The New York TimesThe New York Times

He took his shoes off 20 years ago. He hasn't put them back on

By Katherine Rosman

01 Mar 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

Joseph DeRuvo Jr. is sometimes asked to leave a supermarket or restaurant for being barefoot. He says that “navigating the terrain is easy." It's upsetting people that's the tricky part.

NORWALK, Conn. — A few years back, Joseph DeRuvo Jr. made a quick stop at an upscale supermarket to buy eggs and was stopped in the dairy aisle by a store manager. “You’re not wearing shoes,” he recalled the manager saying to him.

He was right. DeRuvo wasn’t wearing shoes. He almost never does.

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