Shoes are perverse. They cut us off from the world, stifle our feet, and deplete natural resources. Here are three evils of shoes:
Did you know that wearing shoes causes the muscles in your feet to atrophy? Arch support weakens your arch causing abnormal muscle loss. Overly tight shoes or oddly shaped shoes such as high heals cripple your foot by forcing it to conform to an unnatural and potential harmful position. Stilettos aren’t much different from Japanese foot binding.
Over Exposure to Germs
Chronic Shoe Wearing can lead to fungal growth and bacterial infections. Shoes super heat your feet causing them to sweat. Worst of all, the material that causes the excessive heat also retains it and the moisture it creates. This over exposure to wetness can lead to foot fungus and other foot problems.
Shoes are wasteful. Most shoe manufactures use rubber and other petroleum based products to make shoes. Since shoes are not usually recycled and since they tend to wear out fast or are used as fashion statements, they are discarded into our dumps where they will take centuries to decompose.
You don’t have to be a crazy barefoot runner to save your feet from the trauma of shoes. Just let them out of the trap for a while. Take a barefoot walk around the block. Even just walking barefoot around your house can help. You might also repair or re-purpose your shoes when they show signs of wear rather than just tossing them in the trash.
I am convinced that barefoot walking or running gets you high. Not only because everyone who sees you calls you crazy and thinks you’re stoned even though you’re not, but also because it forces you to slow down, to become conscious of your much ignored feet, and to feel the many various textures of the earth. Shoes numb us from the sensations of our planet. We sever ourselves from the earth. Exposing your feet to ground awakens nerves and sparks sensations all over your body. No wonder it ignites creative thoughts.
Even rain-wet concrete can be exhilarating. Sharp gravel keeps you in the moment–forcing mindful steps. Your brain quiets down when it’s trying to avoid pain. The worries and stress of the day float away. Your concern is to step forward safely. Sometimes you avoid the sharp rocks or maybe they avoid you.
But don’t take my word for. Take off your shoes and step outside. A world of experience awaits.
(Photo Courtesy of M. Smith)
The wind told me not run outside in the snow. It said it would help the snow with frostbite. Sometimes the wind and snow collude. They’re like sheriff’s in the old west who come together, realize they have power and decide to rob a bank instead of protect it.
Also, the wind can kill the moisture of your skin, giving you a chapped ugly face. One time my face got so chapped that it swelled up. I had black, well red puffy eyes, that were almost swollen completely shut from the inflammation. I looked like a dirty marshmallow monster.
To make things worse, I had a job interview. I manned up and went to interview, swollen face and all. I was able to talk my way into getting the job, but my boss turned out to be crazier than me, which is quite a feat. She fired me, re-hired me, then I just quit because I wasn’t making any money with her.
Maybe the wind filled her head with empty air. The wind is like that, very fickle, very unpredictable, but you have to love her. She lifts tons of steel, full of human zoo animals, and jets them across continents. You must respect the wind. Sometimes, she respects you back, whispering her warnings, plots, or stock tips. Just listen.
Run hard, run long, run bare. Be safe people in Internet Land. Know that I love you.
One of the many joys in life is walking barefoot on wet grass. It’s like a foot massage from the hot Goddess Universe. But running barefoot on grass is packed with danger.
Many drunken teenagers, careless hicks, and serial polluters turn dreamy lawns into a runner’s nightmare. Camouflaged shards of glass, rusted nails, snapped screws, and wet feces of all kinds lurk between the gentle green blades of seductive lawns. If you know you are in a remote area, then running on the grass can be great, but in most cities, it must be done with great caution and should NOT be done completely bare.
Last week I almost stepped on a razor sharp shard from a green “rolling rock” beer bottle. It was embedded in a park lawn like those evil tire spikes at drive-in movies. If I had been running, I most definitely would have sliced my foot wide open. Those kinds of deep tissue injuries can become serious fast, especially when they attack your precious feet. Walking home with such an injury can easily lead to infection.
Beware the tempting green goddess, she can change into a bleeding red devil in a moment. For lawn running, it’s best to wear minimalist shoes. They offer much better protection against such dangers.
The road takes much abuse. Cars scar its tough skin. They scrape and mar it. This agitates the surface. No wonder some streets chew up your feet. Sometimes, you can talk to the road. You can tell it you mean it no harm. You might say, “Oh mighty road, thanks for transporting me from place to place. I do my best to keep you safe from my fenders and steel. Please do be too hard on my feet.” When I do this, the road responds. It will alert me of rough patches, steer me from rocks, nails, and glass. It may seem a little crazy, but sometimes crazy works.