Why I Don’t Wear Shoes
here’s all the answers i could think of in not very long, in about as much detail as they deserve
Because I like to feel things – the texture of the ground, the weather. We don’t use our senses much in the concrete industrialised capitalist western city. We look at the advertising, listen to the crap people go on with, try to ignore the smog, sometimes touch our families but rarely anyone else, and that’s about it. As a human committed to experiencing life in all it’s fullness, making barriers to experience, especially on a bit of my body which is otherwise as open to sensation as my eyes and ears, is abhorrent. Walking without shoes, I experience the difference in texture between soft grass, concrete footpath, pebbly roads, and weedy yards. I feel muddy puddles on a rainy morning, cool shady footpath on a hot day, warm ashphalt on a summer evening.
Because i’m the only person at Sydney Airport who knows, at 5am on a freezing wet July morning, the pleasure of stepping on the warm dry spotlights which are sunk into the footpath.
Because I will be free. I will not put my feet in little prisons for most of the time. My feet, as much as any of the rest of me, want to breathe and move and dance and live. In giving freedom to the foot, we assure freedom to the head.
Because naked is good.
Because I’m a cheapskate, and feet grow back. This organic footwear never wears out; when you get holes in them they fix themselves; they don’t need polish or laces; I’m not going to lose them or get rolled by homeboys for them.
Because my feet provide a heat sink, which I need, being a hot guy.
Because I want to maintain equal potential with the ground, that the eternal electricity of the earth may flow freely through my bones.
Because I am the emperor of all I survery, and Mambo makes the emperor’s new clothes.
Because everyone else does.
Because you can sneak up on people. Not wearing shoes, you learn to tread lightly on the earth. And treading lightly, you cause less damage. Too many beautiful things and valuable people are crushed by people who never learnt to look where they walk. Walking without sole armour causes less damage to the earth you walk on, because the damage is reciprocal. When I do choose to wear shoes, through habit I walk more softly, making less noise, causing less damage.
Andrew Lorien august 1998
–> i guess it’s about freedom