Eschewing the Schew! (running barefoot)
I direct a children’s choir once a week. I don’t give snacks or treats, but I do one thing that apparently the kids find very cool. My choir is a “shoes optional” environment. Because I like to hang out barefoot or in my stocking feet, so I’ve created a Cool Factor around it that allows me to not appear just plain unprofessional. I opt for “quirky” instead. And the kids like it. And they don’t tromp mud into the church. No matter how many fun shoes I’m able to find on ebay, I’d almost always rather skip them all together.
And now, after all these years of schmantzy cross trainers and specific shoes engineered for every sport you can think of, now scientists are realizing that it’s much better for your health and body to run and walk barefoot than in shoes. The basis for this seems to say, in essence, that when you run barefoot you hit the ground first with the ball of your foot, which is engineered to take the impact much more easily than the heel, which is the primary landing in running shoes. A guy named Galahad Clark, who ran the New York Marathon barefoot, has designed a shoe that’s as close to barefoot in its engineering as possible; these sound really cool. But are way out of my price range.
Then there are also the fun socks one can wear…I know this isn’t a particularly “green” thing to include, but a few years ago my mom got me these fabulous socks (made from recycled cotton–so I guess it’s fairly green after all!) from Solmate Socks –their motto: “Life is too short for matching socks.” So they have all these cool intentionally mismatched sock patterns, in wildly improbable colors, and they are thick and comfy and don’t go all threadbare quickly and are just really really nice socks. And when you buy them for kids, you get THREE socks to a pair, on the premise that kids will inevitably lose a sock along the way. (Or one can blow off the premise and buy two “pair” to wind up with 6 socks.) They have hats and scarves too…I just love these things.
So the heck with shoes–go barefoot!