Ok it’s time for a rant. This has been a particularly mild winter, February is winding down and spring is just around the corner. In the past year or more I have noticed more and more shoe stores advertising “barefoot” shoes. The expound on how they feel just like walking barefoot, they’re so light, so comfortable, so natural. NOT!
Shoes are not barefoot. End of. They are not barefoot if they are light weight, have five little fingers for the toes, two big fingers for collections of toes, or space age mesh. Shoes are shoes, barefoot is the lack thereof.
My other bone of contention with so called “barefoot” shoes is the cost. If I trundle on down to Aldo or some other shoe store and pick up a pair of Doc Martins, I can fully expect to pay (in Canada) something like $140. Expensive as all get out but for that price I get a heavy, comfortable leather shoe that is quality made. They previous pair I had lasted some ten years, went through a house fire and was finally parted with only because I was offloading a ton of stuff with the idea of moving to France. Barefoot shoes, including the vaunted Vibram Five fingers and other “toed” barefoot shoes come in around the same price. However for my $140 I now get a flimsy, cheaply made, sweat inducing vinyl mocassin that chafes my feet in any number of places. For the same price as the Docs I get a shoe made in China somewhere for about $0.13 that if I am lucky will last one summer.
If you are thinking of going barefoot, go barefoot. Your feet (and most of your other bits associated with mobilty) will thank you, you will save money and you’ll be amazed to discover what an incredible environment ypou walk on each day. I have been barefoot for nigh on 30 years except where forced into shoes by winter weather, inflexible rules (there are no such laws), intolerance and prejudice. I love the feeling of being barefoot from warm summer pavement, soft grass, cool rain soaked paths and even fresh winter snow. Try it, you’ll be amazed, truly you will.