We’ll come back to ASICS later but I wanted to ask you more of a philosophical question. How do you think of feet?
Well where do I start? I think feet are like south-west Tasmania, they’re the last unexplored wilderness really. I was at a really interesting conference just recently where a guy drilled holes into bones to get a handle on exactly how the foot worked and his conclusion was that we may never know because it’s so complicated. Over a quarter of all the bones in the body are in the feet. It’s such a sophisticated structure! Have you seen Asimo the Honda robot? He’s the closest thing to human movement that’s been artificially created...
I’ve seen him fall off the stairs and crack his head. That was too funny...
I haven’t seen him fall off the stairs but I have seen him run and he looks like an old man and the reason is because all the joints are fused. Feet are the platform for our bodies and they have a profound influence on your body from your big toe to the top of your head.
I heard that if you chop off your big toe, it’s impossible to stay upright?
Absolutely. I actually heard of a case where a young kid lost his big toe. In the end they amputated his thumb and grafted it on to his foot. So yeah, if you’re going to lose a toe, you don’t want it to be your big one.
Do we really need shoes? There’s plenty of dudes running around the Kalahari in barefeet!
I think we do, especially in Western societies. We have been wearing shoes for thousands of years and have actually evolved to adapt to a ‘shod’ situation. There’d be many people who argue with that, but I think that we’ve now pretty much established that it’s good to have the heel raised in shoes. About 12mm is a good thing biomechanically, because you’re in a more efficient position. If you’re running around the Kalahari Desert you develop a lot of calluses, but it’s probably still desirable to have a decent pair of shoes rather than doing that barefoot.
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