My “Four Fingers”

I just love my “Four Fingers”.

By Anthony O. Alcantara

“Nice shoes,” said the man in the next urinal as I was about to shake off my thing. I was at theAIMConferenceCenterto attend a panel discussion on K-12 education.

Now I don’t think he was gay and that he was trying to pick me up. But it’s not really an exciting topic of conversation in the toilet. Come to think of it, maybe he noticed how big my feet appeared in my Fila Skele-Toes. And you know what they say about men with big feet.

So I simply said, “Thanks.”

The shoes in question are not really shoes. My Fila Skele-Toes are knockoffs of Five Fingers. For those who haven’t seen Five Fingers, they’re like gloves for your feet. They have thin and flexible rubber soles and Spandex-like material to cover the rest of your feet. Because they are “foot gloves”, you can wiggle your toes freely.

Many thought that my Fila Skele-Toes were Five Fingers, which, at P4,000 to P5,000 a pair, are expensive. A lady doctor in a hospital recently said, “Nice shoes, Sir. Five Fingers.” But I told her that they are actually “Four Fingers”, and that they are much cheaper at less than P2,000 a pair.

And why “Four Fingers”? Well, instead of having five digits, each “foot glove” has only four. The pinky toe and the toe next to it (what do you call them anyway?) only have one opening. But if you look at them, you’d think they have five digits because of the design.

They look ugly. If you compare them with slippers and other shoes, they are aliens. So why would you want these ugly looking things?

For one thing, they are very comfortable. They provide you enough warmth for your feet, and they are oh so light. You can leap in the air while on the street and don’t have to worry about small pieces of rock piercing your feet.

For another, they make you feel stable. You should try running using these ugly things. When I had a treadmill test recently (the doctor found nothing wrong with me, by the way), I felt so stable and free. The traction was excellent. It was like running barefoot but with less of the jarring impact on your feet and knees, and better grip on the ground, or the treadmill in my case.

It felt so natural walking and running with my “Four Fingers”. I felt like a Kenyan marathoner running after a gazelle.

Oh well. If only my office would allow me to wear these things. I’m not an endorser of Fila or Five Fingers, by the way. I’m just a very happy customer.

In the future, I hope our shoes would look and feel more natural, just like my “Four Fingers”. And when that happens, we would be admiring each others’ feet. And you know what they say about people with nice big feet.

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