Naturally Misunderstood

In the circles of minimal footwear and barefoot enthusiasts there is often talk about the natural way to walk/run. While there is nothing wrong with that, the word “natural” is a turnoff for some people. That is probably because it is so often misused and/or misunderstood. “All natural” is one of those buzz words in the marketing world. It is sometimes pushed in our faces and it’s easy to get sick of it.

Once in a photography class we were in the middle of a rather philosophical discussion about the history of photography and its role in the art movements. There was a certain group of photographers who were only interested in photographing nature. The class discussion turned to the definition of nature. At this point there were several conflicting opinions about what was “natural” and was was not. In the end of the discussion the class determined that since man is from nature, everything is natural. There is no such thing as unnatural. While I understood why the class thought that way, I disagreed.

I define the word “natural” as something that functions according to its purpose. Of course that is my opinion, but it makes much more sense to me. There are all kinds of weight loss pills that are labeled as “all natural”. Just because the ingredients come from natural sources, it doesn’t mean that taking a pill is a natural way for people to lose weight.

shoe cut in half

If you've ever wondered what cross section of a casual shoe looks like then here you go! I cut this shoe in half to find a sole made of rubber (no brainer) several layers of cardboard, wood, fabric, foam, and a large metal plate! Since when did metal plates come in shoes?

People may think that us barefoot nuts shun shoes because they were something man made. Maybe that’s true for some people but the reason I don’t like shoes is because our feet are meant to function a certain way and most shoes alter that function. Our bodies need some protection against the often harsh environments in which we live. It is natural to want protection but we have taken things a bit too far in some cases.

“Just enough is more”—Milton Glaser

About unshoes

Creator and designer of Unshoes minimal footwear.
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