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Do You Have Podophobia, the Fear of Bare Feet?

Cindy has had a fear of bare feet for as long as she can remember.

Podophobia is the fear of feet.

Podophobia is the fear of feet.

What Is Podophobia?

For as long as I can remember, I have had a phobia of bare feet. There is no rational reason I can think of for this, but it does impact my life in quite surprising ways that many without this phobia may not have considered. In fact, this phobia is far more common than I had realized.

The phobia of feet is called podophobia or petaphelaphobia—the latter being the fear of people touching your feet—and can consist of a fear of not only your own feet but also other people's. In extreme cases, some sufferers of podophobia can't even go into a shoe or sock shop without a problem. This actually made me feel a little better, mainly because I am not literally scared of feet—they just make me cringe, but not in the same way as, say, a large house spider would. In other words, a bare foot would not have me clinging to the ceiling, shaking like a leaf.

I am more what I have seen described as a 'foot-o-phobe', i.e., I feel uncomfortable or even irritated when I look at feet. I hate people touching my feet, and I don't like discussing feet or problems with feet on a face-to-face basis. I certainly would not enjoy watching any kind of TV documentary on feet, and I don't even like adverts on the television where they talk about Happy Feet, etc. I don't even find children's feet tolerable, so when I see a mum playing with her baby's feet, nuzzling them with her nose and blowing raspberries on them, I squirm.

I cringe when I see parents playing with their baby's feet.

I cringe when I see parents playing with their baby's feet.

Symptoms of Podophobia or Podiaphobia

  • Sweating and breathlessness
  • Change in body temperature
  • Change in blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • A headache or dizziness
  • A full-blown panic attack
  • Feeling exceedingly terrified and queasy

Therapy Might Help You Get Over Your Phobia

If this phobia has become a real problem in your life, there are plenty of treatment options available, such as:

Psychological Therapy

This is especially suitable for people who suffer from panic disorders. The long-term success of this kind of treatment is proven.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Apparently, this is one of the most effective methods of treatment for feet phobias. This assists in dealing with difficult situations. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has suggested that 7–14 hours of CBT with a patient suffering from agoraphobia or a panic disorder will help the problem within four months.

Exposure Therapy

In this kind of therapy, patients are gradually exposed to the element they fear. They are taught to control their reaction through deep breathing and positive thinking.


For those capable of being hypnotized, this is an option that could be very successful and is certainly worth considering.

Support Groups

The main aim of support groups is to make people discuss and share the experiences which are unpleasant to them. This should help them to connect with others having similar feelings.


Podophobia is difficult to cure with only counseling and behavioral therapies. Some medication might also be necessary in order to help the patient deal with their phobia.

  • Antidepressants: These are used to treat depression and can take several weeks before they become effective.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): These are also a type of antidepressant that increases the level of serotonin in the brain.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants: These also work as antidepressants, keeping the brain and mind calm.
  • Beta-blockers: These can control anxiety and its symptoms, such as sweating and trembling. Beta-blockers slow down the heart rate, which lowers blood pressure and reduces the chances of a panic attack.

There is no guarantee that these treatments will work, but until the patient tries them, they won't know. It is worth persevering until your therapist concedes that the current choice of therapy is not succeeding.

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Read More From Patientslounge

Therapy can help you face your fears.

Therapy can help you face your fears.

I Have Had a Fear of Feet for as Long as I Can Remember

When I was young, my hatred of bare feet made me very uncomfortable doing sports in the gymnasium at school because, when using much of the gym equipment and the landing mats, we were required to go barefoot. I was very self-conscious about my feet, even though they are perfectly normal and petite in size. When being bullied at school, I desperately wanted to take up a martial art for self-defense but was put off after one judo lesson, when I realized that it was essential to go barefoot. I never went back, and the bullying continued.

As the years have gone by, my foot phobia has not diminished, and even now I will never walk around the house in bare feet—I always choose to wear shoes or slippers. When in bed at night, I keep my own feet well away from my husband's. Occasionally, his feet will accidentally touch mine at night, and I will flinch as if I have been stung, instinctively moving my feet to the opposite end of the bed. In many ways, I am not sure if this reaction is because I can't stand the contact from his bare feet or if it is because I can't bear him touching my bare feet. Either way, I dislike it intensely.

Unfortunately for me, my husband has a bad habit of walking around the house with no socks or slippers on. This makes me cringe, and even though I have bought him slippers, I still find him walking around barefoot. It is frustrating—he knows I hate feet! There is no point in having a bath and then walking around with no socks on because his feet will quickly end up filthy from simply walking on the kitchen floor tiles. I point this out to him, but he continues to walk around barefoot without wearing the new slippers I bought for him.

I was at my own mother's house on one occasion when my stepfather had to cut her toenails for her. Witnessing this made me feel quite nauseous, and there is no way I can imagine ever doing this service for her myself. The very idea of bare feet just makes my nose wrinkle up in distaste and my whole body cringe. I cannot understand for the life of me how people enjoy foot fetishes or can cope with foot massages. When I see a bare foot, all I see is the most unattractive part of the human body—with the potential to smell truly appalling, the ability to contract fungal infections, a verruca haven. In general, they're just an ugly, knobbly pair of appendages. In fact, l won't even buy or wear open-toed shoes or sandals of any kind, nor can I see why others choose to draw attention to their feet by painting their toenails. Yuck!

If your friend or partner suffers from this phobia, don't tease them or put your bare feet near them.

If your friend or partner suffers from this phobia, don't tease them or put your bare feet near them.

If This Phobia Affects Your Everyday Life, Seek Treatment

Although my phobia of bare feet is annoying and at times frustrating, I was relieved to find out that I am not an extreme case. My advice to anyone who is suffering from this would be to judge carefully how much this impacts your day-to-day life. If the answer is "too much", then seek out one of the therapies above.

To anyone who has a friend, partner, or family member who suffers from this phobia, please be considerate. Don't play the fool and do idiotic things such as pinning the person down and rubbing your bare feet on them or surprising them by draping your bare feet over their shoulders when they least expect it. Whilst these immature actions may seem funny to you, remember that, to them, this is serious and distressing. Consider how you would feel if they exploited a phobia of yours in a similar way.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Raghav on March 02, 2020:

Oh! Thank god I am not the only one. I'm 17 and I think I have had it for years, though I didn't know it was called podophobia until right now. There are only 1 pair of feet in the whole world I can bare to look at, and those are mine, others I just hate. People don't know about this as of now, not even my family. But I'm afraid they will because I have yoga classes in school and we are required to go barefoot. Do you think there is a possibility that my phobia would go away if I get used to see them almost everyday?

Drakalibus on October 12, 2017:

I'm sorry to hear that as well I hate to hear anyone with fibromyalgia. I'm 33 and have had it about 7-8 years. Mine probably wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for hypermobility( joint come out of socket easily). Cures for phobias and diseases like fibromyalgia are what we need not more wars and junk like that. So I wish everyone luck with copying with such difficult things and appreciate your time and listening to others cause I might make all the difference for someone.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 10, 2017:

Thanks for sharing Drakalibus. I have a friend with severe fibromyalgia so you have my sincere sympathies for the discomfort and pain that causes you. She is housebound most of the time, but fortunately doesn't have light sensitivity issues like you do. All I know is that it has taken over her life and even though she is only in her 40's she is in so much pain she can barely get off the sofa without groaning out loud in pain.

Drakalibus on October 10, 2017:

I don't have a phobia of feet but instead the opposite a foot fetish. On the same note I can see how that would be a problem because if i sleep with socks on I will have nightmares. Don't know the reason behind it and no im not claustrophobic, my mother has the same issue. If I had the same issues as you people that would be a real big deal. Tho I do have something similar I am afraid of the dark but have a light sensitivity issue caused by fibromyalgia. So I have to keep it dark enough to keep my eyes from hurting but light enough so I don't freak out and start to panic. I appreciate everyone for sharing, as sharing a phobia can be tough and embarrassing so I figured i'd share mine also.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 19, 2016:

Fair enough Matt, not everyone is the same of course :)

Matty on November 19, 2016:

I don't have the phobia, coz I like human bare feet and I like to touch them.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 03, 2016:

Thanks for sharing your experience of this a man.

a man on October 02, 2016:

I had this phobia for man year, however not as intense as what is written this article. But during my childhood and teenage years, I felt shameful to go to the gym or be barefoot in school, however my feet was normal without any special problem.

But at the same time, I became interested somehow a foot fetish, especially to the clean feet and painted toes of women, and this fetish developed.

Now I see that how my mind and my foot phobia changed during these years, however, still I may have a little foot phobia in some situation...

Anyhow, human mind and human behavior is a very complicated issue..

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 06, 2016:

Thanks for your comment Michelle, I totally identify with how you feel.

Michelle on April 06, 2016:

I only wish this article wasn't covered in pictures of feet! It made it quite difficult for me to get through it, but I really wanted to because I can relate.

Alice on August 15, 2015:

I have the same problem as you. I hate going barefoot and I always wear socks when I'm at home even if it's very hot outside and even at night I always wear them.

I remember this phobia started when I was around 6 years old, in the summer my grandpa would make a inflatable swimming pool in the garden so his grandchildren would play in there but I really hated going barefoot so I never went in there.

My feet also has long toes and my smallest toe is curled so it's not completely perfect 'normal' and I hate it. I also dislike watching other people's feet and cant stand the thought of somebody touch my feet.

Sorry if my English isn't perfect I'm not a native speaker :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on December 10, 2014:

Hi Mthir, thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you and would always wear tights or stockings with any shoes that showed feet, although I refuse point blank to wear shoes where you can see toes with or without stockings.

Mthir on December 09, 2014:

Mistyhorizon2003; i feel EXACTLY the same as you do about nasty bear feet..I Cannot be attracted to a female if she is bear foot. I will not touch them "gross". I hate people who like to be bear foot all the time. I also consider warning shoes without socks or stockings still bear foot. I will NEVER understand how a woman will spend hours getting dressed up with hair done and makeup, put on a sexy dress then ware her heels while bear foot. It just ruins it. Not to mention its nasty..bear feet are repulsive!!!!! Women need to wear stockings when warning a dress. It's classy looking, very sexy, and Covers the nasty feet.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 01, 2014:

+1 'hate' I totally agree :)

hate on April 01, 2014:

i hate feet, smelly and ugly

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 07, 2014:

Loved the comment Miguel, please feel free to leave such 'ventings' any time you like lol.

Miguel on March 07, 2014:

I am a writer, actually, which precludes me to use rather vivid terminology. :) Thank you for letting me vent here.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on December 13, 2013:

ROFLMAO Miguel, that truly has to be the best comment I have ever received on this article. Absolutely hilarious and so well put. You should be writing comedy for a living. Brilliant.

Miguel on December 13, 2013:

I shudder even before I see feet because most women insist on wearing flip-flops, and you can hear the disgusting, moist-sticky sound of their stank pods flapping nearby. I never understood how anyone can pretend not to hear that sound, which makes a long wet fart sound like Handel. Vein-engorged, bulby toes spilling out of the front of shoes like ripe maggots out of a cadaver, bony, fleshy, sticky grossness. And that goes for ALL feet, period. I don't care how much pedicure time you get in, how colorful your bacteria-laden toenails are, how much jewelry you've festooned to your rankness, or what tats you've put down there, all with the aim of trying to draw attention to the most disgusting of body parts. If you took a turd and painted it, bejeweled it, and/or tatted it up, it's still a turd, just like anyone's feet. There is nothing remotely attractive about feet, and they're actually even more disgusting the more bling a woman puts on them. Only perverts who are partial to bacteria, stink, and raw nastiness will find anything interesting there,

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 21, 2013:

Lol, what can I say other than I feel exactly the same way you do right down to not actually being afraid of feet, but loathing them and the way they seem to constantly be portrayed wherever you look.

Joe on October 21, 2013:

And here I thought I was all alone in the world. I don't think I have a phobia of feet per se as I am not afraid of them, but I am utterly repulsed by the amount of attention bare feet get in the media, and how much overall people go around barefoot in public where they should have shoes on. First and foremost are the idiots that prop their nasty bare feet up on dashboards while driving down the Interstate. Every time I see this I wish I could grab these morons and beat them senseless. I believe this is a fad of some kind, because the only type of humanoid I see doing this 99.9% of the time are white women. Not only is it extremely dangerous to be riding that way, but it is absolutely tacky, redneck and disgusting. There are only about 4 places in the WORLD someone should be barefoot and they are the beach, a pool, a bath/shower, or in bed…and that’s it! Then you have commercials…oh those lovely commercials. I don’t care if the commercial in question is selling cow manure, I can almost guarantee you there will be someone featured in that commercial who is barefoot. Don’t believe me? Start paying attention to this. I think advertisers are playing on peoples sick sexual fetishes which is why this is the case. Again….pay attention, 7 out of 10 commercials you see will feature barefoot people, most of the time the camera will even zoom in and focus on the feet. WTF is up with this? How about all those products that they sell on TV, you know the ones that say hey I’m not stopping there call now and I’ll double the order? 3 out of five of these products will be for the feet. Hot Booties, Ped-Egg….and the list goes on and on. What about those low-life chicks that walk around in stores and stuff barefoot? GROSS!!! I saw some nasty ho just today…October….65 degrees in a convenient store parking lot where people spit, throw up and God knows what else walking around BAREFOOT! Are you effing kidding me!?!?!? Sign of the times I guess. Hey idiots…put your damn shoes on! Good Lord!!!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on July 27, 2013:

Hi Trish, how awful for you, I can totally understand why you feel a dislike for your feet after going through all that, but at least now you know a pedicure can improve their appearance for you. To answer your question, well, firstly I only ever go swimming about once a year if we go away on holiday somewhere hot so I rarely have to worry about it. When I do I simply have to switch off the fact I don't like my feet and avoid looking at them too much. Other people's I definitely avoid looking at. If I am walking around near a swimming pool I always wear some kind of footwear to cover up my feet e.g. pumps, deck shoes or espadrilles.

trish1048 on July 27, 2013:

Hi Misty,

I have come to hate my feet, due to an ingrown toenail surgery I had many years ago. I was being treated for it, and would visit the doctor every 6-8 weeks or so. On the last visit, he said to me, you know, I could fix it so the ingrown toenails never come back. I thought wonderful, do it! It would certainly eliminate my need to get injections in both feet and have the offending toenails temporarily fixed. So, I opted to have them permanently removed, and although I no longer suffer with ingrown toenails, it has permanently affected the way my toenails grow. The doctor failed to mention that my remaining toenails would not grow straight, so I am left with two crooked nails. I hate it! My daughter gets pedicures regularly, and would often ask me to go. I was too embarrassed to go, until one day, I said, well, perhaps they can make the two toes look a bit more normal. My daughter assured me there was nothing to be embarrassed about, as the nail technicians see a lot worse. I can tell you, that is one job I could never do! Once I went, I was hooked. It's a very relaxing experience, but more importantly for me, I can now stand to look at my feet. I have a question for you, what do you do about swimming?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on July 25, 2013:

Lol Barry, what would we do without our Mum's eh?

barry on July 24, 2013:

for 59 yrs my bare fee have never touched the dirty ground. my dear old mom would tell me 'u will get hookworms'. scared me.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on July 17, 2013:

Lol, well on that basis I understand why you don't understand me. Some people's fetishes mean they like to be urinated on by their partner, or even pooped on, but I don't understand that either, and I expect you might struggle to understand that. Basically everyone sees things differently, and mine is not a sexual thing, it is a pure and simple phobia which makes it fall into a different category to a fetish.

Luca39Luca on July 17, 2013:

Im a foot fetishist so i really don't understand you. I love womens feet

Jessa on January 28, 2013:

I HATE feet as well. When I watch those "baby story" shows on TLC and the mom is giving birth with her bare feet in the doctor's face I want to reach through the TV and slap her! I don't have a phobia though. I hate my feet but I will still wear sandals and paint my nails and loofah the soles to keep them looking as nice as they can. My husband has nice feet actually (for a man). I LOVE my kid's feet. I kiss my baby's feet all the time. But other people's feet put me off especially other women's feet. BLECH. Even when they have had a pedicure and look clean I just hate them. I find it annoying that women showcase them as if they are something sexy. The only phobia I suffer from is trypophobia which is horrible so I feel bad for anyone with a true phobia of feet. Phobias suck.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 29, 2012:

I completely understand what you describe Anti-Feet, it is pretty much how I feel too.

Anti-Feet on October 29, 2012:

I think feet are disgusting myself. People that go barefoot in public make me want to vomit. I don't like wearing sandals or any thing that shows off my barefeet. I still do regular maintenance on them, but no one will convince me to like feet. They look gross.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 16, 2012:

LOL, okay, so no intelligent answer then.... much as I suspected!

Jimbo on September 16, 2012:

scrape under your big toenail and take a big whiff

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 15, 2012:

Good Lord, not only have you failed to explain the 'spoiled rotten' part of your comment, but you also are scraping the barrel with your opinion of rats, snakes and spiders. For a start there are numerous varieties of snakes and spiders that are non venemous, and yet people are still terrified of them with no logical reason for being so, e.g. try living in the UK where spiders and snakes are non-venomous (apart from the Viper which is a non life-threatening venemous snake.) Rats (if non-sewer rats) are generally harmless, and in fact make excellent pets that are incredibly clean, intelligent and don't smell. I see rats all the time by our fishing lake, and they are clean. beautiful creatures that pose no threat to anyone.

I never suggested people should 'not have feet' so to say 'people would not look right' without them is just a silly trollish thing to say. All I recognised is that there is a known phobia for feet, just like there are known phobias for many things, including 'buttons', 'outdoor spaces', 'heights', 'cotton wool' etc etc. Doesn't meant that those fears make sense to those who don't experience it personally. What you need to learn is to understand is that your opinion is based on not having any knowledge of the fear in question, and therefore you are being unsympathetic to those that do. Honestly, this attitude makes you the lesser person, and the one people will look down on for being so ignorant and lacking in empathy or knowledge. Still, can't be helped I guess!

Jimbo on September 14, 2012:

Rats, snakes, spiders are pests that can poison, harm or infect. Feet are absolutely not, unless you're using public showers. Big difference.

The grossness you perceive is one of humanity's allies. Brevibacterium. Get over it; for real.

Seriously lady, quit being a baby. Imagine we didn't have them. Life would suck, and people would not look right.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 14, 2012:

What a strange comment 'Jimbo', I certainly don't understand the 'spoiled rotten condition' part of your comment either.... what on earth about this well recognised phobia has a connection with being 'spoiled rotten' ? lol.

I guess some people just don't understand phobias. I am sure there is at least one phobia you have, maybe snakes, spiders, rats etc, but you would be irritated to death if someone suggested that your ' phobia was an obsessive mental disorder that desperately needed treatment' and that it was 'just as abnormal as someone who washed their hands raw, or brushed their teeth until they began to rot' and the added that 'they thought it was a spoiled rotten condition.'

Basically your comment shows a complete lack of knowledge and empathy, therefore perhaps you have the 'mental disorder that needs treatment'...... Think about it!

Jimbo on September 14, 2012:

I've got 2 perfect solutions for you foot phobics:

1. Move to China. They consider feet inappropriate.

2. Have your feet severed from your body. Believe me, you'll long for those "disgusting things" back.

I personally think this phobia is an obsessive mental disorder that desperately needs treatment. It is just as abnormal as someone who washes their hands raw, or brushes their teeth until they begin to rot. I think it's a spoiled rotten condition.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on July 17, 2012:

Thanks Winterfate, I love your comment as it is perfectly rational and sensible all round. I hope Empress reads it too somehow. I too have the fear of heights you do, and am not really comfortable in crowds. I am also claustrophobic and scared of spiders. I guess we all probably have at least one or two phobias of various things :)

Darrin Perez from Puerto Rico on July 17, 2012:

@Empress: You have quite an interesting viewpoint there. I consider female feet to be one of the most attractive parts of their body (right up there with the eyes), but I don't see it the way you do at all. I think women show off their feet because they like to, not because they're trying to be flirts.

And no, showing off feet in general, and female feet specifically, does not mean anything in of itself. They only have meaning if you give them meaning.

@mistyhorizon2003: Very interesting hub. I found this hub by following one of those "Discover More Hubs" hyperlinks. I should say I'm surprised such a phobia exists, but I'm not, as there are many weird phobias out there! My greatest phobias are fear of crowds and fear of heights, so I can relate to what you're talking about here, if in a roundabout way. I'll share this hub with my followers. Great work! :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on July 06, 2012:

You really are quite strange Empress. You were the one who said a women going barefoot in public meant she was "promiscous, untrustworthy, vain, basically nothing good.". I merely quoted this back to you, and now you are saying "Going barefoot in public is not vain and slutty?", in other words, you are contradicting yourself!!!

As for your other remark "As for sex, why do you think all barefoot practicing women want their feet kissed from every man they bed? And why do you think they show their feet to men in flirtation? ", this in itself is clearly an assumption on your part, (probably based on your own fetishes). I can think of plenty of people/women I know who happily wear sandals or walk around barefoot, but that doesn't mean they have a foot fetish and want them kissed (where on earth did you form that idea from lol?) I should add that your 'experience' doesn't span all human existence either, but it is pretty clear you are younger than me, and no doubt trolling this article. Perhaps you should consider the fact that tribes around the globe still go barefoot and don't treat feet as things they want kissed by every man they bed (except in your imagination), and I am sure if you want a poll put up on this very article I can do it and prove your theory very wrong, at which point I am sure you will have no problem offering me a full and unreserved apology for your insulting comment and remarks that infer I cannot possibly know as much as you do!!

Empress's New SHoes on July 06, 2012:

and lets get into the part of the foot game, played by girls, where "feet don't mean anything' lol.

Empress's new shoes on July 06, 2012:

I don't expect you to be as smart as you think you are. Going barefoot in public is not vain and slutty? Think it thru. As for sex, why do you think all barefoot practicing women want their feet kissed from every man they bed? And why do you think they show ther feet to men in flirtation? You don't know everything, and your expirence doesn't span all human existance....I am sure you strongly disagree.......

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on July 04, 2012:

Errrmm, what can I say to that Empress. It does sound like you have a fetish, or even a potential problem if you think a woman showing her feet means she is 'promiscous, untrustworthy, vain, basically nothing good.' I might not like feet, but even I know this is not the case for most women, and that at the end of the day feet are for walking on, not a sexual object!

Empress's New Shoes on July 04, 2012:

Ok here's a conflicting comment. The only time I want to see a pretty woman's bare feet is when she is giving me orals. Why do all women wear flip flops now?

I too feel violated when I have to go out in public, and be forced to see all females feet. I miss the days when women wore slippers, left some to the imagination, or you had to 'get to know' the girl before you saw that personal part of their body. Now, women's feet are constantly exposed.

When I am looking at a girls soles and toes while she orals me, I feel like I 'own' her, totally, and it is an empowering feeling. I want my woman to have tough calloused soles and toes, from going barefoot all her life, something for me to lick and kiss. But, at the same time, I hate commercials that show womens bare feet, while selling cell phone plans.

On a pretty girl, bare feet are pornography, plain , simple, everybody knows it. They should be censored from media. I know you probably can't understand my feeling feet are "sex" on a pretty girl (you are a straight woman who hates feet, and I HATE men's feet period).

So , I guess I hate/love womens feet. I miss the days when not every woman or girls feet were totally exposed for the whole world to see. I think the women of the future will go the extra step, out of flip flops, and just barefoot all the time- it seems to be what they are all trying to push. It tells you a lot about a woman, when the first thing you see is her bare feet:

That she is promiscous, untrustworthy, vain, basically nothing good. I must say, I think I do have a fetish/phobia.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 25, 2012:

Hi alexadry, thanks for commenting. I am afraid lots of people don't truly understand phobias until they research them a bit more. I had a friend who knew someone with the phobia of buttons. Apparently 'for a laugh' a load of his work colleagues pinned this guy to the floor and rubbed their buttons all over him. Sounds funny at first, until you think how traumatic that must have been for the person with the phobia.

I am pleased this article helped you to understand the phobia better :)

Adrienne Farricelli on January 25, 2012:

I remember one of my bosses once admitted she was freaked out by seeing feet and I thought she was just being finicky and obsessed with hygiene. I was thinking ''who do you think you are for freaking out at other people's feet?! you know you have feet too!'' Now that I read your article I see it under a different light. To tell the truth, some of your pictures make me cringe and I do not suffer from feet phobia!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 25, 2012:

Hi Laura, I am sorry to hear about your Dad passing away. It sounds as you say, like your phobia is a classic example of how bad it can get. I wonder if his partner ever looked up the phobia for herself in order to understand it better, as it is FAR from a fetish as you know.

Thanks for sharing your experience here :)

Laura from Aus on January 25, 2012:

I am completely foot phobic. I will not touch other peoples feet at all and dry retch if they come near me. Even if i am fast asleep, if hubby's feet touch me in the middle of the night, I will be out of the bed and across the room. My dad passed away last year, and while he was sick I was asked to put his shoes on. I would have wiped his bum if needed (which luckily wasn't) but i could not physically make myself touch his feet. When I told his partner why I couldn't do it, she got all confused that I had a foot fetish as she just couldn't understand how someone could be scared of feet.

I don't mind barefeet (if i don't look at them), I don't mind my own feet and live in flip flops over summer. I just can't touch or look at other people feet. To me it is a germ thing, yet I am not fussed by germs from anything else. I also don't know where it came from.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 10, 2012:

This website provides various definitions for the word 'Phobia' that illustrate more examples of why it doesn't have to an actual 'fear' as such.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 10, 2012:

LOL Corrine, no a phobia doesn't have to be that extreme, it can also be a strong dislike of something, quote from just one online dictionary

"1. A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.

2. A strong fear, dislike, or aversion."

Note the terms 'dislike or aversion' as relevant in our case.

I also have a phobia of heights,(although I am fine in vehicles), and a slightly more 'under control' one of spiders (I can at least catch the spiders in drinking glasses using an envelope and then put them outside). No problem with snakes though, I quite like them and have handled quite a few belonging to friends and acquaintances.

Corinne on January 09, 2012:

Hi Misty,

I guess I always thought of a phobia as being an actual fear. For example, I have a fear of heights. I realize it's not rational, and it's more that just not liking it, I am actually afraid to be up too high even if I'm completely safe (like inside a car, on a bridge). I also have a fear of snakes, as in I would knock down old ladies and small children to get away from one (sorry, just being honest). But I don't fear feet, I just find them unpleasant.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 09, 2012:

Hi Corinne, actually I would say you do have a phobia of bare feet, and it sounds about the same level as mine. The phobia does not have to be extreme to be real, and what you just described sounds typical of the phobia without it being too terrible.

Corinne on January 09, 2012:

Thanks for sharing your story Misty. I don't have a phobia of feet, but I dislike them immensely. All of the pictures you have posted with people's feet close to a person's face are so gross to me! And so many commercials seem to show people's bare feet when it has absolutely nothing to do with the product. Why do I need to see some woman's bare feet all propped up with her toes wiggling when the commercial is about cheese? Why?? I also don't want anybody touching my feet. I always do my own pedicures, and I don't even let my sweetie massage my feet.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 07, 2012:

Sounds tough shanne, have you considered a different career, as dealing with feet day to day might leave you involuntarily wincing facially, and this might be a bit disconcerting to your clients? You could concentrate on beauty therapy from the waist upwards possibly!!

shanne on January 07, 2012:

omg im terrified of feet and im 16. i can stand my own but not anyone elses, or anyone elses feet atchually touching mine. i want to do beauty therapy in a years time in college. im going to have a hell of a time! literally!!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 03, 2012:

Thanks for your feedback Ruby, you are definitely someone with a foot phobia, in fact an extreme one by the sound of things. Glad you like cats feet though, (so do I).

Ruby on January 03, 2012:

I completely understand. I cannot stand feet. They look like disgusting pudgy, hideous forms of fingers. People with really disgusting fingers or fingernails also really creep me out. I don't understand why people parade around with their feet out, i feel violated that I have to look at them wherever I go. Why on earth would anyone want to see your feet? I think perhaps those of us that are really perceptive notice things that disgust us when most people pay no attention to them. How can you not! Feet are just horrible. I don't care if they're babies feet or not it's the same thing. Completely unattractive and should not be shown in public. I don't like it when you tell people how you feel and they claim their feet are normal. No ones feet are normal they're all ugly. Men's feet push me to the point I feel like literally throwing up I feel disgusted that they're out in the open. The worst thing is its so bad you can't even look away. The only feet that are acceptable are cats feet because they are paws. I don't think it's irrational to hate feet. Feet are gross, dirty, contaminated and look horrible. Cats however, I don't think you should fear a cute adorable loving pet!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on December 30, 2011:

You sound so much like me RealHousewife, right down to buying your Husband the slippers and him not wearing them! This problem we have is most definitely a recognised phobia, but at least we are not alone :)

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on December 30, 2011:

Misty - I have never given it that much thought and I am not afraid of feet either - just slightly repulsed..ew! I can't stand to feel the floor beneath my bare feet. I do try to buy my husband slippers too but he won't wear them. I didn't know this was a should be! lol

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on December 28, 2011:

Hi elanger333, I reckon my relationship would not last long either if my hubby KEPT on touching me with his feet. Luckily it only ever happens accidentally (which I can forgive). If it was done as a joke or to wind me up, I expect I would soon be putting a snake in his bed or something else he had a phobia about, then he might 'get it' LOL.

elanger333 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 28, 2011:

I had a friend in highschool that absolutely hated feet. She would laugh about it, but now I wonder how much she was really affected by it. Her boyfriend would tease her but she really became upset when he touched her with his feet - the relationship ended shortly.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 26, 2011:

I am guessing you fall under the category of people with a 'foot fetish' Brandon.

brandon on November 26, 2011:

girls feet are the best thing ever

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 29, 2011:

Hi Baskerville, I am beginning to think I am more like you, and have more of a strong dislike of feet than a phobia (I can cope with pictures okay). I just loved some key points in your most recent comment, e.g. "-I do not find the entire extremity as unatractive as the five little appendages in which it ends." and "What's up with the current trend of TV crime dramas showing ever more realistic-looking decomposing bodies in the morgue, including dead bodies with toe tags, YUCK!". I had to laugh and agree strongly with both those statements. With regards to reporters and weather girls, well most of the ones I see on British TV seem to be cut off below the knee, so I couldn't say what shoes they are wearing, but you are probably correct on that too.

Thanks again for your great comment :)

Bakserville on October 28, 2011:

Thank you, misty. I wouldn't call my dislike of f**t a "phobia", but rather a dislike, a negative aesthetic reaction. Some f**t are less displeasing than others, but I'd rather not see ANY.

--I think there are many more of us than we realize.

-- Notice how female TV reporrters, weather girls, etc., never wear shoes that show their toes? I suspect that this is not is their own choice, but some station policy.

--Been a long time since I have seen a Playboy magazine, but I clearly remember NEVER seeing the models toes in any of the pictorials, so Mr. Hefner may very well be one of us.

--I do not find the entire extremity as unatractive as the five little appendages in which it ends.

--Capri pants with gladiator sandalsm especially those that cover the heel, but expose the toes, are a HUGE turnoff, bringing attention to the very part I most dislike.

--What's up with the current trend of TV crime dramas showing ever more realistic-looking decomposing bodies in the morgue, including dead bodies with toe tags, YUCK! Yet they blur a glimpse of a nipple, ala Janet Jackson "waldrobe malfunction". Go figure!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 28, 2011:

Cheers for commenting Baskerville, yes, I guess posting those pictures is kind of unavoidable, (even for me!) in an article on feet!

Nice to know you too understand the who foot hatred thing, right down to the TV adverts (I so get this). I don't even like the mention of feet in songs!!

Baskerville on October 28, 2011:

Curiously most articles concerning this topic is that they tend to post images of the very thing we dislike.

I hate TV commercials that display bare feet, male or female, even though the product being advertised has nothing to do with the foot. I find feet very unattractive from any angle, top, side, or (the worst) bottom.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 22, 2011:

Hi riobec, I know people who are like that about spiders, rats etc too (can't even look at the pictures). Thankfully I can tolerate the pictures although they do make my nose wrinkle up lol.

riobec on September 22, 2011:

Very interesting. I read your article carefully and I can say that

we have lots in common. However I am a little higher in the scale

than you. For example, I cannot stand even the pictures, so I find

the top of the page repulsive.

To Dave: I have kids and yes it bothers me! No exceptions.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 07, 2011:

Hi marwan asmar, my problem (at least in my case) is with the real thing more than the pictures, even though the latter make me cringe a bit too. The real things move, smell and you can see all the graphic details of them such as dry skin, overgrown toenails, hair on the toes, smell any cheesiness etc.

I am the same with spiders, I can cope with photos or film footage, but the real thing does freak me out, although I do have that phobia mostly under some level of control.

Marwan Asmar from Amman, Jordan on September 07, 2011:

Hi Misty. Nice one! Are sure you dislike seeing bare feet because from the graphics you put in your article above, it might hint at just the opposite, that you can live with them at least. Just checking! An interesting read as there are many around there with foot fetishing tendencies.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on June 21, 2011:

Hi Lisa,

I am the same about having to have something on my feet, I hate walking around in bare feet and get really cross when Hubby keeps on doing it, pointing out to him that he will end with filthy soles to his feet.

This phobia is actually pretty common, and I can only assume it may stem from childhood where jokes about ' sweaty or cheesy feet' etc are all too common, therefore planting a thought in the subconscious that feet are an unpleasant part of the body.

Certainly men seem to have the uglier feet of the two sexes, although I have seem some really gross feet on women (such as the cashier with the infected toe who worked for me once). I can't say I find any feet nice to look at though, even with foot jewellery, painted toenails etc. I guess I just have to tolerate them and look away. :(

Thanks so much for commenting :)

Lisa HW from Massachusetts on June 20, 2011:

I'd never really heard of this as a phobia, so interesting. :) For the most part, other people's bare feet don't bother me (although some people's feet are inelegant enough that I'd rather they pop some socks or shoes on). LOL I do have one thing with bare feet, though, and that's that I can't stand walking around without something on my feet. That's more of a "dirty feet" thing, I think, though. :)

As far as other people's bare feet go, for me it's mostly whether they're unattractive or not. I love all "beebie's" (baby's) and little kids' "feetsies". If a woman's feet are pretty I think they're nice. Some guys have nice enough feet; but a lot really don't. In any case, I wonder if bare-feet phobia might have something to do with how "ugly" feet are perceived to be. :/ (Those pictures you have (the one with the woman and a bunch of feet, and the particularly the one with the guy and feet) are pretty gross. I don't think anyone needs a foot phobia to find those disturbing. LOL )

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 31, 2011:

Thanks Tiffany, I guess we experience similar although not completely identical problems. Neither of us like our own feet, but you don't mind other people's, whereas I do, (as well as not liking my own to be seen or touched by others). Nice to know I am not alone here :)

Totally Tiffany from Henderson on January 31, 2011:

I sort of understand. I have a foot phobia too. Not of others feet but I cannot stand to go barefooted, even in my home. My daughter makes people take their shoes off coming in her door. I hate that. I don't have ugly feet, I just cannot stand for anything to touch them. What if there is mud or dirt from someone else's shoes on the floor? Yuck. Like you I don't want my husband's feet to touch mine at night. I liked this article a lot.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 28, 2011:

Hi AuraLee, LOL re-the foot phobia versus foot fetish problem.

I have no idea when exactly or why my phobia started. Certainly not from any event I remember.

No idea of how common foot documentaries are, I am guessing that it is more common to see these kinds of phobias on a documentary on a number of different phobias.

I did read that ingrowing toenail story, and although it was enough to make me really cringe, it was actually really hilarious. You should read it too.

Thanks for the link to the dental related fears site. It might be very useful to people reading this. :)

AuraLee on January 28, 2011:

Wouldn't it be terrible if you had a foot phobia AND a foot fetish? It would be extremely internally discomfitting! Similar to a devout christian who comes to believe they are gay.

Do you know what started this whole thing? It has to be more than just the smelly, fungal, ugly side of it...

Re foot documentaries - do you think they are common?! Who would want to make a foot doco, apart from a fetishist, lol?

@diogenes - I don't think it is necessarily "mean" that her husband walks around w/out slippers. Personally, I must remove my shoes as soon as I walk in the door. They constrict my feet (regardless of what kind of shoe or slipper) and I would be (probably overly) uncomfortable if I was forced to keep slippers or shoes on. But if he is just being slack then yeah he should wear the slippers if at all possible.

Congrats misty that you consider reading the toenail story. I really thought you would knock that one back! So you aren't that phobic after all! Maybe it is just one of your 'foibles', something can make a person extremely uncomfortable and 'cringey' without having full on panic attacks over it.

For example - I get really cringey when reading/talking about certain gynecological procedures or topics. I'm nowhere near a prude or anything. But I can get so cringey I almost faint! Maybe that's normal; men would probably feel similar if hearing about some kind of testicle operation.

A good site for dental fears is It lists so many different categories of dental related fears. There are so many different reasons that one is scared of the dentist - pain, drill, being numb, not being numb, childhood abuse, choking, needle phobia etc etc!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 27, 2011:

I will definitely be reading those The Funny Guy, I find your stories hilarious :)

The Funny Guy on January 26, 2011:

Hi Misty (see I didn't call you "ROSIE")

OMG!!!!!!! - My Mother was completely OPPOSITE to yours when buying shoes. I posted my Ingrown Toenail Story (a few more stories about my Mama) and if you decide to read it, you see what I'm talking about.

P.S. I'll give you a hint (I think my experience is WORSE than your)... Lol

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 24, 2011:

LOL The Funny Guy, I am thinking my own curiosity might just allow me to cope with reading that hub:) Thanks for commenting here too.

PS. Our Dad was always really tight with money, so going to the opposite extreme our Mother was always forced to buy shoes a couple of sizes too big for us as children, meaning we went to school looking like we were wearing a pair of canoes until we 'grew' into them. I am not sure which is worse, your experience or ours!

The Funny Guy on January 24, 2011:

Im sorry to hear you hate FEET. I too hate feet, only because my mother made me wear shoes that were always too TIGHT, turned my feet into Gorilla feet. I wrote a funny story called The Ingrown Toenail Story. I warn you now, if you wish to read it - it's pretty graphic BUT FUNNY

I hope you can overcome it and just be thankful that you don't have Gorilla feet like me.

The Funny Guy

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 23, 2011:

Hi Q&T, nice to see you here, it's been a while. Sounds more like you have more of a foot fetish than a foot phobia, rather you than me :)

quietnessandtrust on January 22, 2011:

I love naked feet!!!

And if a woman "looks like an 8"

but has pretty feet, she moves to a 10. =)

I am "The Foot Inspector" hahahahahahaha

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 21, 2011:

Hi KCC, I do understand your Husband's phobia, as I am not keen on spiders either, although I have the problem much more under control than when I was a child. However, I have a friend who is terrible with spiders, and even a tiny wispy spider sends her to the other end of the building until someone else can get rid of it. Funny thing is, she is actually a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse. One of the vets we both worked for also had the same phobia in a big way, and he was a South African chap who you would assume had seen lots of spiders in his home country and at Vets School.

Thanks so much for the feedback :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 21, 2011:

Hi revmjm, you are lucky, for me even the expression "bare footing" makes me shiver. I actually cringe when I hear songs that refer to bare feet e.g. Mustang Sally "you'd better put your flat feet on the ground" etc.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 21, 2011:

Hi Dave, thanks for commenting. No I don't have children, so fortunately this isn't something I have had to deal with. I would have loved to have children, but due to 'bad internal plumbing' it seems that even IVF would be very unlikely to work. I have hubbed on that aspect of my life in a few of my other hubs.

KRC from Central Texas on January 20, 2011:

Being Texas born and raised, going barefooted comes second nature. I can only imagine how it must be for you. I had never personally met someone with a true phobia until I met my husband for the first time. We had talked for several years online before meeting, so I knew he didn't like spiders. He called it a phobia, but I took that to mean he just didn't like the way other people I knew didn't like them. When I flew to England to meet him for the first time I took a plastic spider with me and put it between the sheets at the hotel for him to find. He was not in the least bit amused and I truly got a sense of how different a phobia is to a general dislike. I promised him I would never ever do anything like that again. I truly thought it was something he could laugh at like others I knew. Not so.

Margaret Minnicks from Richmond, VA on January 20, 2011:

Thanks for sharing all this information about your phobia of bare feet. I might have a phobia or two, but fortunately for me that is not one of them because the first thing I do when I come through the door is pull off my shoes, and I do not put them on again until I leave home. I go bare footing all the time!

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on January 20, 2011:

I have a question for you. I assume that you have children. Were you able to bathe your kid or kids, and avoid your phobia while doing this, or did even this bother you too?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 20, 2011:

Thanks Bob, great to see you here. I agree, mine is one of the less intrusive phobias, and I certainly feel for anyone who feels unable to leave their home for 30 years. What a nightmare.

I heard about those bears between the cracks in the pavement too!!

Hi Beege215e, thanks for stopping by. I don't think many people like the dentists, although I am not too bad because I worked at one many years ago, plus I have never had anything very nasty done, and only have 3 fillings.

Glad you enjoyed the hub :)

Beege215e on January 20, 2011:

I am happy to notice that you have done your research on this and are quite capable of controlling your reactions. It is upsetting to have phobias, mine is dentistry, it scares the heck out of me. Good luck, and thank you for a very interesting read.

diogenes on January 20, 2011:

I think it's a bit mean of your husband walking around barefoot when he knows it's seriously disturbing for you. I was trying to think if I had any phobias at all and I don't really, but I know people who do. One friend has agrophobia and has been house-bound for 30 years! They are no joke. If one has to have a phobia, I suppose yours is one of the lesser ones as far as disturbing the quality of your life goes. Mind you, I do try to avoid the divisions between pavement stones because bears live down there which might grab your feet...oh, sorry, I really didn't mean to do that. Very good and useful hub, Misty, which will be a click-leader for you quickly I am sure...Bob

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 19, 2011:

Hi Jandee, just cannot bear the idea of walking barefoot, no matter how good it is for 'healthy feet' or a healthy back, (although I know it is good for you). Soz! The other option is to try MBT trainers, based on Masai Barefoot Technology. The health benefits are just as good, but no need to go barefoot. I have hubbed on these MBT's if you are interested.

You must be really unlucky with cats, as even after working in 2 vets surgeries I have never been bitten by any!! They must know you fear them I guess.

As for Guernsey, well you know us, we are strange folk all in all ;)

Cheers for stopping by :)

jandee on January 19, 2011:

Hello Misty,

just said to hubby 'the things that go on in Guernsey' . Did you know that walking barefoot is the very best exercise i.e yoga. It is brilliant for healthy 'feet' and for the back. Everytime I go near a cat I get bitten,they are beautiful creatures though!

enjoyed with thanks,jandee from Jersey........

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 19, 2011:

Hi Violet, it is already proving interesting that my first two comments are from people who have not heard of this phobia. At least you can see how this can happen, and now you can identify with others who might on occasion voice their own dislike of feet. I do sincerely wish you luck with your own personal anxiety issue.

Thanks for the feedback :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 19, 2011:

PS. Gordon just another thought, I also had three pigeons, loads of feathers but we never tormented our Father with them!!!

VioletSun from Oregon/ Name: Marie on January 19, 2011:

Cindy, I have not heard of phobias of bare feet, but not surprised, as phobias can be about anything. I developed an anxiety issue after the loss of my nephew and entering menopause, its as if my brain could take so much at the same time, and its disconcerting, such is the fragility of the human mind, but I will heal it. I think everyone has an issue, it may not be a phobia, but we all have something to work on.

Thanks for sharing!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 19, 2011:

Thanks Gordon, I have not mentioned any other serious phobias only because this hub is totally about the phobia of feet. Actually I do have a friend with a fear/phobia of cats though. A little difficult when he comes to stay as we have three, plus a neighbours cat that spends a good chunk of its time in our house. My Father had a fear of feathers, another weird one, and quite difficult to deal with as we had chickens, a pet mynah bird and two green singing finches at the time!

Thanks for your feedback, I hope this does help others, plus raising awareness of this annoying, yet relatively common phobia.

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on January 19, 2011:

I can honestly say that I have never heard of such a phobia but I know how frightening phobias can be. Strangely enough, you have mentioned mine in your Hub - cats! I cannot even visit a house where there are cats. I hope that your page proves helpful to others with the same affliction and am sure it will.