The Earth Shoe

Audio uplink from excavator Johannes Calder, received on 6/5/08 at 2031 hours:

“All I know is, I found it in the middle of one of the avenues coming off of the Central Plaza and that it hadn’t been there the day before — unless I was confusing it with the avenue directly opposite, but I don’t think so. I was on a mapping tour, and I’m just too careful for that. Of course, someone could be playing pranks, but since Theronomous’ chocolate cake debacle, it’s unlikely.

“It was a single shoe, just lying there. I was by myself, but called the others in soon enough. It looked like one of those Earth Shoes from the ’70s. So of course Marta insisted on us doing a bunch of research.

“Earth Shoes were designed to position your heel lower than your toes. They were designed by a yoga master. The angle of incline toward the heel is 3.7 degrees, which supposedly simulates the angle of one’s feet during the Tadasana pose performed in yoga. This is apparently more natural and healthful — “orthopedically superior.” It used what’s called the Kalso Negative Heel Technology. The Earth company still makes the Earth Shoe, though not in the boxy style they were so known for in the 1970s. They were kind of a joke back then, if I remember, but sold.

“According to an article in Time, the height of sales for the Earth Shoe was 1974. The Earth company website has photos of both its Copenhagen and Minneapolis stores, taken in 1974. And we know the significance of the year 1974.

“I remember how the advertising said that the shoes were supposed to match how your feet were when barefoot. They were supposed to be like walking on the beach. So there you go.

“I’m Robinson Crusoe. I’ve found my Friday.”


5 thoughts on “The Earth Shoe

  1. Crikey! Your excavator may have found my own missing Earth shoe! In 1974, in Los Angeles, I got a new pair of Earth shoes; at the time, they were the coolest. I stuck my legs out the window of a convertible (on the freeway) and one of my shoes flew off, never to be found again. Until now?

  2. Yikes! And the year is right on target. OK, it’s in the mail to you. No, wait — we have to keep it for the Museum of Futoria. But we’ll put your name next to it on a placard for its provenance.

    And I disagree with Johannes. I thought they were cool at the time too.

  3. That museum has Elton John’s platform boots, circa 1973, but not the Earth Shoe? One would think that the Earth Shoe’s cultural and historical importance would be indisputable.

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