Friday, August 09, 2013
At some point I started wearing shoes more and bare feet less. Seems it was around the time I got married about 33 years ago. Marriage apparently brought quite a few changes to my lifestyle. I would occasionally indulge in romping around the yard with no shoes, but for the most part, my barefootin days were over. Being the responsible adult took over. Responsible adults wear shoes.
So now it is 33 years later. I grew accustomed to shoes. I even had a couple of pair I really liked. Until they wore out. A few years ago I began to really hate shoes again. Not the rebellion driven hate I had as a child, but the damn things became painful to wear for more than a few hours at a time. My wife contended and still does that it is because I choose to wear bad footwear. Flip flops, sneakers, slip on shoes, blah, blah blah. More sensible and higher quality shoes she said would solve my problem.
I bought more sensible shoes of higher quality. Maybe there was some improvement, maybe there wasn't. Since I have the history of bare foot rebel in my blood, I was not willing to recognize any tangible improvement that justified the price increase for the "more sensible shoes". Shoes made my feet hurt and that was that. Throwing $100 at a pair was not going to change anything.
Earlier this year the time line between no pain and true discomfort seemed to shrink. Some pairs I owned I just could not wear any more. I tried not tying the laces so tight, essentially turning the sensible shoes into non-sensible slip on's. It was better, but I was still having issues after only a few hours with my dogs wrapped in leather and laces.
Must have been about the middle of April I began to go barefoot whenever I could. I drove to the bike shop barefoot. I worked barefoot. And at home I stayed barefoot when not doing yard work or walking Stub over at Mary's Park across the road.
The result has been dramatic. My feet have not felt this good in years. Yeah, I've dinged them up some by stepping on some odd wire from a brake cable, or a screw carelessly dropped on the bike shop floor. There is always something laying in wait for the fool who wears no shoes. But cuts heal, bruises go away, and besides, the ding is local, not foot wide. Should have done this years ago.
So this morning about 3:30 AM when I woke up and could not go back to sleep, I took a walk around my house and yard. We had had some rain and when I walked back into the garage I left wet footprints on the garage floor. I do not usually notice my footprints other than to acknowledge their existence. But it was dark-thirty in the morning and with nothing else to do, naturally I thought I might as well have a Kodak moment. The image at the top is the result.
As I had never really paid much attention to my footprints, I was struck by a couple of things. It looks like I only have 8 toes. The little piggies on both feet seem to have run all the way home and then past to some other home down the road. Yet when I look down, there they are still attached in their original locations. Guess they don't like getting wet is all.
I noticed my high arches were still high and had not fallen like so many that have walked the planet for 60 plus years. And I assume that is a good thing. I understand flat feet are no picnic.
I guess what I am taking away from this new found love affair with bare feet is that sensible shoes only make sense if they solve the problem. Orthopedic shoes and their less expensive Dr Scholl insoles are only useful if they make your feet feel better. I would say if your feet hurt and nothing else works, trying setting them free once in awhile.