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There were never any "good old days" — they are today, they are tomorrow
"women" is not a sport, dammit 
19th-Sep-2008 02:22 pm
owl-don't make me kill you
I'm in the market for some new shoes and would like to find a pair of what seem to be referred to as "minimal" or sometimes "barefoot" shoes — a thin, flexible, uncushioned sole and a non-confining upper are the two most important characteristics at the moment.

Why minimal shoes? Partly because of things I've read, like the New York Magazine article You Walk Wrong, Barefoot Ted's website, Running Barefoot, an article You Walk Wrong and Your Shoes Are to Blame that expands on the New York article, and others.

And partly because of personal experience. I have high arches ("No," said the woman at the orthotics shop, "you have extremely high arches") and have been dealing with sore feet and foot discomfort for as long as I can remember. I tried all the usual recommendations — "wear sturdy shoes that cradle the foot and provide ankle support", or "try athletic shoes with lots of cushioning" — no good. I went so far as to drop $250 (not covered by insurance) on a pair of orthotics, which seemed to help for a while.

Since my foot injury, I've been paying verrrry close attention to my feet (and the legs they're attached to) and how they feel. To my great surprise, the most comfortable my feet have been were while I was wearing a pair of ballet slippers.

Not ballet-slipper-styled street shoes, ballet slippers. No sole, no support, no cushion ballet slippers. Of course, since they were never intended to be worn outside a dance studio and have no soles, they wore through very quickly. But that was enough to show me that for everyday walking around, my feet are happier with minimal or no shoes, rather than cushy supportive ones.

I've been wearing ballet flats for the most part lately, but they're not quite as practical as I'd like. Pirate goes monkeying off up a tree and I'm left standing on the ground looking at it, knowing that there's no way I can climb it and still keep my shoes on my feet. (And thinking "Dammit, I'm the one who grew up climbing trees and scrambling over boulders, not Mr. Rockaway Beach up there.")

Puma seem to have some interesting shoes, based on what I see my fellow Bay Areans walking around in. Cool — I think I'll check the website to see what their selection of women's shoes look like.

Okay, the website sucks. Flash-based, auto-playing music (as I lunge for the mouse to click "OFF OFF OFF DAMMIT TURN THAT MUSIC OFF"), way too arty... ugh. Well, if I can find the shoes, it should be fine. Okay, so where's the link to shoes? Hmmm... over here on the left, what's this menu?

Oh, FFS.

Screw it, I'm going over to Zappo's.
19th-Sep-2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
What about these?
19th-Sep-2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... those look like they're a bit better-made than the cheapo ones we can get in Chinatown. And being able to replace a pair for less than $20 is a nice idea...
19th-Sep-2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
that website IS horribly annoying, the idiocy of placing women in that category notwithstanding...

I do remember seeing some shoes somewhere, rubber bottom, but very minimilist.. where the heck..

Been going barefoot around here lots, tho, it HAS earned me fire ant bites.
At this point, the only shoes I can wear for a comfortable amount of time are the Keens.
like this
I got a pair in the discount shoe section, the sandle's somewhat like those pictured. Went back 4 years later, found another pair just like. Went back last year, but... now they all don't feel right. Tried on every style. Too tight across the top of the foot. Not sure where I am going to go after these wear, but, I have three years to decide, since the last pair lasted for 4...
Below are a couple I am considering...
21st-Sep-2008 03:39 am (UTC)
The Vibram Five Fingers are definitely intriguing. There's a kayaking store down by Jack London Square that carries them (according to their website), and the monkey and I have been meaning to get over there and try a pair for a while now.
19th-Sep-2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
Not inexpensive, but if you're serious about feeling barefoot you might look into:

I tried a pair on and they were quite comfortable- I just couldn't justify the expense. If I were a rock climber I'd probably do it
21st-Sep-2008 03:41 am (UTC)
I'd love to try on a pair. But I think I'd have to get the black-on-black version — they're anything but sleek or sophisticated-looking. *grin*
24th-Sep-2008 12:33 am (UTC)
that's entirely true- and I think that's part of why I prefer to think of them in the woods/rocks :)
20th-Sep-2008 03:36 am (UTC)
Please keep my boyfriend away from zappos.
21st-Sep-2008 03:42 am (UTC)
Oh, dood... I thought he already knew about Zappo's. Does he not know about Zappo's?

I'm sorry, my bad. ;-)
20th-Sep-2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
Whoa, that truly is a horrible web site. (then again, all purely Flash ones are) "Learn more about Puma Women"?

"Yo, bro, what sports do you play?"
"A little tennis, but mostly women."

21st-Sep-2008 03:43 am (UTC)
Yes, and yes. Argh.
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