Ouch! 12 of the Worst Things to Step on While You’re Barefoot

A fun conversation recently occurred in an online forum about the worst things in the world to step on barefoot. Unfortunately, I’ve had the experience of stepping on many of these things and can attest to their choices. Can you?

1. Landmine

To be fair, stepping on a landmine with shoes doesn’t turn out any better. I finally broke down and watched Tropic Thunder last night, and God bless, landmines are horrible.

2. George Foreman Grill

I am a massive fan of The Office and know a reference when I see one. Michael Scott burning his foot was classic. One notes, “He likes the smell of crackling bacon in the morning. And since he doesn’t have a butler, he has to do it himself.”

3. A Slug

EWW! Washington state is full of giant slugs, and I know all too well the pain of stepping on one. It’s not a physical pain, but good Lord; the slime is really sticky. It involves immediately running to the bathtub and cursing yourself out for not throwing on your flip-flops before running out to check the mail.

4. Glass

Yes! Glass is an entirely new level of pain when you step on it barefoot. I once had a piece of glass under my skin for over a year, which was unpleasant. Someone clarifies, “Glass is so hard to get out of your foot completely if it crushes while going in there. Splinters fester, ferrous metals can be magnetically removed, and aluminum can be seen and picked out. But glass — years of phantom pain with no resolution.”

5. Stonefish

Stonefish are dangerous and can kill you. A user explains, “They sit around in shallow water looking like rocks. They’re found around Southeast Asia/Oceania, and their dorsal side has spines on it that are stingers. If you step on them, they shoot venom into you and deliver what has been called the most painful sting in the animal kingdom.” I’m good.

6. Rusty Nail

Everything from six-inch roofing nails to rusty nails come up in the thread as extremely painful to step on barefoot (or even in shoes). As a kid running through the sprinkler on a hot summer day, landing on one immediately stopped my fun. It went right into my foot and came with a lovely tetanus shot.

7. Goat’s Head

goats head
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

No, not the animal. Goat’s head (Puncturevine) is the epitome of pure evil. These prickly little suckers will penetrate your shoes and drop you to your knees. So I imagine being barefoot when stepping on one is unbearable. They are found in warmer climates.

8. Tack Strip

A tack strip that slightly sticks through the carpet in a doorway is unpleasant and typically involves several painful offenses. Many people note having one and hurting themselves when half asleep on their way to the bathroom at night. However, one asserts, “Just go over it with a hammer!” Problem solved.

9. LEGO Bricks

I am dumbfounded that this was not the number one answer. Are you even a parent if these haven’t hobbled you at some point in your life? Everyone I know has been dropped by one of these popular toys.

10. Poop

I’m having flashbacks and didn’t want them, but poop is a disgusting, emotionally painful thing to step in. The worst is when it squishes up between your toes. Numerous people admit to sharing this experience. However, no one can agree if it’s worse when it’s hot, cold, or at room temperature.

11. Vomit

Speaking of emotional pain, I’ll never forget stepping out of bed in the morning and stepping in a disgusting pile of cat vomit. I don’t even want to think about human vomit. Nonetheless, many users express it’s the worst.

12. A Barbie Shoe

Move over LEGOs; there’s a new plastic toy bringing parents to their knees. The pointy little stilettos are tiny and easy to miss. Someone suggests it is worse than LEGOS, to which another states, “I agree. This is the hill I will die on.”

13. Thumbtacks

Numerous folks volunteered that stepping on thumbtacks was an excruciating experience. A thread contributor shares, “So horrible. Then you have to find the nerve to pull them out! So gross! The flat circle ones, so hard to get out.”

14. Electric Plug

An electric cord with a right-angle plug with the prongs facing up is an agonizing moment that haves you questioning everything — especially if you’re running when your foot lands. A user from the other side of the pond admits, “British plugs are perfectly designed for maximum damage.”

15. Barnacles

Did you know that barnacles can get inside your cuts and grow internally? I did not, and it is disturbing. Countless ocean lovers confess that stepping on barnacles is extremely painful.

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.