Going Barefoot

Kids have it right because they haven’t enough civilization and experience to do what isn’t natural.  Let’s face it, we are animals, in the species timescale just a blink away from striding the plains and bashing each other with clubs.  In many ways we’re still doing that.  And during our very brief time living as what we consider “higher beings” shoes are only a recent invention.  While there any many adaptive inventions to aid in human biology and musculature, any scientists can tell you the body is wonderfully complex and well-designed, from the skull right down to the foot.  Our feet were made for walkin’, to paraphrase Nancy Sinatra.  The ability to grip, pivot, squat, leap, sprint, and climb are all thanks to our wonderful feet.  We can climb up rocks by tilting our ankles and gripping with our toes.  When we run in bare feet our feet and calves are natural shock absorbers, a benefit severely hampered by running in cushy running shoes and coming down hard on our heels (a weakness of mine).  With your sole you can caress a loved one’s leg, grass can splay between your toes, and cool water running over your feet on a hot day is a spiritual sensation.  We don’t wear gloves to type or play the guitar or stroke a baby’s face so why do we need shoes?  Oh, right, “society” doesn’t like seeing dirty feet.  “The man” thinks seeing skin is some kind of sin.  Well let’s FIGHT BACK!

Actually, I like wearing shoes.  For a man I’m kind of a shoe hound, or would be if I had a bigger budget.  I think shoes are the punctuation mark on the sentence of your outfit.  The right shoes can almost save a sloppy get-up.  But my daughter doesn’t want to wear shoes any more than necessary, which is apparently about two hours a week.  My son appreciates the joy of barefoot in equal measure with the ecstasy of wearing his LED-flashing Lightning McQueen sneakers, which eclipsed the Elmo sneakers as the NUMERO UNO preferred footwear for every activity including sitting at the dinner table, taking a bath, and going to bed.  But on some occasions there’s nothing better than bare feet on the playground.

Number Two on swing

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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