The growing trend in running barefoot tempts me to make a few jokes about the cost of running shoes during the recession, but I will desist. Fact is, however, that there is a growing segment of the population that likes to run au natural, and of course, the footwear companies have found a way to cash in on this.
In other words, they want to make footwear for people who want to run barefoot. Which is sort of like making swimwear for skinny dippers.
The brand name that really attracts me is the Vibram Five Fingers. These shoes look pretty cool, but let's return to the name.
Some call these the "barefoot alternative," or the closest you can get to knowing how it would feel like to run a marathon like Fred Flintstone.
These shoes, which really have taken up some serious headspace among aficionados of natural running, already have a plethora of catchy nicknames like "VFFs" and "Vibes," but there is just no getting around the fact that feet do not have fingers - they have toes!
But, alas, the Vibram Five Toes just sounds, well, weird. So, somehow or other, the name seems to work.
Nike is also getting into the mix, offering a stripped down sneaker called the "Free 5.0," but as far I can see, it looks like a plain old running shoe. And nothing Nike offers is "Free."
Now, here's the funny one: the Vivo Barefoot.
Obviously, these names are illustrative of the difficulty in naming a product that, by most degrees of logic, really should not exist.