Starting from scratch in an elite fitness-blog-world full of expensive gear, and Personal Records she couldn't beat with a car.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A farewell to flip flops (for now) and some neat lacing tips

I have a shoe problem.

While I only have one functional pair of running shoes at the moment, my general shoe collection is... prodigious. I own innumerable flip flops, a few pair of boots, a lot of peep toes and sandals, some kicky flats, and more than my share of "how do you even walk in those?" stilettos. I'm especially fond of 50s retro mules, T straps, and Mary Janes.

My boyfriend is *ahm* supportive of this collection.

And, of course, sexy lady-pirate boots.

Oddly enough I also have a problem with shoes. Unless I'm dressing up I really hate wearing them.

I have been fighting against ingrown toenails all of my life (it's genetic, the natural shape of my nails is overly curved) and if I am not very particular about the style even "sensible" flats can get intensely painful for me. I rejoice when it finally gets warm enough to ditch the constrictive shackles of footwear, and spend as much of the year as I can totally barefoot or in open sandals. I don't really mind a fair bit of heel as long as my toes can move freely.

Part of the reason I love my running sneaks so much (Saucony Hurricane 14s) is the lovely giant open toe box. As much as I was into the idea of running it gets so painful to wear the wrong shoes that I put off even trying for a long time. I honestly wasn't sure I would be able to really run at all until I found them.
I think it's pretty safe to say that my early (read as: injuriously premature) interest in minimalist running shoes comes directly out of this barefoot love. Unfortunately, as much as I loved the idea, my knees REALLY did not. On that note: anyone looking for a lightly used pair of size 37 (i.e. 6.5/7 us) Vibram Bikila LS in grey/blue? I do dig a good barter, heck I'll even wash them!

Despite what my earlier swollen ankle post might lead you to believe I take pretty good care of my feet and a large part of that is letting air get to my skin, moisturizing with all natural products (petroleum doesn't breathe!), and avoiding the constrictive deforming effects of closed shoes whenever possible.

I spent most of my youth getting yelled at by my dad to put on some shoes before I stepped on or in something, but to tell you the truth one look at his feet was all it would take to settle me right back in my barefoot ways. I'll take the occasional cat barf or sharp rock encounter over scary man feet any day!

I also step on/trip over my cats way less when I'm barefoot, which I think we all appreciate.

Unfortunately however I don't deal well with cold at all, so in the Fall I cling to the last days of sandals tenaciously. I ignore the fact that my feet are turning alternately red and blue in the autumn chill until the day I am finally forced to pull out the more sensible kicks along with the hoodies and scarves. Today was sadly, that pivotal chilly fall day.

I was a teen in the 90s, so my baseline casual shoe is (but of course) the low top Converse All Star.

These are my faves. The chickens which say "blah" make it that much more OK to be wearing shoes.
In honor of today's Abandoning Of The Sandals I offer you a set of pretty darn useful links. I dare you to try out at least the first technique for a week and see if it doesn't change how you tie your shoes forever. All it took was one good trip up on a busy street to convince me that better knots are worth a few days of learning awkwardness.

The first is a TED talk entitled "How to tie your shoes".
You  might think this was sort of a given but I suspect that you (like me) have been long suffering under the delusion that a bow, was a bow, was a bow.

Not so, there is a better way! This appeals to both my desire to not fall flat on my face AND my OCD-ish desires for non-cockeyed shoe lace bows.

So far it's been working out well for me, but just in case you needed extra convincing or weren't sure it was applicable to running... here is an article from Runners World dealing with the same knot.

If that wasn't enough mind blowing revolutionary shoe info for you, Running off the Reeses posted this neat tying tweak on Friday showing what to do with those random extra holes a bit further back on the ankle of your shoes. I always wondered what those were but never thought to look it up.

More toenail protection via a more stable tying method? Yespleasethankyou!

I only tried this for the first time Monday so I can't speak to how it will work out in the long run, but after the initial, "Whoo, this is different! Firm!" reaction it certainly didn't seem to hurt anything, so I for one am going to continue with it.

Any neat feet tricks?

Have you tried these knots and if so did they do anything for you?

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