There’s a new trend in walking, and a Washago woman is leading the way.

Sue Kenney loves to walk barefoot, and has recently turned her passion into a business.

She’s designed shoes that some might think aren’t shoes at all.

“I started walking barefoot everywhere and I would go into stores and some restaurants, and they would ask me to leave,” Kenney says.

“I invented a pair of shoes that don’t have any soles. And you can wear them anywhere because they are classified as shoes.”

She says they are called “barebottom shoes.” They’re made from leather, tie up around the ankles and can keep barefoot walkers from getting the boot.

Deborah Wagner, who enjoys walking barefoot, says they’re handy when you need to pop into a store.

“What they’re really good for is if you’re walking downtown and you want to pop into a store for a coffee,” she says. “People don’t tend to notice as much when you are wearing the barebottom shoes as if you were wearing nothing at all.”

For some, however, this type of footwear is a concern.

Steve Dziby, a manager at Dairy Queen, says people walking into a restaurant barefoot is a concern for customers. He says it’s a concern “because their feet could be dirty.”

“But more importantly, they could have a cut on their foot and bring blood into the store,” he says.

Barrie resident Eve Rogers says it is “strange” to see them worn at bars.

“There’s a lot of broken glass and things like that in restaurants and bars, so I thought that would be pretty dangerous,” she says.

Kenney recognizes it’s not for everyone.

“Mostly what I say to people is maybe you don’t walk barefoot in the city,” she says. “Walk in your backyard, walk in the grass, go to a park, go to the beach, take your shoes off at home as much as you can.”