About Russ — No Shoes

When someone asks me why I don’t wear shoes, I usually ask them why it is that they DO wear shoes. Besides talk of style and social-acceptance (neither of which motivates me), the most common reason given to me for wearing shoes is for ‘protection’: “I need shoes to protect my feet,” people tell me.

I usually break the ‘protection’ argument down in two points:
1) daily routine, 2) exercise.

1) Daily Routine
Most people do not–at all–need shoes for protection in their daily routine. Still, I hear, “What if you step in/on [something]!?” My answer is always the same: “Well, watch where you step.” The response is almost always the same, some form of, “I don’t want to have to be THAT careful!” Then I reply, “So it’s becomes that you do not need shoes for ‘protection’–but rather to subsidize your willful carelessness.” I watch my step. I do not need shoes. (Still, I do carry shoes with me, in case I need to go somewhere where drones insist.)

2) Exercise
“My feet, legs and body ache enough when I run WITH shoes, so if I were to run WITHOUT shoes, it would be that much worse!” This argument seems reasonable; however, then you find out that shoes simply make bearable your bad habits for movement, and that if you do not wear shoes, the constant warnings–the PAIN–will compel you to move more in balance, whether that means running slower, running less, not stomping so hard, or any of many other bad habits that shoes facilitate by masking SOME symptoms.