Have you been on a first date recently? For me it has been a while! But I do remember it very well, in fact I actually liked dating.
I love getting to know people and I find the first few conversations (given you really like the person of course) super exciting.
Before you get excited (or sad in case you are wondering why I am dating outside of my relationship), let me explain what this is about. This post is actually about shoes. Specifically, zero-rise shoes, also called barefoot shoes. And no, we are not talking flipflops here.
But let me start at the beginning – I bet you are totally confused at this stage.
I came across the topic of zero-rise shoes about half a year ago. I started hearing about it a little and like most new health topics, I put it on my research list, feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought that there is yet another area in my life to explore and likely change. Why do we have to live so unnaturally that everything requires additional research only to rediscover ancient health-promoting practises…?
I wanted to find out more, especially since I had not felt very comfortable in heels since having my son (I guess the last few months of pregnancy in flats had given me a taste for comfort). Now this new concept called for no needs whatsoever. I already knew that wasn’t so easy to do. I thought those kind of shoes would make a nice Christmas present, but never got around to researching more. I briefly considered wishing for Lems shoes as someone had recommended the brand to me. Still, the topic felt a bit overwhelming, I had a wardrobe full of shoes, so no immediate need and lots of other things to do. However, I did not buy any other shoes since as I knew deep down that I wanted to find out what this was all about before investing into any further pairs.
Then I read Earthing and got super excited about grounding. The possibility of living grounded was just what I had been waiting for. I started googling for grounding shoes. I quickly found out that most of these were not what I was looking for. But very early in my search I came across a brand called Softstar. They had a page on grounding shoes and while clicking through their pages I found out that their actual business was barefoot shoes. The kind of zero-rise “technology” I had been looking for. Suddenly the research was no longer cumbersome. I immersed myself for a few days and kept coming back to the beautiful shoes on the Softstar page. (By the way, in case you wanted to look into this and you don’t have time for research, read just this article if nothing else). I totally fell in love with them, strongly supported by the testimonials including random YouTube ones I came across and I dreamt of replacing all my shoes with Softstars (total virtual shoe-crush).
I finally ordered 3 pairs, 2 for myself and 1 for Oisin, thinking that I would safe on the shipping. The shock came when the postman told me the amount of import tax and VAT that I had to pay for receiving them in Ireland (not good…). But the main thing was, they were here!
Coming back to my date. When I opened the box and took them out it was quite like on a first date. That time that you are meeting your date at the agreed place, you see them the first time since you agreed to go out together… They look mostly like you remember them. You like the look (and feel) of them but they are still a little unfamiliar. You really want to like them. You know they are great for you (on paper) but you are still not quite sure. You realise that despite having initial chemistry, you will need to get to know each other a little bit. The first few experiences together will shape your relationship and show if you are really meant to be together…
And that was just what I experienced with my Softstar Classics. I took them out, looked at them, was happy enough with the colour, feel (and leathery smell) with a slight tinge of disappointment that I didn’t get totally excited over them. I put them on, still a bit shy, didn’t find them as soft as expected initially and decided to give them a try before making a final judgement.
I can only say after wearing them two days now I am totally and without a doubt in love. My virtual crush has developed into a real one. I had them out with me for the full day today. A day with lots of driving, walking, being on the go, carrying heavy. I literally forgot I was wearing shoes. And that sounds strange as I don’t usually focus much on my shoes but I had a few moments of “oh yes, I do have something on”. They were flexible, warm enough without being overly warm and so comfy even for driving! And the best thing, at the end of the day I took them off and really felt no different. On days like these I usually feel great relief taking my shoes off. Even if I have been wearing flats all day. My feet feel crampy and achy and just like they need a break. Not so this time. I even had energy to clean the kitchen after coming home which might have been a strike of luck. Or the fact that my body didn’t feel as taxed as usual due to relaxed and healthy feet. Who knows. I bet the Elves have an idea… 😉