Saturday, April 11, 2009

OT: Shoes... who needs them?

I think most men get by on three pairs of shoes. We have the pair that we wear to work, the pair we wear to casual occasions and the pair that we wear everywhere else. Two years ago I replaced my work shoes with a pair of steel-capped black work boots which I keep finely polished. They are comfortable, will last forever and, at the ripe old age of fifty, I don't feel the need to make a fashion statement. When the subject of these boots ever comes up (only by me mentioning them - no-one ever notices them), most women look baffled and most men say "What a great idea! I'll do the same when my current work shoes die!"

This post is about my 'everywhere else' pair of shoes who died completely a couple of weeks ago. Now while I'm quite comfortable in my work boots I don't wear them around the house owing to the overwhelming sound effects when I walk on polished floorboards, and since I had misplaced my casual shoes, I was getting by at home with bare feet or sometimes with socks on cold nights.

My Road to Damascus moment came with an urgent trip to the hardware store. Since I had been working down the back yard in bare feet I just hopped in the car 'sans sabots ' and mentally prepared myself for the outraged stares of the sartorially sensitive members of the community. While standing at the Hardware Store checkout I realized that I was actually enjoying the feel of the carpet on my feet and I began mentally listing the benefits of not wearing shoes:

  • Escalators give you a foot massage.
  • Puddles of rainwater and flooded drains are irrelevant.
  • Grass feels good too.
  • My feet don't ache.
  • My feet aren't sweaty and toxic after a long day.

I will get another pair of 'everywhere else' shoes soon, but in the meantime I'm enjoying my back-to nature moment. Give it a try and see if you like it.
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