Thursday, June 02, 2005

Possibly the stupidest thing ever

Whilst passing through the living room, I caught the last moments of a Nike commercial that ended with the tagline, "Run barefoot." As a semi-hardcore barefooter, and cofounder of Minnesota's only barefoot hiking club, this intrigued me. Was Nike--the world's largest shoe manufacturer and sweatshop operator--actually encouraging people to unshod themselves and exercise in the healthiest manner for their feet? So I looked into it a little more. Alas, no. Noting the success of the Stanford track team's barefoot training program, Nike designed a shoe that simulates being barefoot. Called the Free (and you can bet it won't be anywhere near free in the stores), the shoe "combines nature with technology to simulate the act of running barefoot on grass helping to strengthen muscles, prevent injury and improve overall athletic performance for a multitude of sports." A quote from the press release:
This shoe is unbelievable. It feels like you are not wearing anything on your feet, but it gives you a lot of support.

You know what also feels like not wearing anything on your feet? Going barefoot! Anyone who spends $80 on a pair of shoes so they can pretend they're barefoot deserves to have their arches and hamstrings wither away, and to have their toes plagued by fungus, and to have their feet smell like a cow's behind. When you shut a body in a coffin and place it in a dark, damp place, it moulders and decays. And that's exactly what happens to feet when they're kept locked in foot coffins.

The Nike Free is the ultimate in consumer stupidity: wear a shoe to simulate not wearing a shoe. Hey, how about this, you marketing geniuses? How about a meal that leaves you still feeling hungry? Or transparent clothes that simulate being naked?



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