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The Most Minimalist Shoes in Existence

I had a bit of a love affair with the Vibram Five Fingers. Todd got a pair right before we headed to Tokyo on Life Nomadic 2008, and I was jealous the whole time. Near the end of the trip Vibram graciously sent me a pair (intentionally delayed until after the running of the bulls, because they didn't want to be associated with that), and I wore them as my only shoes for a couple years afterwards.

I love how the Five Fingers feel, I love how they look, and I love supporting such an innovative company, BUT.... they smell terrible.

If you wear them as your primary shoes, you have to wash them every five to seven days or they smell really bad. When you live in an RV, this is difficult to do well, and when they're your only set of footwear, it's annoying to wait for them to dry. So I began searching for a replacement.

Dirt and Skin

On like an apple

Do you like to walk barefoot? I spent much of my childhood running barefoot around our farm. Not because I didn't have shoes,but because I preferred not to wear them. Also, we never wore shoes in the house. I guess because of the manure on our shoes.

I still don't wear shoes indoors, unless I have to. But I usually wear them outside. My feet have gotten less used to walking directly on the earth.

But when I do go barefoot, I swear, I feel a sort of charge in my feet. The textures and temperatures and curves and edges. Grass is the most wonderful, but even the roughness of concrete, the dust of dry dirt.

It feels great. I always find myself thinking that our feet were made to touch the earth we walk. Our skin yearns for sensation, and our feet are no exception.

I was thinking about this tonight as my youngest son, playing with toys he got for his birthday, got involved in moving muddy water from a deep puddle to a shallow one. In time he was stepping barefoot straight into the puddles. Watching him I could remember that cool, slick, gritty bottom of the puddles I loved to play in the same way in summer.

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