Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Forgive me Barefooters, for I have sinned..

(Not quite my actual boots; my boots are funkier, sexier, cooler, but regardless they turned on me!)

It has been months, maybe years since I last wore shoes with a heel. I have been good, I have ensured I have only trodden on the path of no heel-toe drop. Not one inch of increased height have I succumbed to...

Until, that is, last week. I am not sure how it happened. I looked at my flat, no heel winter boots. They were warm, waterproof, black, shiny; they were comfortable and a style I am always attracted to. However, despite the warmth and comfort, I realised they are boring. I no longer found excitement in them.

So as I wondered around the Mall; dazzled by the Christmas lights and blinded by decorations, I saw THEM. They were furry, they were funky, they weren't waterproof, they weren't sensible and they were seriously fun. They also had a heel height of about 2 inches. I was lulled. Two inches, I mean, what is two inches in this modern society? A society that forgives people who wear 6 inch heels that look knitting needles. A society that believes you are abnormal if you don't keep your feet in cotton wool and stuffing as you run a few miles. Cute and sexy sells - that is what we are brought up with... It's easy to see why I would be enticed...

I am a barefooter - A couple of inches should be nothing. My feet are strong! But for a few moments, I was weak in soul; I wasn't thinking and before I knew it, I had purchased them.

*Hang head in shame*

The thrill of wearing them was immense. I felt cute and sexy. I didn't feel like a freak who could only wear shoes that looked like they belonged to my grandmother. Okay, I looked like a 4 year old who was putting on her mother shoes. I tottered around, thinking I was the coolest thing since umm... lime green popsicals. I walked with a wiggle (admittedly it was more from a lack of balance). I couldn't run; everytime I tried I looked like a drunken duck. Heck, I could barely walk, but still they were new and shiny..

However, I have begun to learn my lesson. After a week, I have felt the pains that is associated when you go against your nature. I have felt the aches in my legs, the pains in my feet, the blisters on my toes. I carried on - the only person I was hurting was me.. no-one would know. No-one else would be suffer the bunions...

Today, though, I have come to realise, that I am not born to live this wonton life of heels. Over the last couple of days, I have felt the pain in my heel bones that I thought had heeled. The nagging fracture strains I developed the last time I accepted the lies and fables told by the shoe industry. Initially I tried to blame it on the change in the weather, but I can't deny it any longer. It's the shoes. My beloved new boots that promised sexiness have turned against me. They didn't love me, they just wanted to hurt me.

So fellow barefooters, please forgive me for my transgression. I have learnt my lesson; I have come to realise the errors in my ways. I have been brought back into the fold and adhere to the ways of the barefooter. No heel-toe drop, no thick soles, no funky heels.

I shall gladly pay my penance, please tell me what I can do to somehow repay the disappointment you must feel. My only condition; it doesn't involve anything to do with Barefoot Ken Bob Thongs. I am not sure, despite the severity of my faults, that I have the mental fortitude for that!


  1. I have been a barefoot/minimalist shoe runner for about a year now. In the summer I go barefoot unless I absolutely have to wear shoes (I even drive barefoot & keep a pair of flip flops in the car for stores that won't allow barefoot shoppers!). At work I have always worn high heels. This year when I went back to work (I'm a principal) and slipped on my heels, I COULD BARELY WALK IN THEM! I still wear heels a couple of days each week, but am gradually replacing them with flats. It amazes me how awkward it is to move around in heels. I used to feel confident and in charge with them. Now I feel like I'm going to slip and fall at any moment. Like you, I'm learning my lesson:)

  2. This is a great article and a funny way to confess your sins. I think it is great! Thanks for sharing : ) You know, I think because we barefooters are so cool, that we can let this slide! On a serious note, however, there have been quite a few studies on the affect of heels on legs and muscle tissue in the feet. Dr. Richards talks about it in the barefoot running book due out in a couple of months. Thanks for sharing your story and the barefoot gods will be keeping a close eye on you! Thanks!

  3. OK. Are you up for a challenge? Because I am. I dare you to find a pair of sexy, funky boots that don't have a heel. A minimal pair of ultra, sexy AND stylish boots that even a barefoot runner won't be ashamed to wear, if they even exist. Post what you find on your blog. I'll post what I find to my blog. I desperately need to find myself a pair of cute boots!

  4. Janice - same here. I hear lots of people saying you shouldn't/can't drive without shoes.. I haven't figured out why that's a problem! I spend all my time in battered converse trainers now.. hardly any sole, no heel - after going back to them for 2 days, all of the aches have disappeared, strange huh? :D

    Twinlance - Trust me I could feel the affects those heels were having on my feet/legs. After the first couple of days I was having to take painkillers because my legs were hurting so much. As I said I blamed the weather, but secretly I knew it wasn't that! :(

    Zapmamak DEAL! Although I think it's going to be a tough challenge. I think part of my problem is that the boots at the moment have a 1980's styling.. I have a rule regarding clothes/shoes. "If you can remember wearing the style the First time around, then you are too old to wear it the second time around!" As soon as I see a cool pair of boots I have flashbacks to being 18 all over again and I have to put them back! :)

  5. I've just started barefoot running but the experienced wasn't great. My feet hurt and I got blisters all over my sole. As an alternative, I tried barefoot shoes like Vibram Five Fingers and Zem. These shoes totally emulate the feeling of barefoot running. Health benefits and its protection are amazing. In fact, I read a story yesterday about an old man who had a deformed right foot and he benefited from this kind of shoes. He's really an inspiration to everyone. You can read his story here.

  6. I hear ya! I love the look of sexy boots and miss them.