Somewhere in America, the following conversation is taking place ...
Guy 1: Have you heard of the "Fila Skele-toes?" They're those crazy new toe shoes!
Guy 2: Oh yeah I saw those billboards driving to work the other day off I-70. Those things are weird lookin'.
Guy 1: Dude, I went into JCPenney the other day and tried on a pair. They're amazing! They're actually really comfortable. Apparently you can run barefoot in them.
Guy 2: But they're shoes, right?
Guy 1: Well yea, I guess so. Anyway, they're this totally new shoe design that allows your foot to be closer to barefoot but still have something to protect you from stepping on glass and rocks and stuff. I picked up a pair for forty bucks.
Guy 2: My wife hates them but I love them.
We've covered the release of Fila Skele-toes toe shoes a good bit here, having reviewed the originals, the Skeletoes 2.0, and most recently the Fila
Freely-toesSkele-toes Voltage. And while I'm in not overtly anti-Skeletoes, seeing their four-toed shoes as being a sort of competition to Vibram FiveFingers or perhaps a low-cost gateway shoe into the world of minimalist footwear or toe shoes, I have to say Fila is being not the least bit obnoxious with their latest billboard campaign.
Take a closer look at the photo above (Thanks, Jared!) and you'll see that Fila is billing their Skele-toes as "Toetally Original." What, didn't you know that Fila was the first to bring to market the toe shoe?
So I hope you can forgive my sarcasm here—it's just a bit shocking to see Fila using the word "original" in their marketing of the Skeletoes. You see, and if you are just learning about toe shoes this may be news to you, but Fila's Skeletoes are "also-rans" that first hit the market in early 2011 — that's a whopping five years after Barefoot Ted ran the Boston Marathon in Classic FiveFingers (the first toe shoes).
What's really going on here? Well, I can only imagine that Fila's executives are beside themselves giving toe shod "low fives" (low "fours?") over their witty marketing campaign here (and I do like the pun, don't get me wrong!) — after all, isn't Fila being sued by Vibram for being "toetally" not original?*
And I'll really stop there and ask, what do you think?
* I really don't know if Vibram has a case of intellectual property infringement here.