Friday, July 14, 2006

Science Marches On

Over the course of history, there have been moments when mankind made giant leaps forward in the progress of civilization. Gutenberg invents the printing press, physicists at the University of Chicago split the atom, Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the moon. This morning, on the train into the city, I sat next to what I believe will be the next leap forward in humanity's evolution. Did someone find a cure for AIDS, or wipe out poverty in Central America? No, even better. Scientists and engineers, working day and night, have developed the next generation of shoe.

I know! Finally! The latest in absurdist footwear is the Vibram FiveFingers, this neon scuba-latex slipper thing with individual toes and "elastic gore [that] wraps around lower foot for added comfort and security." Yeah, I'm perfectly secure with my current shoes, thank you very much. They're designed for those sporty, outdoorsy people I can't stand and claimed to "offer the exhilirating feeling of going barefoot," which, uh... yeah. Nothing gets my loins tingling like going about my daily business without my shoes on. Except maybe those microfiber fuzzy socks and that orgasmic Tempurpedic Brookstone mattress.

(Okay, also creepy: their website. Not just the "exhilirating thrill of going barefoot" or whatever, but "FiveFingers gives you a gecko-like grip on slippery surfaces. They protect your tender feet from scorching sand and sharp rocks." And, "They gently separate each toe, while stimulating and exercising the muscles of the feet." What kind of fucked up foot fetishist wrote this copy?)

In any case, the Vibram FiveFingers are set to hit stores next spring, in case you or someone you love needs more pretentious-looking feet. I can understand if you're actually going hiking or rock climbing or something, but if you're like the idiot on the train next to me and just going off to work, they make you look like you dyslexically put your gloves on your feet. Personally, I hope they get laughed off the shelves and I can proudly say that I called it.