Sunday, June 28, 2009

Free the Feet! A Shoe Experience of a 1st Season Barefooter.

Yesterday I made the (reluctant) decision to wear fully enclosed shoes. It was raining and usually when we go into town, I bring a pair of very loose, two flat-strapped sandals that would fall off if my feet weren't trained to hold them on with each step. I only wear them in stores. I walk and drive without shoes otherwise. I didn't bring my sandals because they have no tread and I can slide 20 feet on a good-balance day before landing on my posterior in public, when my sandals are wet.

Anyway, I haven't enclosed my feet since winter, and doing so produced some unexpected findings.

I expected that my feet would feel constricted relative to the way they are usually, and they did. I expected that they would feel too warm and they did. What surprised me though, was that I now use my feet so differently that the low, wide shoes I previously found comfortable caused me to have to completely change my gait to accommodate them! I found that I had to stiffen up my whole lower leg and foot in order to make my step conform to the shape and form of the shoe!!! And these shoes are considered, and really are by comparison, 'flexible!'

So, since that is ludicrous to me (and I am so glad that my body has adapted to moving in the way I didn't know it would or could, that actually suits its form rather than that of a shoe), I have endeavoured to make my own foot-coverings that will allow for natural motion so that when winter comes, I can still walk and not feel like I'm wearing casts on my legs and feet.

I'll post pictures of my creations when they are complete. :) So, this was news to me. Apparently, I now walk like a good-old-fashioned cave woman. :D

*ETA: I wanted to include- and have been consistently forgetting- that I was pleasantly surprised to find that my new leather-like-bottomed feet are not less sensitive, but in fact more than ever! BUT, I don't experience this heightened sensitivity as pain, and often have a need to walk on pebbly ground to relax my whole body and relieve my feet of too many hours on a smooth surface or sandals or minivan carpet. It is genuinely a delight so small and yet so delicious that in my desire to embrace the present, I am reluctant to express my sadness for having been without this experience for nearly 32 years. My feet are free; free at last!


Christopher said...

How far can the cave-woman analogy go, Sweety? I mean, am I allowed to club you over the head now, and drag you off to my den for comfort and domestic food preparations?


barefootbeauty said...

I definitely want to see those! I've been trying to figure out what I'm going to do come winter.

Sarah said...

Hey! So nice to 'see' you here, barefootbeauty!

I found a green leather skirt and took it apart so I have several panels of leather to work with. My plan is to make a prototype with this before I purchase and possibly tan some bison or other hide. I'm only concerned with warmth really, so they may not end up being pretty...

I'll use alpaca or sheep's wool, felted or semi-felted, for the inside. I'm thinking they will be something like those bag-style boots for babies. Those are sold here in adult sizes, but they are synthetic materials and I'm not sure if they are really meant for outdoor walking or just as slippers for winter camping.

And sweetie, I'm not actually a cave woman, so no. There will be no dragging. And make your own sandwich. ;)

I was sincerely shocked at the huge difference in my gait as evidenced by the total awkwardness of walking in my shoes, and also the pain against my ankles and skin from the shoe opening.

Anonymous said...

"In life as in dance: Grace glides on blistered feet."
Some quote I snagged from somewhere.
If you develop some kind of none shoe for Northern climates, you will become very rich.
Ever tried mukluks?

sarah said...

You know, Wyatt, I really would love a pair of traditional mukluks- the kind that are not right-left specific and are purposefully switched so they wear evenly.

I haven't really tried very hard to find someone to make some for me. I might actually do that instead of 'mukking' around (lol) if I end up not having the time- a distinct possibility with the latest set of time-sucking events. :(

Thanks for the reminder! :)

Anonymous said...

I love the quote. Thank you for sharing that.