Tuesday I did something I would have never imagined myself doing. I walked around London barefoot, near Victoria Station of all places.
Growing up in Southern California, walking around barefoot is just a way of life. You put flipflops on because the road or sand is too hot. Shoes just don’t seem to be as necessary as they are here. In England, I don’t go barefoot. Not even in my flat. I have socks and slippers on regardless of the time of year. It is just too cold here and too wet and if it isn’t already raining, it might be. Any minute now. And well, it’s just dirty. The barefoot mentality just doesn’t exist. You’d be mad to go around London with no shoes on!
But Tuesday night I joined about 30 other crazies for a presentation on barefoot running which was followed by some practice in St. James Park. Most of us were wearing Vibram Five Fingers, which are sort of like gloves for your feet including a spot of each toe. We walked from the shop to the park in our Five Fingers and once we got there were told that really the best thing to do was to take our shoes off, in the rain, in the middle of London, and go barefoot. It was, after all, a barefoot running demonstration and not a Five Fingers demonstration. So I did just that. I ran up and down the paths practicing running barefoot and because my feet were wet and muddy when we were done, I walked back to the store barefoot.
And it wasn’t bad at all. Although I don’t think I’ll spend much time running around London without my Five Fingers.