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Friday, September 4, 2015

Japan's New Stretchy Shoes

I'm the type of guy who has been accused of being someone with more than a casual interest in women's feet—though that isn't true. I'm pretty much a total package kindda guy.

But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate how a fine pair of shoes can turn a pretty ankle into something spectacular.

This is not a story about shoes like that.

It is, however, about a funky new TYPE of shoe that is borrowed heavily from Japan's fashionable past.

This is the Furoshiki shoe… a wraparound footwear designed by Japan's Hashimoto Masaya (surname first) for the Italian shoe brand Vibram, and based upon the old Japanese practice of wrapping one's foot in cloth, as protection from the elements.

The new Furoshiki shoe is durable, comes in multi-sizes, and apparently provides the foot with comfort, as the ergonomic bands wrap around the ankle proving free movement.
Jeans-colored. I suppose... usually by the time my jeans fade to that color I've popped a hole in some embarrassing spot and can't wear them outside the house.
In other words, it feels like a sock… or a shoe… only not as bulky.

I don't know about you, while I love the way a shoe can look on a woman. However, I have always though that when it comes to high heels for women I am pretty damn sure they are being created by men who hate women. For reference, look up comedian Steve Martin's book Cruel Shoes from 1977.

Feet wrapped in high fashion, to be sure, but placed at such angles—strange angels that prior to their demented invention had no counterparts on Earth (to paraphrase horror writer H.P. Lovecraft).

It's as though in order for a woman to have a comfortable shoe, it had to give up all pretensions to fashion (i'm talking about crap like Crocs…  a comfortable shoe, I'm told, but they look like shoes a two-year-old might wear while splashing in a mud puddle).

But that, dear friends, is where the Furoshiki shoe comes to the rescue.

It looks pretty damn good! Yeah, it's not as sexy as this:

Oh!@ I love that basket!
... but it's not bad. See below:

There are three sizes (small, medium and large) that will fit a wide range of hoof, I mean foot size. Sorry, I channeled my inner Al Bundy there for a moment. Sorry… I am a more modern family guy.
Three sizes only, because the shoe stretches.

As well as the size options, there are five colors: aqua, black, violet, pearl (orange) and jeans…. I assume bluejeans.

As you can see from the accompanying photos, it has a square toe which doesn't look very sexy, but probably provides a bit of protection to those delicate toots should you accidentally stub yourself.

But really... how does it look? These images don't really show how it would look against various casual wear.

Is it just for women? Could it possibly come in a version that looks more masculine? Maybe without all the color?

Also very important is: will your feet smell when you take them off?

I recall dating a woman who used to wear thigh-high red leather boots for work (use your imagination as to what her profession was). When she was able to unlace and pull those bad boys off, her feet reeked. If she didn't require a scrubbing after work, she certainly did thanks to those boots. 

Will the Furoshiki catch on? Perhaps if someone famous wears it, but honestly… it's not that bad-looking, but really… since it's not eye-catching in that 'sexy-good' way, the real question is whether or not it's comfortable.

I would also like to know if it maintains its traction in wet weather and if it makes any annoying sort of sound like those god-awful flip-flops. You ever heard those in a subways station? Fuuuuug.

Somewhere with my tongue hanging out,
Andrew "I've got a million of' 'em" Joseph

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