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Unread 12-27-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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Going barefoot at a convention?

(I hope this is the correct forum to post in and if not I very sincerely apologize; )

Is it ever alright to go barefoot at a convention? Some characters don't wear shoes and it's a critical part of their character, Toph Beifong being my prime example although there are plenty of others. But the floor can be dirty or cold and uncomfortable and people might step on you or be grossed out by your feet. I've also read that some cons don't allow people to go around without shoes. In that case, what should be done?
For the sake of accuracy, would you rather go around barefoot all day? Or would you wear sandals to take off when asked for a picture?
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Unread 12-27-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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I would not suggest going barefoot for all the reasons you mentioned. Instead, I would suggest sandals, flip flips, or slip on shoes that match your costume. I've also seen adhesive sandals suggested, but I can't vouch for their effectiveness.

For my Judal cosplay, I'll be using a pair of basic black slip on shoes. For pictures, I will remove them if the location is conducive to shoelessness, but if it's on hot pavement or in the middle of a hallway, they're staying on.

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Unread 12-27-2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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Just wear flip flops with really small straps. Maybe paint the straps to your skin tone. There are plenty of Ed from Cowboy Bebop cosplayers walking around with flip flops. Most people would prefer you kept some shoes on. Nobody is going to point out the fact your character does not wear shoes but you are wearing shoes.

The only time I think it's acceptable to walk around without shoes for the sake of accuracy is if you're on a nice grassy area outside the con. Keyword: Outside.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 05:32 PM   #4
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I'd suggest a pair of dance shoes. Some of them cover your feet enough, but they are made to blend in with your skin.
You could also use a pair of clear shoes, though it'd be a bit harder to find those without heels.
But these ways, you get the barefoot look without having to worry about getting your feet gross or getting in trouble with con staff-If they do ask about it though, just politely show them you are in fact wearing shoes.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
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Flip flops are a must, going bare foot is a no no in most convention (if not all). It isn't safe and sort of gross (if you ask me). I have seen many cosplayers do this so it isn't abnormal to see.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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I would not go barefoot at conventions mostly due to sanitation issues. I have cosplayed as characters who normally go barefoot; however, I went with a pair of flip flops or thin strapped flip flop sandals that are more of a neutral color. Just like others have said depending on the location for photos you could take them off but for walking around the convention or for harsher surfaces I would find something that is either clear, neutral color or one that compliments the outfit.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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First of all, no, I don't think it's ever all right to go barefoot to a convention. I used to go barefoot at school all day every day (That was during my Death Note phase when I emulated L in every way possible), and not only is uncomfortable, you could also hurt yourself if, say, their is an accident and there is glass on the floor, or you won't be able to go into certain places such as a bathroom or dining area because there might be things on the floor that you don't want on your feet.

That being said, I also don't recommend flip flops any more than I do high-heeled boots. They don't look right for most any character, and they can seriously hurt your feet if you are walking and standing all day (which most people are at a convention). My recommendation is, if you must wear flip flops or slippers or dance shoes, bring along an extra pair of very comfortable and supportive shoes in case you need something else to wear. Trust me when I say that time is very likely to come at a convention

Personally, I would say wear wraps around your feet, and preferably using something that allow your skin to breathe and your circulation to remain unhindered. That's what one of my friends did when they wouldn't allow his combat boots at the dance for one convention, and it worked out very well. This may not go over well with convention staff, so definitely double-check before doing that.

Apologies for such a long post here, but I had a lot to say. I hope at least some of it was helpful c:
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Unread 12-27-2012, 06:36 PM   #8
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I've done a barefoot character before and I wore a pair of tan flip flops that matched my skin tone pretty well. Nobody at the con seemed to notice it and the one negative comment I received online was taken back and apologized for after I told the commenter that I was right outside a con for that shot (I was standing in front of an ivy covered wall so it wasn't obvious). Sanitary and safety issues aside, many businesses (convention centers included) don't allow bare feet inside, so you might get hassled/kicked out by con staff or refused service if you leave the con to get food. I'd save the accurate barefoot look for photoshoots exclusively.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 07:16 PM   #9
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What I've heard about on this topic is the use of "Dance Paws" like these that actually count as shoes for conventions.

It's true that most cons want you to be wearing actual shoes with soles and support yada yada because of all the reasons you mentioned, (mostly for safety) but I think if you're taking pictures or if the con isn't really that crowded, Dance Paws are good for the accuracy of the costume. That said, skin-colored flats or flip-flops give off the same feel, really.

Answering your question, despite the sake of accuracy, I would rather wear flip-flops or flats or Dance Paws than actually go barefoot at a con. A photoshoot somewhere less crowded is a different matter. But I have no problem with others going barefoot for their character personally. As long as they're aware that they are more vulnerable to getting stepped on, and as long as they have proper hygiene, I think it's their choice...
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Unread 12-27-2012, 08:01 PM   #10
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Wear plain flip flops and take them off for photos. That's probably the best way to get around the whole accuracy issue if that's what you're worried about. I have a friend who cosplays as Toph and she does this, works quite well for her.

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Unread 12-27-2012, 10:46 PM   #11
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It's just a huge liability for the con's venue. You have no idea what the thousands of people in there had stuck on the soles of their shoes that could come off and end up right where you take your next step. I remember a cosplay event where i had to tell 2-3 people that we actually had a glass item broken (which was true) and some still wouldn't put on shoes...
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Unread 12-27-2012, 11:46 PM   #12
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I did once wear an Envy cosplay with mostly bare feet (toes and heels completely uncovered) and although I rarely wear shoes at home, wearing no shoes in public is a different matter. It was very uncomfortable and I constantly had to worry about where I was walking, I also got stood on several times (although, only while dancing but it still hurt). Also, keep in mind that this event went for only 3 hours and was almost completely inside a carpeted area and my feet were still really hurting at the end of the night. So basically, I wouldn't suggest it.
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Unread 12-28-2012, 08:18 AM   #13
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I've done two barefoot cosplays now, and I think it's always smart to take a pair of flip flops or flats with you (if you have to go outside of the con you'll need them anyway), you can always take them off when someone wants to take a picture.

I only walked around a con barefoot once because the floors were clean, covered with rugs and it wasn't too crowded. But most of the time convention floors aren't clean. Tried walking on a concrete floor for one hour, my feet were extremely cold and at home it took half an hour to get the dirt off my feet.

Nobody will make a big deal out of it if you wear shoes at the con, most people have the common sense to know that it's not hygienic nor safe.
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Unread 12-28-2012, 08:50 AM   #14
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I don't think I would ever go completely barefoot for the entire duration I'm wearing a cosplay. The closest I came to barefoot was when I cosplayed as Jin from Yu Yu Hakusho, but even then I had something covering most of my foot. It was just an altered sock to match the things on his feet, but they covered most of my feet.

I'm not that worried about sanitation because I shower every night a con so...I don't really see much of an issue. I've thought about the chances of getting athlete's foot, but again not everyone is walking around barefoot so that isn't really a concern. As long as you shower every night, or if you want to shower after wearing the cosplay, I honestly don't see a problem with it unless the convention has a rule against going barefoot.

I can see your concern with people stepping on your feet, but I honestly haven't ever had that problem in any of my cosplays. Just be aware of where your feet are and the people around you a bit, but most people are pretty weary of their own feet as well because they don't want their cosplay shoes getting scuffed up anyway haha.

But if you are really concerned about it, you can always wear a pair of flip flops, remove them for photos, and then put them back on to walk around ^^ I would definitely recommend that if you go outside during a summer con as feet got burnt a little bit at Otakon while I was outside as Jin haha.
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Unread 12-28-2012, 06:51 PM   #15
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One option, if you're up to making it:

Get some skin-colored no show socks, like this for example.
Then do this to them:

They won't be invisible, but they'll be very low-key. I think they'd be fine for casual photos.
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Last edited by nyditch : 12-28-2012 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Pumpkins!
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