I know what you're thinking. I'm not talking about those speedos! I'm talking about the water shoes. I went shopping today and managed to pick myself up a pair of Speedo Surfwalker water shoes. My latest project is to clad my feet with more minimal shoes to strengthen my feet and improve my awareness of the ground. Why bother? Well, I've fully detailed that in my latest Zenfulness blog post. Basically, recent news combined with my own personal experience has convinced me that constant wearing of supportive and protective athletic shoes leads to foot and ankle weakening. I'm trying to transition closer to doing things barefoot to strengthen my feet and ankles. Don't worry though. I'm not planning on completely giving up shoes (or even my current tennis shoes).
I'm not completely willing to be one of those alternative folks who walks barefoot everywhere, so I'm taking an intermediate step by getting some thinner soled, more minimalistic shoes to emulate the barefoot experience. The first trial run (or actually walk) was fun. I could definitely feel the ground better, and I did feel my feet and lower legs working harder during my stroll. I also got the impression that the thinner sole allowed my toes to be more interactive with the ground. I may start switching solely (pun intended) to minimal shoes for my martial arts training. I feel that they'll give me extra sensitivity to the ground and allow me to stabilize my structure better.
My tennis shoes I'll be keeping around for rope jumping and any other activity where I feel I need the extra cushioning (like when I need to do a lot of walking on pavement). I still think regular athletic shoes have a place on my foot. But minimal shoes will most likely get more foot time in my shoe rotation.