Introduction: Instant Legal Shoes

Picture of Instant Legal Shoes

Shoes are required by law in the U.S. in many places.
You see the signs "no shoes no shirt no service".
You should boycott such places.
After all,
How many laws does it take to make one free?

But if you find yourself barefoot in such a place with a powerful hunger, in the company of parents you like, or for other reasons are unable to yell at the proprietors and stomp out, just put bags on your feet and they must serve you.

Thes bags will fit the definition of shoes in most jurisdictions.

If you are fleeing this country to become a barefoot refugee, consider Australia, where shoes generally not required, or Indonesia, where feet are considered cleaner than shoes and some hospitals even are barefoot.


bfedorowytsch (author)2012-03-28

I often decide not to wear shoes,.. And i live in Australia, but i always wear shoes on formal occasions or when it gets quite cold, which believe it or not actually does happen in Australia, I've never actually seen a no shirt no shoes no service sign,.. but night clubs, sports clubs and most pubs will kick you out if you do not fit their dress code.

Jakwiebus (author)2012-03-16

not wearing shoes for safety??
with blocks(=shoe) on my feet I'm certainly not safe! I'm so clumsy with shoes on, it just isn't natural. even in the winter I tend to go outside in the snow bare feet (although that is never for too long ;-))
without, I feel normal, I can walk decent, but here in Belgium they will look weird at you for not wearing shoes :(
what a shame

there should be a international no-shoe day XD

radiorental (author)2006-06-25

while its not illegal to drive barefoot in most states, if you were to find yourself in an accident the fact you were not wearing any can be used against you in certain cases (usually those involving cops in a bad mood) for reckless driving

What's the difference, if i have a shoe on or not (besides the law) if i drive with my feet, wouldn't that give me betteer control if my feet with shoes on would be too big to fit? Infact humans had healthyer feet before the invention of shoes.

It's legal to drive barefoot in all states. The only exception is Alabama, where you have to wear shoes while riding a motorcycle.

In Alabama you have to wear shoes while driving anything, not just a motorcycle. It is enforced, too.

trebuchet03 (author)radiorental2006-06-25

Changing a flat tire without shoes is not so fun :/ But if officers give you a hard time, you can just ask them to point you to the law that requires you to wear shoes....

pyro13 (author)trebuchet032007-07-13

not a good idea, my dads a cop and there is a law like that... he showed me :( but on the bright side... there is no law on burning things with a laser pointer! :p

trebuchet03 (author)pyro132007-07-13

I guess that depends on where you live ;) Because I'm sure there's no federal law on this. Out of curiosity -- is that a state law? County/City ordinance? Where? Just curious as this seems like one of those goofy laws local legislature would write (and I like seeing how stupidly they word them) :D

pyro13 (author)trebuchet032007-07-14

its not all the time, just when ur driving. i live in colorado, and if u tick off a cop while driving with no shoes, they can give u a ticket for recklace driving :p

I changed a flat without shoes before! Changing flats pretty much sucks all around, so I can't exactly say it was FUN, but... it wasn't too bad.

touche :P

lemonie (author)2007-01-28

Where I come from 'shoes' mean made from leather, as opposed to trainers, sneakers, plastic bags etc. There is no way you'd get into a UK club with plastic bags on your feet (shirt or otherwise). And who walks around barefoot anyway these days?

phenoptix (author)lemonie2011-06-16

A friend of mine was refused entry into a nightclub due to white trainers. Fortunately he was wearing black socks. He went away and put the black socks over the white trainers and on his next attempt at entry the fact that they didn't draw the eye allowed him entry in the club.

lemonie (author)phenoptix2011-06-16

Well that's what happens, good on them.


HippieAdrien (author)lemonie2007-08-30

i do.

lemonie (author)HippieAdrien2007-08-31

Walk around barefoot on the streets or get into nightclubs? L

HippieAdrien (author)lemonie2007-08-31

i'm 15. i don't go to nightclubs

lemonie (author)HippieAdrien2007-08-31

Right, walk around barefoot then - good on ya. L

TheMadScientist (author)lemonie2007-12-01

if you look decent as such, i'm sure you could walk around barefoot and shirtless and it'd be fine, I just can't see it working if you're obscenely fat, or just horribly ugly. by the way, have you ever tried walking into a mcdonalds with a pair of shoes in your hand, a shirt draped over your shoulder, and nothing but shorts and underwear on (worn correctly of course) ?

skimmo (author)TheMadScientist2011-06-16

i dont like it when anyone goes around with there blouse off no matter how slim or hansom they are, in australia people are always wearing thongs(flip-flops) and there pretty damn close to being bare foot

daltonjcw (author)lemonie2011-03-31

Who gets into night clubs? And yes, I walk barefoot in the street.

sole (author)lemonie2011-05-23

I do.

daltonjcw (author)lemonie2011-03-31

I do. Who doesn't?

Whaleman (author)lemonie2007-09-01

I do.

Scurl! (author)2006-06-30

all i know is i manage a cafe, and if someone comes in barefoot OR with plastic bags on their feets, they're out. ESPECIALLY those with plastic bags on their feet....last thing we need are MORE crackheads trying to "use the bathroom"....

dragonsniper (author)Scurl!2011-06-15


Ex Marine (author)2009-02-01

we dont were shoes in aus we go for the thongs

Mad Cat (author)2007-04-26

Hmmm...Australia:shoes are not generally required?

munchman (author)Mad Cat2007-12-26

I live in Australia -- and I wear shoes all the time. If you expect never to wear shoes in Australia - Go to the gold coast and live at the beach!

mwwdesign (author)munchman2008-02-01

I live in Australia too. You need shoes here. Ever stepped on an echidna?

HamatoKameko (author)mwwdesign2008-06-22

XD Thanks for the giggle. I know I wouldn't want to step on one!

mwwdesign (author)HamatoKameko2008-06-22

Not half as bad as stepping on a crocodile. Talk about snappy.

munchman (author)mwwdesign2008-02-02


ryzellon (author)2007-08-13

I remember news of an incident in Sydney:
a man strapped pork chops to his feet in order to meet the footwear requirement at the pub. Someone else slipped on the grease and permanently damaged his arm, which in turn terminated his career. Cue lawsuit.
Here's an article covering the story:

mwwdesign (author)ryzellon2008-02-01

Haha, I remember that! Classic.

TheMadScientist (author)ryzellon2007-12-01

this sounds vaguely reminiscent of the "fish tuxedo" on what I remember to be the lenno show...

GrinnDaddy (author)2007-11-17

This instructable has been rated as one of Grinn Blog's10 REALLY Wierd Instructables. Congrats TimAnderson!

James (pseudo-geek) (author)2007-07-18

dude if I ever own a store/shop I am SOOO going to put up a sign that says "if you are smoking, we will assume you are on fire and act accordingly" and put a fire extinguiser next to it.


no-name (author)2006-10-10

The sign states: "No Shoes - No Shirt - No Service" This is a throwback to the 60's in an attempt to keep out undesirables. There is no such law on the books. A reason I've been given for this discriminatory policy is for health and safety concerns. That logic might have some merit with not wearing shoes - but it makes absolutely no sense when it comes to having to wear a shirt. If they give you grief over this, go out to the car, grab your shoes and shirt, then return to the store carrying them in your hands. You now satisfy the requirements they set forth. Afterall, the sign does not say anything about having to wear them. If they continue to complain, place the shoes on the countertop while you put on your shirt. Next, put on your shoes, go outside and step in the muckiest mud puddle (or dogy-do) you can find. Make a puddle if necessary by whatever means possible. Return to the store spreading it everywhere. I mean everywhere. Stores owners make exceptions for blind people with guide dogs. Although rare, there are people with no arms that must function entirely with their bare feet to walk about and then use their feet and toes much in the same way you use your hands and fingers to handle items in the store. To hell with these overzealous control freaks who feel compelled to dominate and opress others. They need to be squelched. By wearing bags on your feet does nothing more than feed their ego.

girrrrrrr2 (author)no-name2007-08-02

lol... so true...

ozzman39 (author)2006-12-13

This isnt a bum resource site

singinheaven (author)2006-08-20

I have gone to restaurants with no shoes on even when they have the "No shoes no service" sign... I've never been told to put on shoes... maybe it just depends on the place and who's working there... but i think it would be more obvious with plastic bag shoes.... and more noisy... but kudos for trying i guess...

camscam (author)2006-07-23

are you kidding me?? its not a LAW to have shoes, its the fact these are private businesses that post the signs and the fact the people without shoes are most oft neredowells who cause other customers to be uncomfortable. I wouldnt want bag-footed interlopers either.

logansbro (author)2006-06-25

boycott those places all you want, but they have the right to refuse service to anyone... even the shoeless. I think trebuchet03 has it right, it's a liability issue. People have sued (and won) over dumber things than stubbing a toe in a store, I'm sure.

tipthepizzaguy (author)logansbro2006-06-25

Oh, I agree that they have the right to refuse anyone service for (almost) any reason, but that doesn't mean they should. Insurance policies for businesses never dictate a dress code for customers--only for employees. Sadly, you're right that any nutjob can sue someone for something that was his own fault. That's why a "barefoot at your own risk" sign would be a much friendlier way to avoid liability than a condescending "NO SHOES NO SHIRT NO SERVICE" sign greeting you at the door.

"Insurance policies for businesses never dictate a dress code for customers..." This is not true... that's why many mechanics will not let you in their shop... Even at the boat yards I've worked in (customers can come to see progress) - for insurance reasons, even the customer is required to wear closed toe shoes and safety glasses. The insurance company has the right to require these things (you are signing a contract - or not having their policy). I'm not advocating either way -- just presenting one possible reason. As for a condescending sign... well, its only condescending if you make it such -- if you don't let it bother you... well, who cares what other people think?

Point well taken... I guess I should have said "most" businesses.

tipthepizzaguy (author)2006-06-25

Shoes definitely are NOT required by law anywhere in the US, including restaurants, while driving, and so on. That's why I totally agree with boycotting places that post such signs. Your shoes are a nifty idea though. They'd keep the store owner from harassing you, but I'm sure you'd get even more stares than if you were barefoot. Check out for more info.

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Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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