After two pairs of Feelmax shoes worn to shreds in four weeks of walking on pavements (which, I know, they told me not to do, but what use is a shoe I cannot walk on a pavement with?) I figured that if the aim is to “simulate going barefeet” I might as well go barefeet instead of buying an expensive pair of shoes every couple of months. So I have started to. So far, looks like moving to thin-soles and then to no shoes is one of the best shoe-decisions I’ve done in my life.
It does make me self-conscious like hell, though — especially when it is not that terribly hot and I am not in beach-compatible wear otherwise. And it gets me looks. And questions. “Hey! You are not wearing any shoes!” Thanks, genius. Do I give such a harebrained impression that it is actually likely I simply forgot to put shoes on this morning, and have not noticed since?
Here’s a little Q&A.
Why are you not wearing any shoes?
Why should I be wearing any?
Don’t your feet get cold?
When I am outside and walking, no. Finland is not actually the warmest of the countries of Western civilization, but it is still well above freezing here in July. So far, the coldest I have walked without shoes in has been 12 degrees C, and that was quite ok still. My feet do get cold when I sit still for long times, which I of course do every day at work. I wear socks then.
Don’t your feet get wet when it rains?
Yes, they do (genius). It feels nice. Wet socks and shoes is what makes wet feet feel unpleasant, not the water itself.
Don’t you get splinters and stuff in your feet?
So far, no, I don’t.
Doesn’t it hurt?
It does, some. But you get used to most of it pretty fast — two weeks ago walking on rough pavement was immediately distinctly uncomfortable, now it starts to be after 2 kilometers or so. Walking on the rubble outside our house used to be painful to the verge of impossible, now it is uncomfortable but doable. Worst spot so far is the metal stairs up to the swords salle. I got through unwounded. Whenever I can, I walk on smooth sand or grass, though today not so much to avoid pain, but simply because it feels nice. On some surfaces — rough sand, say — it does not exactly hurt, but I have to walk slower than with shoes on to be comfortable. I do not consider this a problem. (If I go with people who might consider slower speed a problem, I wear shoes.)
Don’t your feet get tired?
They do. I consider that exercise. We laugh at those quaint ideas that all women need to wear corsets because otherwise they get back pains and other horrible consequences because on their own, their backs are too weak to support them. Yet we accept without a blink the idea that everyone needs to wear shoes, because otherwise the arches of their feet collapse and they get all sorts of pains. Don’t know about you, but that sounds seriously fucked-up reasoning to me.
Don’t your feet get dirty?
I can wash them.
But what about winter?
Not wearing shoes now does in no way force me to walk without shoes in the snow. (Genius.) For to get me closer to snowy times without reverting to thick-soles, I’m still thinking giving a go to the Feelmax new model (Niesa or so), which supposedly has a tougher sole. I also have vague plans of making moccasins out of thin neoprene or something with maybe some sort of a rubber for a sole (I know how to make moccasins out of cloth or leather, so it is a material question rather than knowing how).
But what about parties and other formal occasions?
I did not throw my good shoes away simply because I do not want to use shoes every day, either.