Hey Skechers: How About FOOT “Technology”

Today is not a particularly good day, nor have I had one in a while. I’m not sure there even would be a good day to get an email like this. It’s from a female of the human species, in case you find that meaningful (though I don’t).

Hi Richard,

I really enjoy your take on fitness and general health, your last post on vegetarians and vegans was hilarious!

I am contacting you today on behalf of SKECHERS Fitness Group, and we are reaching out to fitness enthusiasts like yourself to see if you are interested in trying the latest technology in fitness footwear.

Bloggers selected to participate will receive a pair of Shape-ups SRT training sneakers, compliments of SKECHERS. Participants are asked to try wearing the SRTs, write a positive or neutral blog post or article about them, and then direct readers to skechers.com to learn more about Shape-ups technology.

The SKECHERS Radius Trainer (SRT) is designed for a high-intensity workout with maximum calorie burn. Wearing the Shape-ups SRT may help activate and strengthen muscles typically underused in daily activity – potentially resulting in a stronger back, firmer legs, and a tighter abdomen. The SRT features Kinetic Wedge Technology – an ultra-soft Resamax™ kinetic wedge that extends from heel to toe, giving each stride a gradual transition. The softer, lower layer provides superior cushioning and creates natural instability, which helps increase muscle activity by forcing the foot and body to constantly adjust for proper balance and positioning. An Advanced Stabilization Insole (A.S.I. ™) supports and stabilizes the foot to prevent it from flexing before the proper point, and a Roll Bridge™ increases side-to-side stability and utilizes reinforced heel pillars to control your forward movement.

Please reply to this email or call me directly at xxx-xxx-xxxx if you are interested in reviewing this revolutionary product.

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration, and we hope to hear from you soon so we can send you your complimentary pair of SRTs!
 

"I’d rather stick needles in my eyes," to quote Garrett Breedlove (Jack Nicholson) in Terms of Endearment.

OK; wow. You know, I get emails almost every day from someone wanting to promote some product, service, their blog, their e-book…what have you. Clue #1: I get over 100,000 visits per month and I have NEVER done any of that. Ever. The very closest I ever came was to suggest to Mark Sisson a guest post on fasting; for one, because I’d already had contact with him and two, because he’d just published something on IF and I honestly thought I had something to contribute from the realm of self experimentation. And it was two-way. Mark followed up with a Q&A here.

Before I get to what I really want to talk about, which is search engine optimization and social media in this new Intertube world, let’s deal with the specific bullshit of the email to lay the foundation.

Worlds Ugliest Shoes
World’s Ugliest Shoes

You know what? I don’t even care if all the gibberish-gobbledygook, "scientistic" total pile of steaming and reeking dogshit in paragraph 4 of the subject email were true (Jesus, would that not be fun to deconstruct?), or somehow meaningful; or, somehow desirable for a human animal.

These shoes are fucking fugly! The only upside I can see is that it makes it easy to spot a fucking moron; with whom, you want nothing to do with ever in your life. Seriously, people…can we not draw a line…somewhere? Don’t fucking come anywhere near me with those gawd awful things.

I’m warning you!

But isn’t the first paragraph of that email interesting? Only thing is, that was the post at the top of the blog at the time. So, she thinks either I’m stupid, starved for attention, or willing to sell my reputation for a pair of fugly sneakers…

…which I don’t fucking wear anyway.

Meaning: no way did she investigate deeply enough to find my original, extensive post on my experience with the human foot in walking over 5,000 miles: Learning to Walk. Nor did she notice my posts about Vibram Five Fingers vs. RunAmocs; here and here. And finally, she surely didn’t notice that I just bought three pairs of shoes, modified for minimalism.

So this is less of a post about the inanity of "shoe technology" in favor of the amazing appendage we call feet — with 4 million years of evolved "technology" — and more nerves in them than the heads of your favorite organ, guys (thought I’d throw that out), and more about the inanity of handling SEO and Social Media badly. Really badly.

…And oh, just so you know: yes, it’s quite a thrill to get used to walking barefoot…guys…

What struck me about this email was that it came from an SEO (search engine optimization) firm, clearly hired by Skechers to promote their product. And while I have not a problem in the world with Skechers producing and promoting fugly crap to stupid morons (hey, Skechers, how about put lights in them!) who don’t know any better, I do know better. And so do a lot of people on this newfangled Intertube thingy.

This is just such an illustration of what’s all wrong with modern business, now. Look, sure, the easiest and actually valid criticism of this post is: "hey, Richard, it was just one SPAM. You think Skechers cares?" No, I don’t, and if I was just some guy who had only his family and in-laws at Christmas to give a thumbs up or down to, that would indeed hold true.

Instead, this is going to be seen by tens of thousands. It’s going to be tweeted and FB’d by dozens and in turn, it’s going to be seen by thousands, perhaps tens of thousands more. Now, multiply that by just a few SocialMedia savvy folks who don’t take kindly to what is essentially a dishonest scam posing as a legitimate request for a review, with a personal reference, even.

So, OK, even if it’s true I’m overreacting, will this campaign, on balance, help or hurt Skechers and more specifically, will my objections and those of others make a big difference? My guess is help, and no. But will that always be the case, and, what it the risk at the outset? What if someone was to do a really clever, derisive YouTube that went viral? What would be their defense, since they spammed about fucking ugly shoes?

You know what? Had she simply been honest, would’ve made all the difference. Even being just as wrong.

"Richard, I looked around, see you’re into barefooting, Vibrams and other minimalist footwear, and I know this is a total longshot, but I wonder if you could just give these a try. I’m totally willing to risk whatever judgment you arrive at. I think they’re that good."

But and oh-yea, from the email.

Participants are asked to try wearing the SRTs, write a positive or neutral blog post or article about them, and then direct readers to skechers.com to learn more about Shape-ups technology.

The mind boggles. But for the record, she’d have received a very, very polite and cordial thanks, but no-thanks for the former and you’d have never caught so much as a whiff. And so you must ask yourself: why are companies so unwilling to risk that sort of up-front, straightforward honesty?

I’m only now paying a little attention to the ins-&-outs of social media. Yea, I’ve been using Facebook and Twitter for a while, got a decent amount of followers on both; but mostly, I just always focussed on writing my blog 1st, promoting and backing winners, second. Yes, I link to winners or those I perceive as future winners. You want attention? Be good. Be unique. Never be fucking boring; and when you are, which is inevitable, quickly follow up quick as you can with a new post, just like I do. Get the boring shit off the top of the blog ASAP once you realize that your readers somehow don’t think it as brilliant as you do.

I’m always mystified by the emails I get almost out of nowhere from a blogger I’ve never or only recently heard about, with a dozen or less posts in the archive (I have around 3,000, I think) and wow, they have an e-book (for sale). Bonus: there’s an affiliate program and I get 50% or more.

I don’t know; I’m no social media wizard, but it seems to me that if I had a a book or e-book, people would buy it because I wrote it. And the only reason they would want to do that, is that I took the time and effort to get people to want to read what I write.

Pretty much everything I’ve read about social media so far (and I’m reading more and more) boils down to one thing and a corollary:

  1. Be meticulously and excruciatingly honest and forthright.
  2. (Corollary: you’ll have less competition that way)

P.S. Mark Sisson, whom I mentioned above, Skewered these "shoes" a while back.

So are you pissed off with big companies who only play the numbers, counting on lots of stupidity, rather than being genuine, honest, letting you know up front that something may or may not be to your liking, hype free? Then blast this out to your Facebook Friends and Tweet it until your feel you’ve planted the seed of justice. Buttons up top.


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55 Comments

  1. Gary Wu on February 10, 2011 at 21:28

    I wonder to this day who the heck wears those shoes. They are about as opposite as you can get to bare-footing or Vibrams. Who wears shoes that are specifically designed to be unstable?

  2. Darrin on February 10, 2011 at 21:29

    Bwahahaha!

    It does seem like she’s probably just spraying this email all over the place, taking a quick look at a couple of posts to give you a “custom” opening paragraph before copying and pasting the rest in.

    I do think that this method of SEO (which worked really good a few years ago) is working less and less as people grow tired of the interwebs being full of crappy, AdWords-plastered, generic content optimized to rank in Google for the sole purpose of making money, not making an impact.

  3. Jason Sandeman on February 10, 2011 at 21:48

    The email reeks of fucking douchbag SEO and Social Media Guruism. You see, it’s all about leveraging your authority, Trust and … fuck it… too douche bag to even think of it.
    I used to work for a company who had a douchebag like your emailer, who INSISTED we “open a Facebook” account to promote our hotel. I could have argued against “Leveraging” and other douche-bag terms, but I just didn’t have the energy. Also, “Gotta get that Twitter” to do the same.
    I get emails here and there too, and I don’t even bother. I once had a guy get all up into pre-packaged food. I just look at the email and though, “:What a FUCKING idiot?” Has he even READ what I write?

    Honestly Richard, if there is enough traction from social media, chances are your douche-bag could lose her job, because she has seriously compromised her leverage… ah, fuck it… I hate that “Social Media Speak.”

    Richard, have you visited “The Oatmeal”?

  4. Andre Chimene on February 11, 2011 at 00:26

    DAMN Richard…I have just started my own Ostrich Ass farm selling Ostrich Ass steaks and I thought you would be the perfect to promote them. In case you change your mind, I would love to send you a complementary box of Ostrich Ass steaks…if I can figure out how to get them off the Ostrich and into a box.

  5. Tim Morales on February 11, 2011 at 03:07

    You probably couldn’t even run away properly from the crowd that would inevitably gather to beat the crap out of someone who wears shoes like those…

    • rob on February 11, 2011 at 09:23

      Imo the same can be said about the Vibrams … saw a guy wearing them in the free weight room once, idiot was doing Burpees in front of the flat benches … true story.

      Nobody beat him up though.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 11, 2011 at 09:31

        While I sometimes lift barefoot altogether, I used to wear Vibrams, but now the 2mm soled RunAmoc. What’s the prob, rob?



      • Aaron Curl on February 14, 2011 at 03:34

        WTF you talking about? I wear Vibrams everywhere in every situation….I do not wear any modern shoes with a fucked up arrow shaped tow box! I am taking active responsibility for my body! When I reach the age of 85 I will still be able to run and walk like a 30 year old because I take care of my feet! I would enjoy the challenge if someone tried to beat me up…lol. Oh yah….and when I see people wearing regular, normal shoes I laugh at them and pitty them at the same time for ruining there feet, ankles, knees and hips.



  6. shaun on February 11, 2011 at 06:30

    “And so you must ask yourself: why are companies so unwilling to risk that sort of up-frontedness, straightforwardness, honesty?”

    Because then that fourth paragraph would have been more like this:

    These shoes will make you uncomfortable if you do anything more strenuous than sit while wearing them. Personal harm may result from their use if, like one of our BETA testers™, you trip over a pebble, because your “legs are so goddamn tired from wearing them”. On the upside, your ass will burn, which will probably make you think, hey, these things are working. These shoes feature a hideous looking piece of material of unknown composition that will make you feel like you’re walking on an uneven layer of manure. You will fall. But this will only serve to improve your balance. We’ve also added a twenty cent insole with a super-cool name. We think you’ll like it. However, we’d be remiss to neglect to note the fact that these shoes effectively immobilize your foot, turning it into little more than a block of wood. But, no worries, we’ve got you covered! This is all part of our planned obsolescence: since, because of the shoes weight, you will drag your feet, you’ll wear down that obnoxious (beautiful) sole in no time, which–yay–will give you a valid reason to buy a new, next gen, pair, with all new, lab tested features you can’t live without.

  7. Upload Aborted! on February 11, 2011 at 06:51

    […] has a fun post over at Free the Animalfrom some stupid dumbass who sent him a spammy request to sell stupid fucking shoes. Go over there and get a good […]

  8. bee on February 11, 2011 at 08:01

    they would have to pay me to wear those. something in five figures.

  9. Justin on February 11, 2011 at 08:53

    I really hope I get an email like this via birthdayshoes.com. I would love to respond with this:

    Hi,

    You may have missed my post on gimmicky shoes, but you could say it sort of relates to Skechers.

    I’m still up for trying them in the spirit of fairness, but I reserve the right to be anything but neutral — positive or negative or both.

    Thanks,

    Justin

    I’m actually tempted to buy them just to review them anyway … I don’t think there are enough people calling out Shape-Ups and MBTs and other gimmicky shoes. Do you know I saw Evander Holyfield in La Guardia a couple weeks back? Wearing Shape-Ups. I’m sure he’s being paid to wear them, but wow, just for shame.

    Anyway, I do take shoes from companies, so not sure if I’ve sold myself to social media. That said, I’ve passed on reviewing stuff I don’t like and stand by my reviews with my name. Reputation is reputation — and that’s that.

    I’ll end with this note — I’ve heard at least two anecdotes of people who wear Shape-Ups or MBTs that swear by them as being the only shoes they can wear on their feet all day (note: they’ve not tried neutral shoes or VFFs) and not have knee problems. I actually wonder if Shape-ups have a heel-toe neutral “drop” due to the lump of foam in the middle. If that’s the case, I think it’s possible (anyone know?) that wearers have a more upright posture when standing still? This could explain the anecdotes.

    Mind why would you ever wear a shoe that forces you to change your gait into something unnatural? This is obviously going to happen with these kinds of shoes — just as much as it happens with any shoes with a heel lift. Avoid.

  10. Justin Foerster on February 10, 2011 at 19:56

    Just do what we say and we’ll give you a gold star.

  11. mike on February 10, 2011 at 20:46

    we should be on the look out for Vegan bloggers writing pro-skecher blog posts in the near future!

  12. J. Stanton - gnolls.org on February 10, 2011 at 21:09

    The best thing is that they appear to be direct ripoffs of the MBT shoes. (Whose marketing spiel is even more ridiculous, even if they’re marginally less ugly.)

    Note to companies with products they want to promote: our mental immune systems have antibodies to spam in all its common forms. And when a new one comes out, we recognize it and quickly build immunity. Just because you got a few cents off a click on a disguised affiliate link doesn’t mean we give a fuck about your product.

    Yes, I promote my novel on my website – but people only visit it as long as I write informative and funny articles. There’s no such thing as a captive audience on the Web.

  13. tracker on February 10, 2011 at 21:38

    “write a positive or neutral blog post or article about them”

    That takes a lot of cojones. For the sake of argument, if you did try them and hated them, they think you’re going to write a neutral post? For what? Time’s have gotten bad, what when they can’t even use out of work celebrities to tout their products and have to spam bloggers LOL

  14. Rhys on February 10, 2011 at 22:41

    aaaaahahahahahahahahaaaaha haha ha ha ha ha

    man i fucking hate those things. this post made my day.

  15. SB on February 11, 2011 at 14:41

    I guess the CNN moron who wrote this article, I mean advertisement, got a similar email from MetroPCS.
    WTF (and I don’t mean Win The Future)!!

  16. Mountain KillerAbs Evan on February 11, 2011 at 00:54

    LOLLLL. As soon as I saw that SKECHERS e-mailed you, I thought, “Oh lord…Richard is the ABSOLUTE LAST PERSON they could have asked to review shape-ups, and they did it.”

  17. LeonRover on February 11, 2011 at 04:52

    Good one Richard –

    Your spam ONLY wanted a neutral or positive response – no NEGATIVES

    SO

    Just make sure that there are enough keywords in your post,
    then most search engines will pick up this post aka NEGATIVE review!

    Illegitimi Non Carborundum

  18. Josh on February 11, 2011 at 05:42

    Sounds like a form email with whatever the most recent blog post is filled in…

    I can’t imagine a Skechers rep actually taking a side or even commenting on the vegan thing…seems like a way to alienate customers.

    This reminds me, a former coworker of mine once ragged on my Five Fingers as “those silly things” WHILE SHE WAS WEARING THOSE FREAKIN’ SHAPE UP SHOES!!!!!!

  19. Luke Huggett on February 11, 2011 at 05:51

    This was entertaining.

    I once saw a 400 lbs women in a wheel chair wearing Shape Ups. I guess she bought them for their looks.

    In the spirit of shameless plugs: http://www.thehuglukexperiments.com

    I’m not selling anything, I promise.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 11, 2011 at 06:34

      Good job, Luke. Your day 14 vs day 0 pic shows noticeable improvement in your face/neck area already. For guys especially, that’s the first thing to go, the fat face.

      • gallier2 on February 11, 2011 at 06:52

        And it also kempts the hair apparently. I should try as y hair always look like a muppets’ hair.



  20. Bruce on February 11, 2011 at 05:54

    “…and creates natural instability, which helps increase muscle activity by forcing the foot and body to constantly adjust for proper balance and positioning. ”

    So can I just not wear the stupid shoes and go get stinkin’ from drinkin’ instead? I can call it a workout.

  21. pfw on February 11, 2011 at 06:22

    For shame sir! You had an opportunity for meta-trolling most of us never get.

    Accept the offer, get the shoes, and then absolutely DESTROY THEM!

    Of course, you probably have better things to do with your time, but it’s fun to fantasize about what that would have been like.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 11, 2011 at 06:37

      Yea, pfw, I suppose in the large scheme of things I would not be morally obligated to write any particular review and could do as I wanted with the shoes. Still, doing that might make me feel a bit underhanded and I don’t like to feel like that.

      • pfw on February 11, 2011 at 10:48

        Fair enough.

        I wonder what they would have said if your response was, “Well, I’ll gladly review the shoes, but I can’t guarantee a positive or neutral review.”



  22. Skyler Tanner on February 11, 2011 at 06:45

    Oh shape ups and MBT’s…the most backwards way of going about this whole barefoot “fad.”

    1. Observe Masai are lean, healthy, strong, free of disease.
    2. Ignore fact that they drink high fat milk, drink blood, eat lots of meat; instead focus only on the fact that they walk well.
    3. Instead of teaching people to learn how to walk with natural gait and economy of motion (by actually walking barefoot), overengineer a moon shoe that makes you roll.
    4. Advertise that it works your butt, never mind that your glutes are firing because you’re about to flip on your face.
    5.???
    6.Profit

  23. michaelf on February 11, 2011 at 06:56

    The only people I’ve ever seen wearing these disasters are walmart trolls. That may have even been the walmart version of the same crappy “technology”, and they certainly didn’t have any form of an ass that I would deem remarkable unless you consider legs and cheeks that look like they’ve been hammered with a bag of nails remarkable.

  24. CPorter on February 11, 2011 at 07:16

    If it’s any consultation, they were not spamming you. They get paid a lot of money to identify select bloggers. There won’t be any mass emails going out with that offer.

    The second consultation is that while they were probably not aware that you were into minimalist footware, they were aware enough to know that your blog is followed and quoted.

    And that says a lot.

    You are probably the rare blogger that actually has “another” job, and one that provides you with a comfortable living. Most bloggers are out there TRYING to get the attention from companies that you get without event trying.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 11, 2011 at 08:06

      CPorter. You basically outline why I did not name the person who sent the email. Poor job in my view, but I did not consider it as malicious as much as just silly and a dumb product. No harm done either way, in my view.

  25. fredt on February 11, 2011 at 08:39

    Spam just Spam.
    I use my second finger on the delete key.
    But what do I know.

  26. Greg on February 11, 2011 at 08:42

    It should be painfully obvious to anyone who’s seen the Kim Kardashian “silver” photos that these things don’t make your butt smaller, rather, the evidence strongly supports the alternative hypothesis.

    I agree with your analysis, if she can read one post, take another minute and hit the search box for key terms, so you don’t make such an ass out of yourself, your company and your client.

  27. David Csonka on February 11, 2011 at 08:55

    They now seem to be marketing a line of shirts or sports bras which have “tension points” or some nonsense which will give your upper body some kind of toning workout.

    The real key to any successful health product apparently, is to target the innate human desire to do as little work as possible and provide a product that facilitates that.

  28. Travis on February 11, 2011 at 09:03

    They look like mutant disco boogie shoes for old ladies who love the Richard Simmons Disco Sweat workout.

  29. Zach on February 11, 2011 at 09:05

    Sacrifice your integrity and reputation for a pair of FREE shoes!

    Wow.

    • Rod on February 11, 2011 at 12:26

      They actually look like they could be interesting to wear while having sex standing up, especially if you have been drinking.

  30. kelly on February 11, 2011 at 12:46

    hi richard, love the way you cut all the bullshit out of life.
    what is your opinion on the kalso lite earth shoes for men with the negative heel technology…
    i’ve been using them for doing deadlifts and squats. ( my gym doesnt allow bare foot) they seem to me to be better than chucks….

    opine???

    • Richard Nikoley on February 11, 2011 at 16:26

      kelly:

      don’t really have an opinion. Do you mean the ones where the heel is lower than the ball? I dunno, I suppose for a specific application, just as specialized gear is useful for jobs of all sorts. I DL in my RunAmocs with the 2mm flat sole. It’s virtually like being barefoot.

      • kelly on February 12, 2011 at 14:43

        yea, those are the one…..

        girl friend,the vegan(except when she’s eating meat), bought them for me and i’m not into throwing shit away. so i found a use for them. they definitely force me to sink my heel into the floor…

        if you are ever in dallas tx. let me know i would love you to check out our gym

        www. thealphaproject.org



  31. Paul C on February 11, 2011 at 13:02

    Perhaps you could use the hatred Skechers holds for vegans, which is apparent from the first paragraph, to form a temporary alliance until the vegans have been overthrown.

    • kelly on February 12, 2011 at 14:49

      i think i would align myself with the vegans over the skechers crowd…

  32. Helen on February 11, 2011 at 13:38

    Those shoes make my eyes hurt.

  33. Shawn on February 11, 2011 at 15:20

    There’s a guy at my gym who wears those – while working out – with weights! I don’t know weather to point and laugh or punch him in his face (for his own good)

  34. James M on February 12, 2011 at 03:49

    You may have been having a bad day when you received this, but posts like this, make my day into a great day. I need more FtA on a regular basis.

  35. Steven Sashen on February 12, 2011 at 08:02

    I’m amazed that even after the research shows that “toning” shoes do NOTHING that they claim, they’re still selling like hotcakes.

    Of course, I have a dog in that fight since I sell the OPPOSITE of toning shoes — barefoot sandals (high-tech huaraches) at .

    Now that raises another issue: some people get mad when I have a relevant comment and include a link back to my site. One man’s comment is another man’s spam (and vice versa!)

    • Richard Nikoley on February 12, 2011 at 08:11

      no worries, Steve. Relevant comments in line with the theme of the blog or post are welcome, even if your the one selling.

  36. 02/14/11 – Valentine’s Day Squats on February 13, 2011 at 19:01

    […] Hey Skechers. How about FOOT “Technology” – Free The Animal […]

  37. Candice on February 13, 2011 at 08:32

    Richard,
    If you haven’t already you should try a pair of Feiyue Martial Arts shoes – it’ll cost you the huge investment of about $15 on Amazon since there is no generous PR company offering pairs for free.

    My husband and I are both converts – he wears his all the time for work, working out or anything except dressy occasions. I try to wear mine as much as possible but still have to go with high heels to work (which feel really terrible now that I am more aware of proper posture etc). Anyway, Feiyue’s are popular among the free running/parkour people and so far everyone we’ve introduced them to love them.

    -Candice

  38. Greg Swann on February 13, 2011 at 10:29

    I’m all over the idea of rejecting vendor entreaties, but I think Shape-Ups are great shoes. I switched last fall, and I wear nothing else now. Why? For one thing, because I can run again, for the first time in a decade and half: http://www.bloodhoundrealty.com/BloodhoundBlog/?p=13726

    I loved to run before the accident. I never cared about exercise when I was young, but I never needed to: I was a high-D in a red-hot hurry. I ran everywhere. I loped everywhere, sailing through the air in nine-yard strides.

    So when I couldn’t run any longer, I really missed it. I dream about running, and I love to go to the supermarket so I can run through the aisles, supporting my upper body on the shopping cart.

    And all that changed today. Cathleen has been on my case for a while to buy Skechers Shape-Ups shoes. The marketing promise is better fitness, a workout while you walk, but the reality is pretty dramatic. There is so much up-thrust from the heels of those shoes that they replicate the effect of a strong push-off from the toes.

    Walking the dogs this morning, I took off running, and it was easy, no problems at all. I was running like a toddler, mind you, always one foot on the ground. But that’s a lot more running than I’ve been able to do since Bill Clinton was courting chubby teenagers.

    I’m dying to lope, but I can stand to take my time to make sure I won’t hurt myself. But I can jog. Odysseus doesn’t hate it, Shyly purely loves it, and I’m eager to find out how far I can go.

    There’s no accounting for taste, of course, but there’s no accounting for anything, absent experience.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 11:28

      Hey Greg old friend.

      Of course, nothing accounting for taste compares to the fact that you’ve found a way to get more rational enjoyment out of your life. Plus, in your case, if the limitation is injury related then using a shoe is no different than using a crutch, if that’s what you need to get around and how nice it is that we have those options available.

      In my case, even as a teenager I used to get horrible shin splints when running, even fast walking such as in college when my next class in 10 minutes was in a building on campus far far away.

      And because of your injury this may not apply to you at all but just spongy cushion for thought, running barefoot or with minimals like VFFs, I get no splints. This video demonstrates why, pretty dramatically and the funny thing is, there’s not even any retraining involved.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnnbWn8r1nA

      But is may also be that with those curved soles on the Skechers that a heel strike will not be nearly as dramatic and shocking to the foot & shins as in conventional running shoes.

      All the best always, man.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 11:32

      Oh, Greg, off topic but you might be interested to know that I just traded in my 2-yr-old aluminum unibody MBP (2.53 gig processor, 4 gig RAM, 300 gig drive) for the new generation macbook Air; 13″ with the 4 gig RAM and 256 gig SSD.

      LOVE it. Does everything I did on the MBP, only WAY faster. Only limitation I can think of is if I did intense video or photo editing, which I don’t. And with the 27″ LED cinema display plugged in I still have all the screen R/E I need.

      Man, that 7-8 hr battery just rocks. The future, baby!

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