He Lives in Connecticut, Has Gone 20 Years Without Shoes

The 'NYT' profiles Joseph DeRuvo Jr. of Connecticut
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2023 1:15 PM CDT
Living Life Without Shoes? He's Done It for 20 Years
   (Getty Images / kosziv)

"We get thrown out of a lot of places," says Lini Ecker. The reason: her 59-year-old husband, who for 20 years has gone mostly barefoot. Writing for the New York Times, Katherine Rosman has the story of Joseph DeRuvo Jr. of Connecticut, who roughly 20 years ago scheduled surgery to have his painful bunions dealt with. He went without shoes in the lead-up to the procedure to alleviate the pain—and his feet began to feel better. That realization, combined with learning the screws that would be put into his feet during the surgery contained a metal he was allergic to, prompted him to call it off. The shoes stayed off, too.

Rosman answers the questions that might prompt, like how he handles restaurants and grocery shopping (sometimes he gets asked to leave; he frequents mom-and-pop-type places that know him and his quirk; he keeps "loosefitting" sandals in the car in case of a venue he can't get kicked out of, such as a planned dinner with friends). As for work, he was a barefoot photographer who fielded plenty of foot-related questions while shooting weddings. Now he works in the barefoot-friendly field of Pilates. He's also a runner, and Rosman notes the hot days can be more painful than Connecticut's coldest ones, "forcing him to run on the painted centerline or in the shadows cast by telephone poles." But DeRuvo says nothing hurts as much as roads that have been salted for ice. "It gives me a lot of sympathy for dogs," he says. (Read the full piece.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.