Monday, October 15, 2012

Five-Mile Footwear

Modern society has created some ridiculous footwear — especially dress shoes that people who work in an office environment wear to work. Not only to work, but also to church, to social gatherings, out on a date, and sometimes just to drive around town.

I suspect the problem stems from the misbegotten belief that "clothes make the man" (or the woman). It's a leftover concept from Depression era thinking, when being poorly dressed was looked down upon. And despite the hippy movement (clothes — who needs 'em?), the grunge movement (the shabbier the better), and various other attempts to rebel against society's fashion  norms, a lot of folks still wear shoes that will betray them in an emergency.

I believe in 5-mile shoes. These are shoes that are built strong enough and comfortable enough to allow you to walk 5 miles without foot problems.

Why 5 miles? Because in an emergency situation (car breakdown, evacuation from natural disaster, escape from abductors, etc.) you should be able to walk or hike at least 5 miles without your feet complaining. If your shoes aren't up to that task, they don't belong on your feet.

In an emergency, your feet might be your only means of transportation. Put the wrong shoes on them and they'll fail quickly, leaving your stranded.

If you insist (or are forced by dress code) to wear inappropriate footwear, I recommend that you carry a pair of 5-mile shoes in your vehicle and have a pair stashed away somewhere at your place of employment.

A few years ago, New York City and the region around there was hit by a massive and long-lasting power outage. When the electricity went off, all the traffic signals shut down, the subways ceased to operate, and transportation basically came to a halt. Millions of people were trapped in the city, with no viable way to get home unless they walked. Most of them were wearing shoes fit only for a torture chamber.

Did you ever run out of gas, or have some other type of automotive breakdown some distance from home? These days, motorists are reluctant to stop and pick up a hitchhiker, because there are too many crazies out there. So if you break down, you're probably going to have to hoof it. If you're wearing the wrong shoes, you'll regret it.

My recommendation is to examine your footwear, try it out and see how well you do on a 5-mile walk.  Then make adjustments to your shoe collection. Fortunately, there are some semi-dress shoes that will pass the 5-mile test. Soft soles with some traction (not smooth leather that gets slippery when wet) and cushioned insoles are a must. Flexible material that needs no break-in is a benefit. For the ladies, low heels (I know they're not cute, but you know I'm right).

Your choice of footwear is as much a survival issue as any other item of clothing. When something happens and the times are tough, your ability to walk or hike might be a lifesaver. Make sure you're prepared.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I've never owned anything with heels.

    ReplyDelete