Foot specialist steps in on debate to go barefoot at the mall

Morning Talk 27/11/2018
Photo: iStock.

A foot specialist has stepped in on the debate over whether it's acceptable to go barefoot at the mall.

An Auckland woman is furious after she was ejected from Sylvia Park shopping centre in Mt Wellington last Tuesday because she didn’t have footwear.

Rachelle McDonald was approached by security and asked to leave for "failing to adhere to the mall's policy", she told Stuff.

Ms McDonald was taken aback by the request as "[going barefoot] was a huge part of my Kiwi culture growing up".

Masterton podiatrist Adam Phillips has given his expert opinion on the debate that's split the nation as a result of Ms McDonald's story.

He says while it's fine to go barefoot at home, "I wouldn't go 'round a mall without my shoes on,” he told RadioLIVE.

He goes on to say that his daily practice has made him aware of the potential dangers of being barefoot in busy public areas. 

"The things I see every day in my practice [such as] infections in legs caused by cracks in skin around the toes..."

He says that the more sub-tropical areas of New Zealand have "potential for bugs, hookworms getting into your feet and the like."

Aside from the potential for bugs and infections, Mr Phillips understands the mall's policy, because "it's more of a health and safety thing. They don't want customers to be getting glass in their foot, or picking up a bug from a urine soaked floor".

Listen to the full interview with Adam Phillips above.

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