My feet. Kicking your arse (opinion).

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 at 0915

When the sky is bright and the weather is warm, not necessarily dry but warm, I walk around barefoot. Not just the house, but the garden and the town too. I go for groceries, plod round sainsburys, wander to the butchers and so forth with my pinkies out proud. Admittedly this all started because there was a period where I had no workably comfortable shoes, but thankfully someone with some publishing power has added creedence to my cause.

Check out this article on why I am right and why you are wrong about footwear: Shoes are Bad For You.

More after the jump…

It’s funny walking around watching people try to not look obvious looking at your feet, but being totally obvious in the process, then trying to make it look like they weren’t whilst flushing red or looking quickly away. You get the odd old crazy lady in the park approaching or shuffling past exclaiming that going barefoot is dangerous or somehow bad for you. (Odd how they don’t seem to levy such commentary on the binge drinkers that swarm the town each night, but I digress…) Once whilst waiting in the opticians for new glasses there seemed to be a bit of a huddle going on out back, before one of the women there (Not the one who was dealing with my new optics) quietly enquired “I hope you don’t mind my being nosy, but where are your shoes?”. It’s moments like that when you think of the ideal one-liner some 20 minutes later. My response at the time was simply “I don’t really like them, I’m more comfortable barefoot” but, on the walk home it occurred to me that “What, you mean this isn’t Clarkes? Good job I booked an eye test…” would have been along the right line to use.

The best bit is walking around where there are childen with their accompanying mothers. The kids, with no internal monologue or concept of their own volume proudly exclaim “Mummy, why has that man got no shoes on?” or “Look, he’s got no shoes!” which then leads the mother in an embarrasing display to chastise the child, or simply try and distract it, maneuver into the childs line of sight or lay on the all time favorite “I don’t know, shush.” Kids are great, they don’t care and are unafraid to point things out or ask questions without embarrassment.

The upside? The article spells it out loud and clear. Also I used to have really crappy athlete’s foot and manked up skin on my soles. Now they’re good enough for purgatory. *Badum tish*. (Clean sole…. clean soul… geddit?) It also embarrasses people who walk with me, their extended vanity being a source of amusement. My girlfriend doesn’t mind or complain, which is cool. She wears crocs, though, so officially has no grounds for complaint if you view those in the same light as Maddox 😉

The downsides? Well, when it’s cold you’re out of luck. Come October time it’s simply too frosty to pull it off. I tried once, and it took a long time to get feeling back into my toes. Then there’s the dirt, but that’s not too much of a problem. Each time I got back to the house I’d wash my feet before proceeding to any carpetted area. I swear I have the cleanest feet in town, bar none. Broken glass was only a problem one time when I got a tiny sliver stuck in to my big toe. It bled briefly but was fine and this was in the early days before my feet armoured themselves. Thorns are the worst, that’s just mother nature being a cruel, cruel mistress. I don’t like thorns. Interestingly enough it’s harder walking off-road than on, simply because you can’t see what’s coming, like thorns… Gnnah. I don’t like thorns. Others think that you’re going to mysteriously pick up some nasty disease. If I catch something from nature, that’s just nature and so be it. With a one in three chance of developing cancer in a western country I’d rate it as a minor concern. If I catch something because of some littering punk, some drunken arsehole who can’t put his emptys in a bin or so forth, then I’m a martyr to this disgusting and filthy society. We’ll forgoe the grandoise social statements, though, as that’s not what motivated me. Broken shoes did.

I’m 3 years in though and no problems yet, so either the odds are long, or people are way too paranoid about the dirt monster and what other people think.

(Footnote (HA!) : I’m well aware of tetnus, larvae migrans, etc. I watch where I’m going, so I’m not worried about punctures, though there are places I can’t go. Fortunately thanks to that article, I’m going to be looking into some of those Vibram 5 Fingers. All the goodness of not wearing shoes, without the thorns… I hate thorns.)

One Comment for “My feet. Kicking your arse (opinion).”

  1. Andrew Said this on

    superb post. When i was in NZ everyone walked about in jandals which made you walk slower (rush less?) or in bare feet, and it felt great.

    To do that in North Glasgow would require a quite substantial amount of bravery — both in terms of self harm (sharps / etc) and vanity!

    Maybe as a way to start i could wear jandals in the office and to the local shops, then change into shoes for the walk home :)

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>