One Day Without Shoes in NYC

Today, I was anything but a New York cliché. Today, I took my shoes off on the New York City streets.

barefoot TOMSOkay, not quite. I took my shoes off in Tompkins Square Park and walked its asphalt paths.

The last time I was anywhere in NYC with no shoes on and no grass under my feet, I was 22 years old, it was 3AM, and my 4 inch heels were killing me. Most importantly, I was too drunk to care.

Today, I was sober. Most importantly, it was my job. Yes, it was my job to take my shoes off. In New York City.

One Day Without Shoes NYCToday, April 16th was TOMS Shoes ONE DAY WITHOUT SHOES event. This shoe company is famous for donating a pair of shoes for each pair they sell. They give shoes to children in third world countries who have never owned a pair before.

The focus of today’s event was to spread global awareness about the benefits of shoes. Did you know they protect against soil-based infections like hookworm, which affects 740 million people worldwide? Fortunately my barefoot trek was exclusively on asphalt, other wise you can bet I’d hypochondria-the-fuck-out about hookworm.

One Day Without Shoes
My feet, and those of my co-workers. We are all wearing temporary tattoos. Mine say “ASK ME ABOUT MY BARE FEET” and “SHOW SOME SKIN”.

Not surprisingly, it was difficult to get passers-by to join us. New Yorkers love their shoes. And know this city is Dirty with a capital D. Tompkins Square Park also has a history as a hangout for junkies. This dates back to the 90’s, the park has been mostly sanitized since then. Though yuppies with their dogs and strollers far out number them, if you look you will find “questionable persons”.

One Day Without Shoes Tompkins Square ParkMost people looked at me like I was insane when I asked them to join me in taking off our shoes. We did manage to gather a respectable crowd when the time came for the Barefoot Walk.

One Day Without Shoes TOMSIt was nice to work for a good cause. TOMS is a great company and I’ve been eyeing their breezy, perfect-for-spring crochet collection for months. It was a beautiful sunny day, I really couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my morning.

Especially after yesterday. What a day. My heart goes out to Boston♥

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

11 thoughts on “One Day Without Shoes in NYC

  1. Wow, hope you raised lots of awareness 🙂 I remember that episode of sex and the city when Carrie had to take off her shoes at her friends baby shower only to have them go missing. That was a funny episode! Anyway, have no idea why I’m talking about sex n the city. Maybe it was the mention of New Yorkers and shoes in the same sentence 🙂


  2. I did the Day Without Shoes while I was in college. I have very sensitive feet, so I was pretty much in pain by the time the day was over, and that was just going around my college campus, to classes, the cafe, etc. It was interesting to test it out, and really does give a glimpse into what people without shoes experience. (Although they probably have tougher feet than me :P)

  3. I think it sounds like a good cause, because children do need shoes after all. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any Chicagoans participate in something like this, maybe because it’s winter 90% of the year (or at least, it feels like it) and our feet would probably freeze if we tried to walk around in the snow barefoot.

  4. Wow I love this – best job ever. I grew up in South Africa and never wore shoes (well most of the time) and I find living in the UK that’s all I do, when I’m in the warmth of my house though I like to free my feet and walk around bare foot 🙂

    Love this post

    Laura x

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