Menial, less prestigious jobs often require working outdoors and sometimes even working barefooted. So to wash one’s feet figuratively means to give up a lowly job or to rise up from a morally wrong way of life (crime).
Ichido furyoo nakama ni haittara, nakanaka nuke dasenai mono da. Yakuza no sekai to onaji de, aru shuudan ni nakamairi shite shimau to ningen wa kantanni wa ashi o araenai mono dearu.
When a man becomes a member of a gang, it’s very difficult to break away from it. As in the case of the world of yakuza (Japanese organized crime), once you’re a part of it, it is not an easy thing to go straight.