I am a firm believer in Hollander’s Theory of Idiosyncratic Credits. I figure the key is to be balanced in how you cash in your idiosyncratic credits and to use them wisely. Get the most life-enhancing benefit from them — like an odd hobby that brings you joy, a food item that is odd for your culture but very healthy, that kind of thing.
How about a shoe that gives you all of the benefits of going barefoot, allowing your foot to be unshackled from the strictures of shoedom, but with all the grip and protection? My latest “allowable eccentricity” is my beloved Vibram Five-Fingers shoes. I am spending the idiosyncratic credits like crazy, but I don’t care!
I admit that they look funny. My daughter is mortified when I wear them. My wife just tolerates being seen out in public with me wearing them. But. I. Love them.
I wear them anywhere I would wear flip-flops. They attract a lot of attention, which is a down-side. (Why can I not have near-barefoot shoe comfort in peace? Why? Why?)
I saw them in an Adam Sternberg article called “You Walk Wrong” in NY Mag. I initially was looking to buy the Clark’s Vivos, as I am a fan of Clark’s shoes, but they are of limited availability in the US. (I plan to buy some as soon as I can get some, though)
I bought the Five-Fingers as a second choice to the Vivos. But now I am as in love as a person can be with an inanimate object that makes your feet feel free, protected, and respected as individuals.