What If You Didn’t Take Your Shoes Off for a Year

9 months ago

Neon signs and holographic ad banners all around, synth music from invisible speakers — it feels as if you’ve entered some cyberpunk utopia, but in fact, this is a huge mall department where a notorious shoe designer presents their latest collection of sneakers.

You’ve been saving up for months to buy this model, so your hands are slightly shaking with excitement. You and other buyers are handed a contract to sign. It says you won’t make a claim against the sneakers’ creator after you put on their new shoes. You sign the document and press on into a large hall with a glass wall.

The wall is divided into hundreds of square sections with treasured pairs of sneakers inside. There are big hammers with glowing neon heads on the floor. To get the sneakers, you need to break the glass. You readily do it and take your chosen pair.

You put them on and a feeling of incredible comfort engulfs you. The sneakers seem to adjust to the structure of your foot in real-time. The laces are automatically tightened, the sole perfectly bounces off the floor. You leave the store and spend the whole day walking around the city. Surprisingly, your legs don’t get tired at all. Night falls, and you discover another surprise: the shoelaces glow acid green.

Perfectly happy, you come home, untie your shoelaces, and try to take off your new shoes. Oddly, the sneakers don’t even budge. It’s like they’re stuck to your feet. You try a few more times, but nothing happens. Tired, you shrug and fall on the bed with your shoes on.

In the morning, you leave the house and go straight to the hospital. Your feet don’t feel tired because the sneakers are well-ventilated. But your soles and toes are itchy. In the hospital, the doctor shows you an X-ray and you see the sneakers are connected to your feet with thousands of nano-threads that have grown into the muscle.

Also, she says the shoes are made of a unique organic material that seems to be mixed with synthetics, rubber, and muscle tissue. You’re told it’s impossible to remove the sneakers now. She gives you a special antibacterial stick, so you can squeeze it between your sneakers and your skin to scratch the feet in the right place.

On the phone, you read the news that the shoe designer is tired of metropolitan life and has hidden from the whole world in the thicket of green forests, south of your city. You decide to find and ask the designer to take off the shoes. You walk along the road and feel like your legs have become stronger. They ARE stronger, and look better. Perhaps the nano-threads stimulate the work of muscle tissue.

You rent a car and go on a little journey to find the designer. The first night you check in at a roadside motel. You can’t sleep because of the itching. The antibacterial stick helps, but you still can’t get used to wearing shoes all the time. You decide to go out in the street and take a walk.

Tired and sleepy, you wander along the deserted road and don’t notice getting out on the highway. Then, out of nowhere, a huge truck is rushing straight at you at high speed, blaring its horn. The driver doesn’t have time to stop. You’ve got no more than a couple of seconds before the collision. You jump so high that the truck passes under you, and you land on its roof.

You feel great and realize the sneakers have given your feet extraordinary strength. The truck brakes, and you’re thrown forward on the road. You land on your feet and start running. You’re shouting with delight as you’re incredibly fast. The wind blows in your face, and you overtake the cars driving ahead. You stop and look at the sneakers. They pulse like a living organism, and you can feel the electric current running through your feet.

In the morning, you continue your journey and go into the woods. Despite the thick soles of the sneakers, you can feel every blade of grass, every leaf and branch under you. At the same time, it doesn’t hurt to step on sharp rocks and cones.

You pass through dense thickets, and spend the night in the open air, next to a campfire. In such conditions, any other sneakers would be badly damaged, but there are no scratches on your shoes, only dirt. You go to the river to wash it off and decide to check how waterproof the sneakers are. You step into the river and feel the ice-cold water engulfing your feet. For the next couple of hours, you dry the shoes, sitting next to the campfire.

Finally, you’ve found the designer’s house. The fashion shoes creator admits it’s possible to take off your sneakers. But if it happens, you’ll never be able to wear them again. The designer wanted to create the perfect shoes for the urban environment and is perfectly content with the result.

These sneakers are immune to wear and tear, give strength, agility, and speed to your feet, and ventilate your skin. From the outside, they’re almost impossible to damage, but from the inside, the shoes are quite vulnerable. The designer promises that you will soon learn what that means. After a little thinking, you decide to stay in the sneakers for life. You go back and suddenly meet a hungry bear. You’re not afraid, though, as you easily run away from it. There’s a river ahead, and you jump from one shore to the other.

You return to the city and spend the whole day on the roofs. You jump between buildings, surprising the local parkourists. You land from a height of three floors without even feeling it. A month has passed. You get used to frequent itching in your feet. The stick you use for scratching stops bacteria from breeding inside your shoes.

You notice that any damage on the sneakers disappears. They can regenerate. If you’re going to run, you just tie your shoelaces harder. If you want to rest, you just relieve them to let your feet breathe. The laces also remember their shape and elasticity.

Dancing, playing football or basketball — everything is easy for you in the sneakers. But, one day, you start feeling some ache in your toes. The toenails have grown and stuck into the shoes. You try to squeeze nail clippers there and cut the nails, but it’s virtually impossible. And then, the ache goes away.

You notice your nails are now sticking out from your sneakers. That’s what the designer meant when they said the sneakers are vulnerable from the inside. You cut your nails, and now they stick out just a little bit. Your toes are becoming one with the shoes. And now the nails are growing right out of the sneakers. Luckily, it’s not too obvious.

Winter has come. Your feet feel the snow crunching under as if you’re walking barefoot, but you’re not cold. On the other hand, you can walk on hot coals without harming your shoes or feet. You buy an action camera to record first-person videos. You demonstrate your speed and agility for subscribers, become famous and earn a lot of money.

Together with other owners of the similar sneakers, you organize a running competition: a hurdle sprint through the streets. At high speed, you jump from roof to roof, over cars standing in traffic, on thin railings, and through houses under construction. The whole city has become a playground for you. But, like any living organism or shoes, sneakers gradually wear out.

Years pass, you’ve forgotten what your feet look like without sneakers. The skin on your soles and heels is so crude that you can’t feel it when you scratch it with the antibacterial stick. The sneakers slowly lose their initial appearance. The shoelaces no longer glow in the dark, jumping and running causes knee pain.

You want a quiet life, but your subscribers demand more and more crazy videos (sometimes even three a day!). You jumped over the mouth of a volcano, walked a tightrope between skyscrapers, participated in the Olympic Games. Now you want some rest.

You come back to the designer in the forest and ask to have the sneakers taken off. The designer presses a finger to them and the shoes simply fall off your feet.

Then, the designer offers you a new invention. Gloves. Yes, they’re also impossible to remove and full of surprises. Will you wear them?


Get notifications
Lucky you! This thread is empty,
which means you've got dibs on the first comment.
Go for it!

Related Reads