I’m used to being looked at as I walk down the street – I know I’m stunningly gorgeous. Well in the summertime, I can’t decide if it’s my rugged good looks that are drawing the eyes or the fact that I’m wearing these:
These are Vibram’s Five Fingers. This particular model is the KSO (for Keep Stuff Out – clever, no??). They are actual shoes designed to replicate as closely as possible the feeling of barefoot walking. There are four different models, each one slightly different, but all of them are incredibly thin and incredibly mobile. You actually CAN wiggle your toes in these things. They are also very comfortable. In the summer, I pretty much wear these all the time. They are perfect for all manner of different outdoor activities, though they do get a bit hot if you don’t wear socks. But pair these with a set of toe socks and you’re good to go. (BTW, I highly recommend toe socks – I’ve started wearing those all the time now as well because they are infinitely more breathable than regular socks. I’ve noticed a significant difference in comfort when wearing my toe socks in dress shoes.)
One big disclaimer – just as you wouldn’t want to walk barefoot in gravel, these things will not insulate your feet from the effects of gravel or pebble pathways. I took a walk once on a trail that was primarily small uneven stones and gravel and by the end of the walk I wanted to rip my hips out of their joints.
For those of you who are dubious, the benefits of barefoot walking/running have been covered by the New York Times and researched by Stanford University. No matter how much we deny it, we are the product of a bunch of apes who spent their lives walking/running around barefoot for most of our evolution. Why fight nature, baby?