot if I’ll get sick. I did in the beginning, but not anymore as my body has now got used to the different temperatures. I think it’s actually improved my immune system.”
“People don’t always understand it, so I had little cards printed that explain why I do it, and that it’s perfectly legal,” the Macon woman added. “I hand them out to anyone who stops me to ask questions. I’ve even convinced a couple of people to ditch their shoes then and there.”
Kassandra describes herself as a socially anxious person, but claims that she’s been feeling a lot calmer and more confident since she started walking barefoot.
“I can’t quite explain it but I feel so much more calm and confident without shoes.” she said. “I’m a socially anxious person but, when I’m barefoot, I feel much more relaxed.”
Smith, who didn’t even wear shoes for her wedding, now plans to go on a barefoot 540-mile hike to New York, with her husband Don, later this month. Even though he convinced her to pack some flip-flops just in case, she hopes she won’t need to wear them at all.
Going barefoot full-time in an urban setting sounds pretty crazy to most people, but Kassandra Smith is just one of many barefoot-living people. Two years ago, we wrote about Andrzej Novosiolov, a Ukrainian man for Kiev, who had been walking barefoot since February 2006. But even he didn’t even come close to the feat of ‘Pete the Feet‘, an Englishman who hasn’t worn footwear in over 50 years.