Home > Sports & Recreation > Nature between your toes

Nature between your toes

February 24, 2011

 

Photo by Skye Butler

By Callie Stevens, Staff Writer

You may have seen students walking around with what looks like gloves on their feet. These shoes have no padded cushioning or a flexible sole, but are strong enough to protect one’s feet. The most interesting feature about the shoes is that it separates each toe like gloves. Some people have labeled these weird shoes as monkey feet, but they are actually called ‘Five Fingers’ and are becoming very popular in the outdoor community.

Though these shoes look weird and awkward, they are actually quite useful for outdoor enthusiasts. Being an outdoor leadership major, I love to feel connected to nature and Five Fingers is perfect for this. Remember back to your childhood, running around barefoot in the grass with not a worry in the world and simply letting yourself feel completely natural with the world around you. Five Fingers let me go back to childhood memory and feel one with nature. Though I can feel everything my feet are touching as if I were barefoot, it does not hurt because the sole of my Five Fingers protects my feet. This allows me to feel even more connected to nature. Besides the whole natural hippie connection to nature, Five Fingers are actually a useful toy for outdoor enthusiasts.

Barefoot sports are a growing field in the outdoors. People are going barefoot while hiking, running and performing water sports. These shoes are beneficial in ways that traditional shoes are not. For example, barefoot running allows you to land on your forefoot, directly below your center of gravity resulting in better balance, increased stability and less impact. All of which helps prevent injuries.

Five Fingers, as ugly as they seem, are very useful in water sports. They are tight on people’s feet, and are not bulky like other water shoes. They also have rubber soles that grip when wet, which is perfect for barefoot sports.

Five Fingers are more than weird, ugly shoes that hippie outdoor enthusiasts wear. They are useful toys we use in our adventures. Five Fingers allow us to get closer to nature while still protecting our feet. So the next time you see someone wearing monkey feet around campus, ask them why they jumped on the Five Fingers wagon.

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