What if doors were designed to be opened with your feet?

The first time I saw a door designed this way was in a men’s restroom at a restaurant. A cast iron plate stuck out from the bottom of the door – slip your shoe underneath and pull the door open. Someone decided this would be an improvement on the sanitary technique of grasping the door handle with a paper towel.

I agree.

I don’t think the principle has been taken far enough. Opening a door with an armload of boxes is a trick. Lever-style handles manipulate without too much trouble. But far too often I find myself wedging my load against the doorjamb, slipping a hand out and swinging the door open before gravity yanks its inertial chain.

Imagine a door with a “handle” at foot-level. I suppose that makes it a “footle” or a foot-knob. You could step on the latch to push the door open, or pull it up to operate it in the other direction.

Of course, a door handle of this nature could cause temporary imbalance. However, if you’ve got a balance problem, just use the conventional handle.

It would appear (from page 1 of my Google search) that most design solutions aim at the sanitary benefits. This is such a narrow application, especially because they involve free swinging doors only.

Residential front doors are an obvious next step.

The next time you try to use a door with both hands full, consider how simple it would be if you could just use your foot instead.


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