barefoot running shoes

Flip-Flops, Crocs, and the "Barefoot-Style" Shoes

We all know high-heels and dress shoes are notoriously uncomfortable sacrifices of comfort for style, but some footwear promises to free us from our feet coffins (my word for shoes) only to provide danger and discomfort themselves. From flip-flops, to crocs, to those creepy individual-toe running shoes, are they worth wearing in public?


“Thong-like sandals have been around since at least the ancient Egyptians,” Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior curator at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto explained to a Washington Post reporter. She went on to explaining that the ones we wear today, however, are more inspired by traditional Japanese zori sandals that were worn with Kimonos, and that this style became popular with the rise of surfer culture in 60’s America.


With so many options for cheap footwear today, though, many take umbrage at your god-given right to fault your toes and walk around with barely any protection or comfort for your feet. In a piece that generated more hate-mail than any piece of political coverage she has ever done, Slate columnist Dana Stevens makes the case in her piece titled: Your Flip-Flops Are Grossing Me Out, sporting the even less ambiguous subhead, “They’re unsightly, unhygienic, and unfit for public display.” She goes on to defend, in comparison, the “butt-ugly” croc because at least “they permit the wearer to break into a run or take a step backward when needed.”


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