One of the benefits of publicly writing about baby boomers and retirement is that I receive press releases and emails about new books, products and services that may of interest to those who read here. I read all of them and in a few cases, I request additional information about something that appeals to me. That was the case recently when I received a press release about BAREFOOTERS®, a radically different shoe. The manufacturer was kind enough to send me a sample pair. I have worn them now for almost two months. I really like them. You might also. I will tell you why.
BAREFOOTERS are a shoe that are intended to simulate and provide the benefits of walking barefoot. Remember when we were kids and going barefoot was much more common than it is today? The concept of returning to the barefoot experience appealed to me but not just for nostalgic reasons.
First, the human foot and body were designed to operate bare. There is plenty of science supporting the benefits of shoeless mobility for both injury reduction and general good health. In recent years, several manufacturers have introduced quasi-shoes/foot coverings that allow for a barefoot experience while still keeping the feet covered. My younger brother is a fan of these.
The BAREFOOTERS product takes a somewhat different approach to the barefoot movement and one that, in my opinion, is more closely aligned with the needs of baby boomers.
First, this is a shoe that is easy to wear because they slip on and off with ease, like a pair of comfy slippers. There is a single snap strap that can be removed and changed for aesthetic or other reasons but in regular use, the strap just stays in place.
The shoes are made from a blend of cork and silicone that is flexible, strong and washable. I have worn these shoes in the house, in the yard, and just walking about – basically everywhere. They have held up well and show no visible signs of wear.
The shoes are COMFORTABLE and rejuvenating! They conform to your feet with a seamless construction but are not constricting. They provide protection yet let your feet engage and move through your environment in an invigorating manner.
When I first put these shoes on, my initial reaction was “there is something wrong with either the bottom of my feet or these shoes.” The sensations of having a sculptured, three dimensional foot bed were different. I quickly remembered that this what it felt like to go barefoot in the grass. A few hours later, those strange sensations became both comforting and stress reducing. My feet enjoyed being massaged as I moved around. Now, weeks later, I am aware that I am wearing my BAREFOOTERS but only because they feel better than my conventional shoes. If you have problem or aching feet, I have to think that BAREFOOTERS can be part of the solution.
Now some of you may be thinking “I can’t wear shoes that look weird.” You need to let go of that idea.
First, they don’t look weird on your feet, particularly compared to some of the other footwear being worn around these days. I even asked my young adult son if I looked strange wearing them. He said they looked fine (and he would not want his old man looking strange). Second, at our age, health and comfort trump style, don’t you agree?
By the way, you can wear BAREFOOTERS with and without socks so no worries there. They even include an anti-microbial for odor control but I haven’t experienced any problems in that area.
If you want to try a pair of BAREFOOTERS, you may have to buy them online. Based on my experience, standard sizing should work for most folks.
In summary, I recommend BAREFOOTERS shoes. Yes, I received mine for free but no one forced me to wear them or write a positive review. This is my feet speaking!