Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Something I have noticed recently

People of Portland:

It has come to my attention that some of you like to walk around this time of year sans shoes. You will be dressed in a nondescript manner for the most part, 'cept for this tiny detail. Has there been some sort of weird winter uprising against shoes? What's wrong with shoes???

Can you explain this one to me?

Because frankly, I don't understand what you are doing, why, or where you might be going. I can't think of a public place that would find this acceptable indoors, and yet, you flout the laws of decency, sanity, normalcy, and other things that would make me less worried, just so you can pull your weird little stunt.

See? Shoes. They are a good thing.

Think. Yes. Please do that, because shoes are useful things; especially in an urban setting, where some gross drunk homeless dude with hepatitis C may have puked all over the sidewalk. This is something that sort of becomes less noticeable when it rains, which, oddly enough, is when I see you out there barefoot. But the puke. Just because it's dilute, or not really detectable, could still be there, and basically all spread out, because yeah... rain does that to things.

Or what about broken glass? That's pretty common in the city. It happens a lot, and usually about a block before you find the puke, because that same dude was done with his Bottle'O'Icehouse, didn't know what to do with it... making use of his ability to throw things on the ground. Then, a block later, he makes use of his ability to do... other things. You get the picture.

I know, I know. Gross. But hey, common sense usually trumps gross. I'm glad I have it.

What is the motivation here? Are you trying to look tough? If that's all it is, why not just pick up a metal-spiked bangle bracelet, or collar? Good lord, you can get those at the mall, at that damn Hot Topic store. I think they even have them for fat girls at Torrid. I've heard a lot of people find individuals who wear them somewhat severe, surly, and intimidating. That must be what you're going for, at least a little bit, right?

Get a tattoo. Get a piercing. Dye your hair turquoise. Be normal.

But please. Wear shoes. Don't be a moron.



  1. Oh, my dear Hedy, you need a little enlightenment about barefooting! I confess I was in your camp until three years ago, when the wise and wonderful Emily Troper posted something about her kids being barefoot in a supermarket. I began to do my own research and shared some of it with my daughter, who immediately stopped wearing shoes altogether. That was about three years ago. She was, at the time, a competitive rhythmic gymnast (dancer) and ballerina. Within a couple of months, she had gone from having foot and leg injuries at least once a week, to having almost none. She has had only two minor foot injuries since she began barefooting!

    Additionally, her often rocky and troublesome behavior (think ASD) improved vastly. She is calmer, more communicative, happier, and less nervous about people. She has fewer rages. In fact, most of the problems she does have in that regard happen after she's had to wear shoes for some reason.

    Did you know that the incidence of puncture wounds in barefooters is approximately equal to the incidence of puncture wounds in shoed people, but that the incidence of osteomyelitis (bone infection)from those wounds is almost nonexistent in the barefooters while somewhere about 50% to 75% in the shoed people?

    Did you know that barefoot runners experience only a fraction of the foot and leg injuries suffered by people in "proper running shoes"?

    Did you know that most people's feet are cleaner than most people's hands? (I try NEVER to touch doorhandles in public. Or money.) Most people, wearing shoes or not, do try to avoid stepping in icky stuff.

    Check out - there's a huge movement of people, including some very conservative types, who have ditched shoes. You'll be so surprised!

  2. Yeah, I figured it was probably something like this, although personally I find it way too cold, and scary to ever do it.

  3. My feet get too cold to be barefoot myself, but I have stopped wearing anything that keeps my toes from moving around. Constricted toes are probably the leading cause of flat feet and fallen arches and all the postural and circulation problems that go with all that.

    Plus I am old enough now that I can get away with wearing what amounts to bedroom slippers in public! And anyway, lots of what is being sold for slippers now are cuter than what are being sold for shoes.

  4. I refuse to wear ill-fitting shoes, for sure. I have several pairs of wooden clogs, because those seem to be the best fit for me. One pair is 17 years old now, and I still wear them sometimes. I love that about that particular type of shoe. The bottom sole may wear out, but can be replaced. The insole essentially never changes, and if they fit correctly, they are truly wonderful shoes.

    I think they may have been what has saved me from having any foot problems. I have great feet, no pain, and I can go barefoot when I want to without pain.

    Todd, on the other hand, has a difficult time with his feet. Plantar's Faciitis, joint problems, fallen arches, etc. I've been trying for years to get him to try wooden clogs, but he hasn't as of yet.

    I may just have good genes. Not sure, but my feet are pretty happy most of the time. I do my best to take very good care of them.

  5. I think that is why people wear these very bizarre shoes:

    B-day gift for Todd? Maybe not as dorky as wooden clogs on a dude?