National Go Barefoot Day | June 1
(Last Updated On: May 23, 2023)


National Go Barefoot Day on June 1st gives you an opportunity to kick off your shoes and run barefoot through the cool grass! More importantly, it is a day to help support a charity that provides millions of underprivileged children all around the world with shoes.


How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • The average American woman has 27 pairs of shoes in your closet.
  • Men own much fewer pairs of shoes, averaging 12 pairs of shoes.

Why do women own so many shoes?

  • Like to coordinate their shoes with their outfit.
  • Some women have the same shoe in different colors.
  • More options to choose from based on occasion.

What are benefits for not having a lot of shoes?

  • You might be able to find space in your closet for other items.
  • You would save a lot of money for other things.

A Good Fit

Properly fitted shoes are also important, too. Get rid of any shoes that don’t fit properly. Wearing shoes that don’t fit right aren’t good for your feet. Why should I donate my shoes?

  • When you donate gently used shoes, you put usable footwear on those who need it most. In many countries, shoes are hard to come by, especially good shoes that protect feet from rocks and harsh elements. Even if they have access to a pair of shoes, they may be handed down, worn or ill-fitting. And, they may only be able to wear them on special occasions.
  • Donating your shoes keeps them out of the landfill and reduced the amount of “stuff” already found in landfills.
  • Donations made for usable, clean and good shoes to someone who will wear them to school and work will help with confidence of the receiver. It’s amazing what a difference a pair of shoes can make.

Shoes Matter

If you need even more motivation to donate your gently used shoes, consider these facts:

  • An estimated 300 million children around the world don’t have any shoes at all.
  • Children who only have one pair of shoes will quickly outgrow them.
  • Children without shoes can’t attend school as they are usually part of the uniform.
  • Physical activity is improved, including walking, running, jumping and playing.

Advantages of owning a good pair of shoes:

  • Offer protection for the feet. Without shoes, children are more susceptible to getting soil-transmitted diseases.
  • They protect the feet from tetanus, infections, and jiggers, which are small parasitic fleas. These fleas enter the body through the soles of the feet. In just 10 days, these tiny fleas grow to 2,000 times their original size, which causes pain and difficult walking.

You might be surprised to know that shoes are one of the hardest things to get in poorer countries. People in these countries can make their own clothes. A durable pair of shoes, however, is much more difficult to make. This one of many reasons that millions of children in poverty-stricken countries go without.


Now is a good time to clean out your closets and donate a pair or two of gently used shoes to a charitable organization in your area. You can also go to Soles4Souls organization for more information. Other ways to observe this day include:

  • Hold a shoe drive in your community where you collect gently used shoes to give away.
  • Learn more about why going without shoes can be detrimental for a child’s health, education, and wellbeing.
  • Think about what it would be like to walk around all day with no shoes.
  • Help spread the word and use #GoBarefootDay when posting on social media.


Soles4Souls created National Go Barefoot Day after the 2004 Tsunami disaster to support those affected by the event. However, donations have continued to come in and over 56 million pairs of shoes have been donated worldwide since 2005.

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