Nearly Barefoot All the Time · 28 June 2013

I got a couple new pairs of shoes as graduation presents for my feet. They will help my feet be nearly barefoot all the time now.

I was amazed that my feet have changed to now require no support for my feet to feel normal. And I was amazed that it took almost a year for them to feel that way.

When I first started this journey toward health, I did not get the Vibram FiveFingers shoes. I was ready for a change, but I was not quite prepared to get “toe shoes.” Part of the reason is because I did not think they would fit my funky toes, but the other reason was because I thought they looked funny. I did not realize how comfortable they would be and how my unusually short toes actually help the shoes fit my feet like gloves. But like I said before, I am not sure my feet were ready for them last August when I started running with minimalist shoes. After all, it took more than a nine-month training course for them to stop needing any arch support.

That nine months is why I think time is the main reason people think minimalist shoes are not for everybody. They think that just because their feet feel different in minimalist shoes that means the shoes are not right. They think that normal is abnormal. That feet were made for shoes and not the other way around.

In reality, not many people really need shoes except for warmth. Our feet are amazingly adaptable and strong. And they were designed to work without shoes. Unfortunately, we have been shoving our feet into shoes and trying to protect them when they just want to be free. They just want to be strong. They just want to be naked.

Unfortunately, our feet cannot just go around naked. So as much as I am like my FiveFingers, I also needed a pair of shoes that are more “normal” looking.

I did not really need the normal look. After all, I had already spent almost a year wondering, then finally deciding I was ready to step out and wear toe shoes. However, my wife was not quite ready. She was the one who said I need shoes that do not have individual toes. She was the one who said I needed shoes that look normal.

For my part, I was happy to get a pair of Vivobarefoot running shoes (The One Running Shoe). After all, they feel just like my casual shoes made by the same company (the model is called RA, for anybody who is looking). I love it that in both sets of shoes there is merely a thin layer of material between my feet and the ground. That my feet can feel what they are doing. That I can be nearly barefoot all the time now. So I was happy to grant my wife’s wish to get another pair of shoes that made my feet feel good.

Looking back, it is funny thinking that my feet had to take a nine-month course to get strong enough to be natural. But to celebrate their graduation I got them a couple pairs of shoes that help them feel naked all the time.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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