Re: Shoe Porn, Swaddled In Science And Psychological Speculation

1

There was a SNL skit about option #2. Shoes that looked like bare feet.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:16 PM
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In which ogged rediscovers Earth Shoes and questions masculinity.

This seems like it might be one of those threads that you hope will be pure Unfogged gold, but then it fizzles.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:16 PM
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>blockquote>I wonder how many people try on (or would try on) these shoes and reject them because they feel, for lack of a better word, emasculating.

Many, many. Not that I clicked through to the links at this time. Yer funny.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:20 PM
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Oh, I guess I fucked up that html.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:21 PM
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Going barefoot loses a great deal of its charm when you try it at noon in the desert.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:22 PM
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The Nike Frees are quite comfortable. (I have the walking shoe version.)

I tried on a couple pairs of Earth shoes. I think their thing is the negative heel, right? I was disappointed; they seemed as though they'd be comfortable, but they managed to be too wide and too narrow simultaneously.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:26 PM
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A quick read suggests that the Earth shoes are operating on a different principle than the near-barefoot shoes.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:27 PM
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I should mention that isn't a knock on the Earth shoe, just how their product happened to fit my feet.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:29 PM
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I wore Clark pere's contribution to society all through junior high. I then switched to Topsiders, which are basically what the Clark fils has made. Of course, you know what I wear now.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:32 PM
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I spotted a pair of Nike Frees for the first time just yesterday; the guy wearing them was marveling over how light and flexible they were. We were talking about shoes only because he had been admiring my Blundstones, though, so his Nike praise wasn't an unqualified endorsement.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:35 PM
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I stride.
You plod.
Ogged minces.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:41 PM
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11: Karen lumbers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:45 PM
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I think of short, soft strides as the walking style of deadly Ninja assasins. And American Indian war parties in the woods. Not emasculating at all!

Conversely, long quick strides are a standard overcompensation technique of high school nerds, who want to remove themselves from crowds (and indeed, other people in general) as quickly as possible.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:49 PM
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12: Someday someone will leave behind that ... meme? the Karen lumbering thing. It is dated, very specific, and the name should not be tagged to those archival records.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:53 PM
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What is Karen lumbering about?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:53 PM
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Europeans love thin-soled, glove-like sneaks and shoes. I know, because I was in a program with them. Whether you think them French boys are nancy-pants mincing about reflects how American you are. Do you love your country? Are you a man? If so, you best stick to Vans and Converses and Air Jordans.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:54 PM
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As I have not read the article, I'm obligated to raise objections that may have already been raised. Does it compare full-barefootedness with, say, the wearing of thin footwear like moccasins? Just what is evolutionarily "natural" in this context? And since when does evolution "perfect" things?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:56 PM
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15: The Karen lumbering thing was from the Modern Love column written by the asshole young lady who couldn't stand her one-time roommate (named Karen) who was overweight in the UK, but who helped her through a sickness -- remember?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:59 PM
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Ever notice that people with flat feet who can't walk far manage to trek for miles when going somewhere they're interested in, but pull up short with much groaning when asked to walk along with you? Does this mean I could have just bought them pairs of Vivos and told them to can it? Please say yes.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 4:59 PM
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And since when does evolution "perfect" things?

Precisely. Advancements in tools and garments can be thought of as an extension of biological evolution by other means. Shoes, like other successful non-biological evolutions, are adaptive. That doesn't make them costless; just cost-benefit positive.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:01 PM
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17: It compares the shoes described in the article favorably with thin moccasins, and describes most of the problems with shoes not as 'evolution made our feet perfect' but 'shoes get in the way of all the muscles and bones in the foot doing what they're good at.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:02 PM
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I've read somewhere that the kind of walking style one adopts for long, relatively steady walking differs from the style of mall/shopping/museum-going walking in such a way that - assuming you are otherwise in shape for both types of walking - your feet are more likely to hurt at the end of a day of the latter type of walking. Something about the different kind of impact and the build-up of doing a lot of standing in between the walking.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:03 PM
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19: yes.

I can't walk far in heels, but I love a good 10 mile, 3 hour hike, be it through the streets of SF wandering from one bookstore to the next, or some snowy trail in Tahoe. This is why you must choose your travel/walking partners carefully.

Also, although I love beautiful, useless shoes, and am super short, I like to walk just as fast as my 6'0" walking partner. So if I suck it up, wear sneaks, and walk fast, I'd want some flat-footed friend to suck it up too.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:04 PM
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20: "Advancements" s/b "advances". I was also considering writing "developments", and somehow I split the difference in a nonsensical way.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:04 PM
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I was trying not to switch from "one" to "you" in mid-sentence. Oh well.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:04 PM
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Walking for miles thru very tall, snake-infested grass is kinda like stairstepping. Very good for my calves.

The Lady sometimes gives me her cast-off footwear. About to go grocery shopping in kitten & flower decorated flipflops. Will I look emasculated?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:10 PM
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Do we get a PA thread?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:12 PM
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19: also, why are flat feet such a problem? I had fallen arches and had to get arch correction surgery and have two steel pins connecting each of my big toes, and still, I walk. Lots.

I can't run super fast, or super long, but I think that has to do more with my impatience at cross-training.

Complaints about flat-footedness mask sloth, general lack of fitness, or lack of interest in the destination/path.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:13 PM
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I just can't imagine that FiveFingers shoe being comfortable, with those separate toe compartments. I can't even stand wearing those cutesy socks with the separated toes. I want to be able to feel my toes next to each other when I wiggle them.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:13 PM
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19: I have nearly flat feet, and while I can't speak for your friends, I suspect they might be better off barefoot than in some kinds of shoes with incorrect arch support. (I don't say 'too much' or 'too little' arch support, because I've found that it really friggin' depends on the shoes.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:14 PM
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29: My toes don't wiggle easily, and that shoe looks actively painful to me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:16 PM
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There's an old running shoes thread where text talks about the Nike Free, isn't there?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:17 PM
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30: Agreed. This was the problem when I had orthotics. They don't fit in every shoe the same!


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:18 PM
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32: yes.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:19 PM
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There's an old running shoes thread where text talks about the Nike Free, isn't there?

Yes.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:21 PM
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Fuckin' vivo page won't load for me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:21 PM
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28: Or the draft board.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:23 PM
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Oh, there we go.

I'll take one, please.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:24 PM
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I've read somewhere that the kind of walking style one adopts for long, relatively steady walking differs from the style of mall/shopping/museum-going walking

I believe that standing is way more tiring than walking. Standing is kind of miserable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:26 PM
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The Vivos sound nice, but how come the boys' shoes come in bright purty colors and with velcro fasteners, and the girls' colors are either drab plain sneakers or ugly clompy mary janes? No fair.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:28 PM
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I like these. They're like golf shoes, but more awesome.

Also, look at these benefits!: "Vivo Barefoot footwear has plenty of health benefits for it's users;
Good for Posture;
Strengthens Feet;
Extremely Flexible;
Increases your sex Drive;
FACTS: Normal Shoes tilt your body unnaturally forcing all 650 muscles and 250 ligaments to strain but VIVO Barefoot has a uniquely thin, kevlar protected sole allowing your feet to walk naturally whilst strengthening the muscles of your feet."


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:30 PM
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This article makes me feel happily self-righteous for playing soccer in cleats.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:32 PM
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Don't Birkenstocks also claim to strengthen your feet?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:35 PM
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43: I believe so.

Hey, on that UK site I linked to (because the Vivo site wasn't loading for me for some reason), their advert for women's shoes doesn't have the same "increases your sex drive" puffery. I protest the gender disparity!


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:38 PM
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Do they have a shoe for people who feel that their sex drive is about right for their purposes already?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:45 PM
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40: I guess these shoes appeal to homosexuals of both genders.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:46 PM
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If you're having trouble with ogged's link to the vivo site, use this link and then click on vivo barefoot at the top.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 5:49 PM
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22,39: One more reason to avoid museums.

I wear MBT's walking to and from work every day. They're really ugly, cost a fortune, and make a jerky subway ride somewhat hazardous. But they feel great for long walks on concrete and help noticably with pain from an old leg injury.

I have a pair of Nike Free 3.0's which feel really great although my preference for wearing them without socks requires that they be washed with some frequency, which they are clearly not built to survive. Also, they only come in one width, so those of us with freaky wide flipper feet have to make some concessions.

Aside from those, winter boots, and running shoes, I've worn nothing but Birkenstocks for the last 15 years and would be happy to stick with them. But I am seriously intrigued by these Vivos, gotta find someplace I can try them on.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:15 PM
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I wear MBT's walking to and from work every day.

My brain always wants to expand that TLA to "main battle tank". Who knew cerebrocrat was a mecha-warrior?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:28 PM
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I love love love my clogs, but DAMN---I think they might be giving me bunions. Ten years of ballet and it's the hippie shoes that fuck up my feet? I need to switch back to my all-akido-shoes-and-saltwater-sandals footwear habit (which I developed by dating a very short Frenchman)...


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:40 PM
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the shoes with fingers i don't want, others look nice
got two new words, not very useful, i guess, from the post, nice


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:41 PM
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This was the problem when I had orthotics. They don't fit in every shoe the same!

I found that my problem wasn't fitting orthotics or inserts in the shoes, just that my feet really really really really like themselves the way they are and really really really hate measures designed to force them to have a sturdy arch. So if I were to go and try to get a shoe "with good arch support" for walking or hiking or something, my feet would bitch.

50: The only good thing about having a bunion is that if shoes don't fit, you know within seconds of trying them on because they put up a protest. Highly recommend not developing bunions.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 6:48 PM
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I think they might be giving me bunions. Ten years of ballet and it's the hippie shoes that fuck up my feet?

You have to mix and match your footwear; you just do. Over various seasons, over years. Else, yes, you will develop callouses where you never had them, and so on. So I've found. The more recourse to barefootedness, the better.

It's a little difficult to find moccasins these days, isn't it? I still have two pair, but I find I don't wear them much. They're dreadfully unfashionable for daytime! and to be completely honest, a little tough if you're trying to walk through the woods. It wouldn't be a bad idea to make this a mission.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:18 PM
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got two new words, not very useful, i guess, from the post, nice

My guess: "swaddled", "gait", "emasculating"

2 of those 3


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:24 PM
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Do they have a version of the toe shoes for people who have freaky small pinky toes?


Posted by: Zippy the Comment Frog | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:31 PM
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I used to be near-fanatical about being barefoot, and it was primarily because I enjoyed the gait that accompanied it - almost tiptoe. But I married a woman who was raised as a houseshoe-wearer, and so I've developed uses for winter and summer slippers. I miss stepping lightly, though.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:32 PM
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I look forward to looking, later, with viable connectivity, at the links to shoes described as something one doesn't have the insouciance to wear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:34 PM
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The Vivos look nice - I know AB would love to see me in them - but I just can't see spending that much on a non-all-purpose shoe.

Blundstones, OTOH, are more than worth it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:34 PM
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Oh, and I used to love wearing Nike waffle racers (Air Zoom), which I started doing when I ran track. I finally had to throw away my final pair last summer, and I can't afford to replace. But talk about barefoot-like shoes.

Hmm. I see that they're cheaper than they used to be.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:40 PM
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the gait that accompanied it - almost tiptoe

I thought that was just me. The almost tiptoe when barefoot. Really. I thought there was something wrong. Like people looked at me funny. I think I've taught myself not to do it most of the time. Really? I thought it was wrong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:43 PM
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But talk about barefoot-like shoes.

Yeah, my Nike track cleats were like slippers with talons. I still have them; they turned out to be the perfect footwear for doing the tear-down on my roof.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 7:50 PM
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I have a photo of me and my first sister, aged about 22 months and 5 months respectively, and we're both wearing sturdy white leather boots (with little jingle bells in the laces, which my mother always put in our shoes to help her keep track of us). My 5-month old sister couldn't yet walk, of course. But the medical advice back then (and probably until the day before yesterday) was to put your baby in sturdy shoes as soon as possible to help her feet develop properly. There was a real fear that not wearing "proper shoes" from an early age would lead to various and sundry foot problems in later life. Also, for my parents at least, and probably for many of their background/generation, going barefoot had very different connotations than that of the freedom to be footloose and fancy-free. It signified poverty; and if you allowed your baby to be photographed in bare feet, people might think you couldn't afford to buy her a pair of decent shoes.

Nowadays, parents are advised to let their babies and toddlers go barefoot as much as possible. About which advice both my mother and my MIL are very sceptical.

I basically buy the notion that shoes do bad things to our feet. It's not very realistic to go barefoot, however, what with hot sand and cold snow and "no shirt, no shoes, no service" expectations.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:25 PM
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insouciance, emasculating i actually looked up in the webster
gait, swaddled i should know, if i know toes and fingers ;)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 8:32 PM
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wonder how many people try on (or would try on) these shoes and reject them because they feel, for lack of a better word, emasculating.

No one who isn't completely paranoid about his threatened masculinity.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:23 PM
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I will again offer a plug for my Kung Fu shoes, which are wonderfully comfortable, and also say "don't fuck with me" in Chinese on the tongue.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:24 PM
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No one who isn't completely paranoid about his threatened masculinity.

So, like, most American males then.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:41 PM
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All I know is that my own precious child refuses to buy shoes that look "too GRRR BOY!" and hates clunky shoes, by which he means thick-soled tennis shoes. Mostly he wears Converse and Vans, pace Belle Lettre's implication upthread that those brands are thick and clunky.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:45 PM
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Also, for my parents at least, and probably for many of their background/generation, going barefoot had very different connotations than that of the freedom to be footloose and fancy-free.

My dad & mom are this way, too. I still have a hard time going barefoot in my own apartment because my dad was a stickler for shoes on at all times not asleep. (I at least have indoor shoes and outdoor shoes now.) I also had the white leather shoes with the jingle bells.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:47 PM
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67: he hell of wants some Pine Trees.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-22-08 9:47 PM
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re: 64

I wondered about that. When buying shoes, wondering whether it would 'emasculate' me isn't on the list of things that would go through my head.

I like thin-soled trainers. My everyday shoes tend that way, and I'm not a heavy heel-striker when walking. I'd be surprised if I walked that much differently when barefoot. I'm not a noisy or clumpy walker at all. I'm struck by how noisy some people are: they just thud across the floor sending waves of vibration whereas I'm much more the 'pad quietly about' type.

I run really quite badly, though. Landing heavily on the heel -- hence shin splints. Two completely different gaits.* I think that's where something like P.O.S.E. might be useful (for me).

* jogging versus walking, anyway. Sprinting is different.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 12:09 AM
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Oh, I love the look of those Fivefingers shoes! Might have to get some. Annoying that they're so much more expensive over here though.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 1:19 AM
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I thought that was just me. The almost tiptoe when barefoot.

i do it, too. though as i grow older, i find myself on my heels more and more.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 7:35 AM
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as i grow older, i find myself on my heels more and more.

As I grow older, I find myself on my couch more and more.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 7:50 AM
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wondering whether it would 'emasculate' me isn't on the list of things that would go through my head

I don't think it would go through the head even of the people who would reject them for that reason, I just wonder if they would feel "awkward" in them where "awkward" means that they can no longer send out waves of vibration when they walk.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 7:52 AM
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I grew up in a shoes-in-the-house family, but for the past eight years I've lived in rickety apartment buildings with wooden floors, which means I've embraced shoelessness in the house and a light stride. Having downstairs neighbors is probably the most important influence on whether one clumps when walking.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 7:59 AM
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Only if you're considerate, JM. Shod-while-home seems so strange to me and my Iranian sensibility. I can't wait to get my shoes and socks off when I get home. Free your feet!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 8:44 AM
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persian carpets make our home a shoeless abode.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 8:45 AM
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None of my upstairs neighbors in the last two places I've lived have been considerate. At least in this apartment I don't have to hear their conversations too.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 8:49 AM
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76: How do you wash your socks, then? Do you put them back on before you get in the shower?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 8:49 AM
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How do you wash your socks, then? Do you put them back on before you get in the shower?

that made me laugh out loud.

I better get back to work.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 8:51 AM
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One of the best things about wearing kung fu shoes all the time was being able to walk silently.

Sneaking up on people by accident: fun!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 8:51 AM
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I can't wait to get my shoes and socks off when I get home.

As soon as I sit down in my cube at work, I take off my shoes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:00 AM
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82: You can imagine how nice that is for me.


Posted by: apo's cube neighbor | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 9:25 AM
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I can't wait to get my shoes and socks off when I get home. Free your feet!

Ogged is more of a hippie than he knows.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-23-08 10:09 AM
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Did anyone buy the Vivos?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:44 PM
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I wanted someone to buy me the vivos, but I don't think it's going to happen.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 5:46 PM
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It might, if you tell everyone that you have cancer.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:07 PM
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The Ogged is no longer at the end of the list. It's an accepted part of the vernacular now.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-27-08 6:12 PM
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