Monday, June 28, 2010

Going Barefoot: Part 2: Can a flip-flop recreate the sensation of going barefoot?

In Part 1, I discussed Vibram FiveFingers, a glove like shoe designed to be almost like walking barefoot. Now, Crocs, a brand previously discussed, has come out with the ABF flip, a flip-flop designed to be even better than walking barefoot.

The shoe is designed to have a “ergonomic fit and feel, like you are almost barefoot,” according to Croc’s website.

The interesting part is that this supposedly good for you shoe has a flip-flop design.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Going Barefoot: Part 1: Would you run barefoot?

I previously discussed research that found that barefoot runners were better able to determine how to place their foot on the ground. Capitalizing on this concept, Vibram FiveFingers are running footwear designed to just about recreate the sensation of running barefoot. The “shoes” are made of a slim rubber sole with individual sections for each toe. They are like a glove.

According to the company’s website, FiveFingers “liberates you to move in a more natural, healthy way. FiveFingers stimulate the muscles in your feet and lower legs to build strength and improve range of motion.”

However, most people would see the FiveFingers as unstylish and not suitable for the office. So, once again you are back to the question of style or comfort.

Friday, June 18, 2010

5,500 year old shoe found in Armenia

Archeologists discovered the world’s oldest leather shoe. It was found in a cave in Armenia.

Interestingly, this shoe helps us to understand the connection between humans and shoes, through the lens of history. (For previous discussion on the history of humans and shoes, see 

Does History Explain Why Humans Love Shoes?)

Surprisingly, the shoe has some similarities to modern shoes. Like most sneakers, it has eyelets and laces. It is a flat shoe, and “the shoe more closely resembles an L. L.Bean-type soft-soled walking shoe than anything by Jimmy Choo” (Belluck, 2010). Despite over 5,000 years, shoe styles have not changed that much.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Are government funded high-heel lessons necessary?

"Sexy Heels In The City" is a government-funded class at South Thames College in England. The class claims to prepare women “for the business world and their social lives.” It was taught by a back-up singer who claims that not being taught how to walk in high heels caused her misery. She also believes the high number of female shoe-related injuries justifies the class (Telegraph, 2010).  

This class makes two interesting claims-- that wearing heels is culturally important, and that it is how you wear shoes that causes problems.

As previously discussed, no physiological need to wear shoes has been found. Instead, shoes may actually have weakened feet. This suggests that the reason for wearing shoes may be cultural, a way to express individuality. If women need high heels to succeed in business and socially, than in this case, shoes no longer are expressing individuality.  

Monday, June 7, 2010

Welcome back to Through the Sole

Though the Sole was started as a project for a class in my studies at Cornell University. I needed to write an academic blog on a topic that interested me. As a shoe-fanatic, who wrote her college essay on shoes, the topic of shoes was a likely choice. The class and my blog allowed me to explore the world of new media. Along the way, I realized how much I liked being a blogger, especially one on shoes.  Now, I would like to continue Through the Sole.

It will continue to explore humans and shoes, and maintain an academic style. However, as I did in my live blog entry, I would like to let my personality shine through a bit more.

I hope you enjoy and please leave comments and let me know your thoughts!