five_finger_shoes_in_actionWell, I got some. I recall blogging about seeing these some time back, and am impressed with them now that I’ve been trying them out for a week. Let me say however a couple of things. I’m not going to spout all the stuff being said about how this is all so much more “natural” than shoes, and so on and so forth. There’s a lot of that being said and I find myself generally deeply suspicious of the way the word “natural” is used to sell products, especially to a certain type of crowd who falls for this stuff. What does “natural” even mean, anyway?

I like these because they are like being barefoot without the pain and discomfort that often comes with it (stubbing toes, icky or sharp things underfoot, etc). I do not think these “five-finger” shoes (as they are called) will replace shoes for me in most circumstances. Apparently people are running in them, hiking, even mountain climbing. Good for them. I want much more support on my feet when I’m doing those things and that is why shoes were invented. Marvellous invention, shoes. Not clear to me shoes are any less “natural” than these are. They’re just different. Like cycling is not “natural”, but is a rather splendid thing humans came up with that I see nothing wrong with on the “natural” vs “non-natural” front.

See also shirts, pants, skirts, etc. Same thing.

But, in short – these are great. I was told by the fellow in the shop that they are becoming hugely popular now, although I am not sure I believe that since I’ve only ever seen one person out there wearing them, and that was a while back. (It is in shoe-sellers’ interest to make these claims.) I got them because I’ve a bit of a heel pain (from a bit of running I did on concrete – bad idea for me) that is mostly manifest when walking barefoot at home, and (since in this society it is important for a single guy to be well-heeled*) I want to it have a chance to heal. I’d been wearing thick socks with gel implants stuck in, with some (fiddly) success, and then I thought I’d go out and get some new house slippers. I remembered these while out there and so came back with a pair. Fancy house slippers, sure, but also great for the beach, and around the house and garden generally. (Their smooth bases wipe clean on returning indoors, which is just great.) Also excellent for climbing trees, as I discovered yesterday while doing fig tree maintenance. I have found myself out at the shops in them a couple of times, but I think in the main they will remain a home shoe. And an excellent home shoe at that.


* 🙂 I could not resist this pun. Sorry.

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