I was all set to post a link to Ian Fieggen's Ian’s Shoelace Site, an interesting (and maybe just a bit OCD) site that insists that maybe you didn’t learn all you needed to know about shoelaces in kindergarten…
But then I found out about something far freakier & much cooler for your feet — no laces required!
FiveFingers, from the mind of Marco Bramani, grandson of the founder of Vibram (the Italian company responsible for that elongated yellow octagon that’s probably stamped on the bottom of your hiking boots), are shoes designed to provide support & protection for your tender feets while still keeping the sensation of traipsing around barefoot.
FiveFingers' soles feature a high-tech rubber compound for traction and sipes — zigzag cuts across the ball & heel — so they’re very grippy on slippery surfaces even though the soles are not as ruggedly textured as typical hiking boots or athletic shoes. Although they’re not specifically designed for such, I even stumbled (rimshot) across the blog of marathon runner Ted McDonald (a.k.a. "Barefoot Ted") who recently completed the Boston Marathon and a number of other long-distance runs wearing — and swearing by — his Fivefingers shoes.
Giving credit where it’s due, I first read about FiveFingers on Ottmar Liebert’s blog a couple of months ago and have been a little obsessed with these shoes ever since — but they've only just now finally made it to market.
Can't quite say why, but Linda (resident toe-sock aficionado) and I both think these things look like gorilla feets… but in a funky, good way!