Our children don’t spend enough time outdoors these days - FACT!
If I had to define Bogs this might be what I'd say -
Bogs : foot friendly facilitators of exploration and enjoyment of the great outdoors.
Let me share my own checklist of aspirations for my kids -
- Be happy & fulfilled!
In my opinion in order to do this as humans a massive part is the need to move, play, stimulate our senses, get dirty, take risks, be outside, active, seeking adventure and contact with nature - daily experiences that make memories and influence the blue print of the big person that lovely little person will become!
This is best served barefoot.
We love shoeless antics........
Sometimes the dog manages to stay cleaner than the children!
Especially in the safety of our own garden or spaces where we can take some control on the risks to our precious little ones (though in reality they quickly learn this themselves).
When asked, my children prefer to be barefoot outside 'because it feels better'.
What about when we go beyond these boundaries?
What about when the terrain just doesn't allow for shoelessness? (my invented word - patent pending!).
What about the terrible weather? Skin becomes soft more susceptible to damage when it's wet. Trust me I run barefoot - I know!
WE DON'T NEED ANY EXTRA BARRIERS TO GETTING OUTSIDE!
Fellow humans and barefooters.....I think we're going to need to use some common sense!
Interestingly, as I wrote this, I had a look at our friend Nic’s blog - Nip It In The Bud - and saw a perfect quote from Luther Burbank. So thanks goes to her for this quote :
Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets; and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of education.
― Luther Burbank (1849-1926, American botanist, horticulturist and pioneer in agricultural science)
Seems like we share his sentiment.
So what are we to do?
The problem: we live in a country (UK) were the weather is rubbish to say the least. A lack of healthy footwear need not be a barrier to living Luther Burbank's (my own and hopefully your) vision.
A snippet of our life......
We’ve got a dog - Nutmeg - (you may have seen her on my Instagram feed). She’s walked lots. Dog walking. It’s a great excuse for an adventure. We let the kids pick their choice from the Fairy Forest (name so because the Fairies drop sweets there!), the Zebra Forest (because my son was obsessed with zebras as a toddler and we once went on a hunt for them there) and the Gruffalo Forest (we saw a mouse in the grass there once and the trees kind of reminded us of the book).
Sounds great? I’m not going to paint a picture blissful family expeditions. They never agree on location. Generally at least one of them is moaning about something. The truth is, it’s not easy to get them out of the door as all three go in separate directions as I shout and scream to brush your teeth, find your coat etc......yes you know the score.....but when we do finally get out - it's great. It's free. It's fun. I think the kids agree too.
So what about the Footwear.....
One thing that is never a problem is footwear. We all LOVE our Bogs.
Is it the handles that make them easy to carry to the front door?
Or the cool colours and design?
Or that Bogs are designed with comfort and the foot in mind?
You see options for boots for those seeking affordable foot friendly outdoor exploration vehicles for feet are limited. That’s if you don’t want them to fall to bits. Or your child likes cold feet.
In my years of running barefoot, I understand contact and ground feel. And how different attributes of a shoe/boot effect form and biomechanics. I get it. I fixed my running this way!
In general, for barefoot friendly shoes - less is more.
What about when we take to the trail?
What about vigorous muddy puddle jumping?
Serious stream scrabbling and tree climbing?
Feet need some protection. That's why our ancestors first made shoes.....lets call it common sense.
We prefer to be barefoot - so why do we love Bogs so much?
We love Bogs because.....
1. They have a wide toe box - wriggle room for toes is critical for me. So much happens, especially when running and jumping in the front portion of the foot that there needs to be room for the toes to splay, for balance, grip and dissipate impact forces after a mighty puddle jump! I want to maintain my children's healthy toe alignment (and mine too).
2. They are incredibly flexible - both the sole and upper - contain natural hand lasted rubber and not a bit of PVC (the reason for the rigidity and hard thud of cheaper, inferior wellies). The kids range is especially flexible - this is also a key fact. This allows the foot to feel the ground beneath it. What about tree climbing? Got it covered.
There is one slight negative we need to address here since we're talking soles - and this is the reason some people within barefoot circles cannot approve Bogs - it's Heel Raise. As with almost everything in life - even with Bogs - there is a compromise. We can't have all this greatness without one draw back. Except for the Baby Bogs (which are zero drop). They all have some degree of heel raise. Around 4mm for the children's range and a little more for the adults. I can accept this though as these are not all-day everyday shoes. And beside this they are so much better than anything else out there.
3. They keep feet warm and dry - with their NeoTech four-way stretch inner bootie provides insulation and comfort. And the Bogs Max-Wick technology keeps sweat away from the foot and keeps them dry.
4. They are so well made and ooze quality - Bogs are a pure rubber boot. There's no rigid PVC here! This provides quality, flexibility and longevity. In all cases my children have outgrown their Bogs and never destroyed them....and trust me - they push them hard.
My own Bogs (Ultra High) are now 4 years old and have been used daily to walk the dog almost twice daily (I go for sandals or barefoot in the summer and some days she comes on a run with me instead). I've also worn them exclusively in building an extension on the house, a dormer in the roof and all of our gardening work. They been submerged in concrete many times now and simply rinse off with the hose pipe (assuming you don't let it dry!).
5. They look cool - yes Bogs primary objective is comfort, but they also know great design and style. Seriously - just check them out!
So hopefully I've shown you that Bogs are so much more than a wellie!
And that's why we love them!
Until the next time.....cheerio.