Shopping in Vancouver: Shoes, sandals and such things as freezing your shoes
Well I have heard of terms like anti-matter and anti-gravity but I confess that I had not heard of anti-shoes until I walked into a store looking for sandals to replace the ones that kept giving me blisters. Ballroom dancing is really hard on my feet, especially since I mostly wear quite high heels, so I am always interested in finding out more about different brands. Julie, my massage therapist - who looks like an angel but finds every pain spot like a devil - suggested that my biomechanical problems - tight IT bands and tight every other muscle, would be better served if I got good flat shoes for walking. I was on a search for SAS sandals and thanks to my computer, found a store on Granville Stret, downtown, that carries them.
While I was trying on a pair of SAS sandals- and they are as comfortable as they are supposed to be, Amanda and our delightfully helpful salesperson, Sarah, got into a conversation about the anti-shoe! From what I gleaned from their conversation, the idea behind the shoe is to reproduce the effects on the skeletal system of walking barefoot versus the walking on multiple surfaces using shoes with different degrees of support. So these shoes are supposed to mimic the effect of walking barefoot on soft uneven ground such as sand - this forces one's muscles to react to counter the stresses and correct posture. Hmmm.
Naturally sceptical I wondered what clinical esearch lay behind the advertising. So I did some research of my own. The original shoe was produced by the MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) Company working with a prof from the University of Calgary Human Performance Lab. According to their web site their shoes incorporate a "patented Masai sensor" that is located below the heel and simulates the efffect of walking on uneven ground. This stimulates a rolling action that exercises the muscles of your feet and legs. They state that this can solve knee and back problems, relieve neck tension, ease joint pains and shape firm buttocks and thighs. They also say that it increases the fitness level of the wearer and has sustainable health benefits. Wow. Sounds like a lot of work for a shoe to do. I guess that's why they call it not a shoe but an anti-shoe. Fascinating. Maybe I will try them out when I get back from my next dance cruise. Wouldn't want to tire my legs out in advance!
So it goes to show that you can learn about new stuff, even when you are shoe shopping. And here is another tip I heard from Sarah. While we were discussing how to keep shoes clean, I asked if she had any tips for care of shoes exposed to a lot of sweating - as in dancing. She says wrap your shoes in plastic and stick them in the freezer for a bit. The cold apparently knocks out the bacteria that cause the shoes to become odoriferous! Who would have thought that. I wonder what the cold does to the material of the shoes? Maybe a little scientific experiment is called for.
Another friend suggested sticking those anti-static fabric softener dryer sheets in your shoes. They are so strongly scented that the scent overpowers everything else. But then you walk around smelling as though you have just been rolling around in a dryer!
Anyway I am really curious to know if anyone has experience with the anti-shoe, with freezing shoes or the fabric softener sheets. Do any of these things work?