Hey Barefooters: do you have Shoeguiltitis? We have your cure.

Oh, the joys of being barefoot. We will all be able to look back and think of this time as “the enlightenment” when we finally ditched our constrictive foot coffins and let our toes emerge, shaking and crooked, to see the light and heal. The more you adjust to ditching the shoes, the more you find yourself heading out shodless or in something minimal (not everyone wants to get kicked out of a restaurant or pay attention to every shard on the street).  Unfortunately, this pedal liberation does have its costs. You may now find yourself struck with a case of shoeguiltitis (SHOO-gilt-ite-iss).

The Problem:

This affliction generally creeps on slowly, but as you embrace your barefoot life more fully, you may quickly and unknowingly find yourself in its grips. Do you avoid looking at the piles of shoes in your closet? Do you find yourself making negotiations when passing the shoe rack? Oh, I will wear them next week. But next week never comes. Do you feel regret and see $$$ signs oscillating through the air when confronted with your shoe collection? Do you suppress a strong urge to hurl all of your shoes out the window and into the nearest dumpster? Then feel the inevitable guilt for the landfill waste you would be contributing to as well as the hundreds of wasted dollars spent? Do you feel the urge to run with your old shoes only so you can get your “money’s worth” and use them until they are “done”? If you have answered yes to one or more of these questions, you have Shoeguiltitis.

The Solution:

Fear not, my barefoot amigos! While you have moved on from your raised-heel, toe-spring, arch-supportive motion-control running  shoes, there are others that will find hope and safety in your shoes. Soles4Souls can take your old shoes, clean them up, and donate them to those in need. I know what you’re thinking – why would I want to give someone else the very shoes that had me feet up with two bags of frozen peas on my knees? Here’s why: in other countries where clean water isn’t as plentiful and infectious disease isn’t as easily controlled, there are children and adults who can protect themselves from sickness and disease by wearing shoes. For others, they may have access to clean water, but may have lost everything they own due to devastating circumstances. You can make a difference.

Soles4Souls was founded on the mission to “change the world, one pair [of shoes] at a time.” After seeing the devastation of the 2004 tsunami in Asia and later damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina, CEO Wayne Elsey felt compelled to do something. When television coverage aired a single shoe washing up on a beach, he knew he had found his calling. From there S4S was formed and has since donated well over 14 million pairs of shoes to 127 countries including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States. Every 7 seconds, a pair of shoes is placed into the hands of someone in need. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) organization recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages.

How to Donate: Follow this link and find a drop-off location nearest you.

Learn More: www.soles4souls.org


Take a few minutes and cure your Shoeguiltitis just in time for the summer sunshine.


Feel the World!

  • Hey Gina,

    I wish I read this three years ago. After I switched to minimalist footwear I threw out all my shoes except my steel toed boots (a machine shop is one place you don’t want to go barefoot!). I hope others take this to heart and donate rather than dispose of their unwanted shoes because programs like this really help people who need them.