Well I finally got down to Novaks in London here on the weekend to try on these “Vibram Five Finger” shoes that have appeared in this list from time to time and are supposed to give that barefoot feeling. However after spending near ten minutes getting my toes into the little fingers, discovering that they uncomfortably press on the end of my toes and noticing how incredibly tweedy they look I am inclined to ask, what is the point? They don’t give me that barefoot feet but instead feel like thin shoes. They aren’t attractive looking in any way, in fact one would look like a pillock when wearing them. It seems to me that they would be more popular with shoddies who want to pretend to be barefoot than with barefooters. Then again maybe that’s just me, I certainly would rather be $100 richer and barefoot than looking silly and $100 poorer. I’ll pass on these for now I think.
These shoes seem to me to be an attempt by shoe companies to make the most of a burgeoning lifestyle trend in much the same way that we now see “green” products cashing in on all manner of “eco-friendly” products. I also believe that being barefoot and living barefoot is in about the same place that being “green” was a few years back and that being vegetarian was in when I was in College. Not terribly respected and mightily resisted by the non-initiates. However 30 years later vegetarian is not so strange, many stores stock vegetarian foods and being “green” is suddenly cool. I can only hope that being cool when barefoot doesn’t take another 30 years.

btw here’s a link to info on the shoes …

Vibram

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