Sunday, May 31, 2009

These shoes rule, these shoes suck!

I have only worn the new shoes for a week as of this writing, so these are only my first impressions.

So far, I have had a lot of fun wearing my VFF KSO's for only a minor amount of pain and inconvenience. As i'm breaking them in (as well as my feet), I have tried to wear them wherever possible. My favorite places to wear them in the second half of my American vacation:

-running up the lawn part of The Gorge amphitheatre
-driving the car (basically barefoot)
-jumping up/down banks near a river

Places that didn't work as well:

-long distance walking on pavement/sidewalk (although it's probably just that i'm not used to it yet)
-airport security
-carrying heavy things in dicey places
-while dancing

In general they work great for me on slopes or places where I need good, lightweight footing. They are not the best idea when carrying or lifting heavy objects in uncontrolled environments; in other words, they would work fine for weight lifting in a gym, but not for lugging around 50lb suitcases through public transit. This is mostly because of the damage 50 lbs can do when landing on a single toe with less than a centimeter of material between luggage and toe.

Unfortunately, the story for TSA is not terribly clear; while I have read reports of TSA screeners waving off the shoes as harmless or not shoes, that was not the assessment I was given at Sea-Tac Airport earier today. I actually went through the scanner with them on, then as I was collecting my bag and laptop another screener got curious about my wierd looking shoes. It wouldn't be so bad, except for the fact that I was not wearing socks and I haven't washed my shoes (yes, you can and should wash them) since buying them a week ago.

While dancing, bouncing, raving, or otherwise gyrating, it is unnerving to have no 'bounce' or cushion on your heels, and doing all your ups and downs on the balls of your feet is very tiring. Just as with luggage on public transit, wearing these shoes on a crowded dance floor is not recommended. Especially in the presence of intoxicated or otherwise mentally altered people, playing chance with someone stepping on you toes is not something I would advocate any more than walking through a city sidewalk (or festival campsite!) without any protection.

We'll see in the next few weeks how the shoes (and the wearer) fare up in more normalized everyday use. I also hope to try some short runs in them to see whether it works or not.

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