"Foot rails are both altruistic and mercenary."
October 5, 2019 8:07 PM   Subscribe

Foot rails in bars are noticeable mostly when they’re absent. You belly up to a bar, start pawing one foot in the air like a dog begging for a treat and find no firm platform upon which to land. You wonder: What kind of place is this?
From Imbibe magazine: Mixopedia: The Origin of the Bar Foot Rail
posted by Lexica (19 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
I rather like the author's closing suggestion of installing footrails at museums.
posted by Not A Thing at 9:17 PM on October 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


Foot rails are truly a necessity for us shorties, even with a stool in play. No mention in the article of that other bar accessory of rare delight, the under-bar purse hook...
posted by DSime at 10:35 PM on October 5, 2019 [28 favorites]


I'm tall and I like them. Probably anyone who doesn't like them is some kind of monster. Hmmm. Maybe a werewolf or mummy?
posted by aubilenon at 10:49 PM on October 5, 2019 [7 favorites]


Footrails at bars are still too far away for us veryshorts. But the idea is nice.
posted by mightshould at 2:49 AM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


that other bar accessory

The brass foot rail needs to be paired with a nice solid mahogany bull-nose arm rail.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:53 AM on October 6, 2019


Team foot-rail here. Standing at the bar is far more collegial and comfortable than sitting at the bar.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:13 AM on October 6, 2019 [5 favorites]


Turns out, humans aren’t really designed to stand for long periods with feet flat on the floor. This contributes to stress on the spine, and you can feel it in your lower back. A foot rail allows us to redistribute the load on our feet—first one foot, then the other—and alter the tilt of our spines. “Bartenders were probably the first ergonomics experts on the planet,” write the authors of Deskbound, a 2016 book about the hazards of the sedentary life. “A standing-height drinking table that you can lean on, with a place to rest your foot? Genius.” Also genius: A foot rail is not only better for your back, but helps you cut a better figure. Standing flat-footed renders everyone a bit oafish; raising one foot results in a more rakish profile.
Has anyone applied this concept to the standing desk yet?
posted by MrVisible at 7:00 AM on October 6, 2019 [5 favorites]


...and after googling, I find there's an entire industry devoted to standing desk foot rests. Of course.
posted by MrVisible at 7:12 AM on October 6, 2019 [4 favorites]


Bar seating hell: backless stools with no foot rail, so you spend your time thinking about your center of gravity and where your extremities are rather than having a good conversation or focusing on your tasty drink.
posted by heurtebise at 7:27 AM on October 6, 2019 [10 favorites]


As a very short person, I find them invaluable for getting onto those tall bloody bar-stools. If there is absolutely no other seating available, I can just about get onto one by an elegant process in which I stand with both feet on the rail and scrabble madly at the bar-top until I can just about get my backside onto the stool.
posted by Fuchsoid at 9:02 AM on October 6, 2019 [6 favorites]


I’m tall but how about a sectioned foot rail where each patron can engage a robust pedal mechanism to raise or lower the foot rail, and it latches into position with a satisfying clunk? That isn’t a thing I don’t think, but I’ve now created it.
posted by freecellwizard at 9:49 AM on October 6, 2019 [6 favorites]


I'm tall and I like them. Probably anyone who doesn't like them is some kind of monster. Hmmm. Maybe a werewolf or mummy?
If they were silver they'd be unpopular with werewolves. Maybe iron footrails would be bad for fairies, but they're usually more in the "chaotic neutral" than the "monster" category. The referenced wood foot rails (the author is not a fan) would be bad if a vampire fell and hit their head on them, but they are pretty sure-footed and don't drink as far as I know. Though some of the new fancy-cocktail places might do a variation on a Bloody Mary for them. It's all about the customer!
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 10:31 AM on October 6, 2019 [3 favorites]


Standing desks : just now went to the shed and grabbed an old sitting desk foot rest that just may work fine for this computer standing desk.
posted by Mesaverdian at 11:06 AM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


Turns out, humans aren’t really designed to stand for long periods with feet flat on the floor

Oh yes, do tell about the natural body position, that humans designed to take while hanging around in a building, wearing clothes and using money and language to buy cocktails?
posted by aubilenon at 11:13 AM on October 6, 2019 [6 favorites]


I'll trade foot rails for coat racks. Most bars around here have neither.
posted by eotvos at 11:36 AM on October 6, 2019


If we didn't evolve to drink cocktails then call me a creationist.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:12 PM on October 6, 2019 [4 favorites]


Those under-bar coat hooks are a pickpocket's paradise.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 4:47 PM on October 6, 2019


Standing flat-footed renders everyone a bit oafish; raising one foot results in a more rakish profile.

Has anyone applied this concept to the standing desk yet?


I tried all manner of things at a standing desk and never once looked rakish. In retrospect, I did not bring a jaunty hat. That might have done the trick.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:44 PM on October 6, 2019 [4 favorites]


Bar rails are as essential as bar stools are an anti-social menace
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:15 PM on October 7, 2019


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