previous entry :: next entry

the right to bare feet

This week is the best week of the year, as far as weather is concerned. It's all downhill from here! However, we enjoy it while we can, which means working in the garden and not wearing shoes. I always welcome the opportunity to kick off the shoes when I can, but this year it's not only about comfort: no, it's a statement about my deepest values, and an investment in my health too!

See, it turns out that shoes are bad for your feet—or at least someone at New York Magazine thinks so. Sounds good to me. The article I linked to there was posted on MetaFilter and Boing Boing, so I got to read a great deal of interesting commentary on it, both by crazy hippies who go barefoot all the time, and by suave urbanites who cannot imagine taking off their shoes, ever. They might step on a slug!

Really, that was the serious suggestion of one commentator. Also pointed out as potential hazards of the barefoot lifestyle were broken glass, fallen arches, dirt, callouses, HIV-infected needles, pavement, worms, "monkey-like feet", and putting podiatrists out of business. Folks also suggested that the co-evolution of our feet with our urban environment means that, while it was obviously acceptable for our ancient ancestors to go shoeless, it will no longer work out. The ground is just too hard now.

Another group of staunch anti-barefoots took the line that going without footwear marks the shoeless as "college-educated liberals with too much time on their hands." Since that pretty much describes me, I suppose I must do my part to uphold the stereotype and forgo shoes for the summer. After all, if the shoe fits...

previous entry :: next entry