I came across this yesterday. FiveFingers are apparently terrible and need to go away in 2013. Now, I think the author was joking to a large degree. Cord Jefferson’s mention of owning a pair of skinny jeans himself and still wearing them is a smirk at himself and his whole premise. He’s just blurting out what comes to mind. You can tell when a web writer is feeling lazy or dry for topics when the whole article is a list.
I’m not criticizing lists by any means — Cracked.com is one of my favorite timesuck websites. I’m just saying take it with a grain of salt because we all blurt. Hearing something like “I’ll kill myself if I hear one more person say YOLO” is as common — and as annoying — as actually saying “YOLO.” It’s hyperbole, don’t take it too seriously.
Aside from that, why do you care what anyone thinks of your clothing? Much less a stranger on the internet. But let’s say the author was being serious and/or malicious. Let’s say that even though you don’t know this person, do know his criticism is offhand and petty, and you still can’t let it go.
I say to you: take solace in Crocs. Yes, Crocs. Probably the most criticized and mocked shoe in my lifetime. Most commonly: they’re worn by people who’ve given up on life or themselves, people who want to gurantee they’ll never get laid, and so forth. The usual weird cheap shots. “But they’re comfortable!” just makes critics laugh more.
Crocs started showing up back in 2002 and really took off around 2006. They’ve became a punchline for comedians and showed up on critical lists like the Gawker one very soon thereafter. The plastic clogs are still pretty popular, though you may see less of the original spa-shoe style these days since Crocs has branched out. Some even use them for minimalist running, with some minor modifications. The haters still comment, whether out of that petty obsession with others’ choices, jealousy at the company’s success and continued popularity, boredom, a desire to stir the pot (I’m guilty of this quite often), or (least likely) out of some kind of sincere and valid rage.
But Crocs are still here. They may have had a slightly disappointing quarter recently — only $220 million or so — but they’re still here. I’ll take a “disappointment” like that any day.
FiveFingers are still going to be here in 2013 and beyond. Some owners of FiveFingers acknowledge that the shoes look bad or at least kind of silly to folks who haven’t tried them. Though I personally think they look great. I wouldn’t have 6 pairs if it was a strictly utilitarian thing. But anyway… it’s not really about that and never was. It’s about comfort, yes, but very often something deeper, too. In my case it’s about a doctor and others telling me I’m too big and too damaged to run anymore. And yet I could, did, and continue to do so by transitioning to minimalist footwear. That’s what matters most to me.
I’m mostly debating with myself here because I do think the author was mostly just playing around, even if he actually does dislike FiveFingers with any sort of real intensity. The only thing I took issue with was the angle of his jab: “What happens when you accidentally step in a pile of puke with these nightmares on your feet?”
Does this happen to any of you out there in Birthday Shoes land? Y’all must live way more interesting lives than I because piles of puke aren’t a major hazard in my day to day. Dog poop, yes. Granted, it is pretty gross when it happens. The answer is the washing machine. And let’s face it, they probably already needed a wash because of other odors anyway.