Because anybody who wears shoes without at least having trousers on looks a bit freaky. And it’s really hard to find dog trousers (plus dressing up dogs is super creepy).
Also, dogs don’t mind touching the ground with their feet. Let’s be honest, they quite often lick the piss of stranger dogs that they’ve never met.
Anyway, perhaps the real question is why do we bother wearing shoes?
I mean, sure, we don’t have those weird little leathery footpads that dogs have, but feet callus up pretty well if you walk bare foot, and it can (alledgedly) do wonders for posture.
Though perhaps not in a world of cement.
I often wish I could not bother with shoes at all. I already wear sandals pretty much all year round (people are already accusing me of insanity, much earlier in the year than usual, and particularly ridiculous given that the weather lately has been gorgeable).
Airy feet are nice. But yeah, cement and gravel pretty much permeate modern life in a way that makes walking barefoot a bit of a jolt.
Dogs are springier than us, so they get away with less footgear. And watching them run is incredibly fun. I’d get annoyed if they spent more time showing off their latest most fashionable trainers (with the air bubble and the self tying laces or whatever) than actually just enjoying chasing after things for no good reason other than ‘it is a thing that moved fast for a bit’.
Two things come out of that paragraph for me:
(a) the fact that I think ‘air bubbles’ could be described as the the cutting edge of trainer fittings indicates that I’m somewhat out of touch with the world of pedimatic fashion.
(b) dogs are fucking great.
The dog I know best is called Stompy. He is, literally, the greatest dog I’ve ever known. When we’re playing in the park, I quite often end up singing a version of ‘Nobody does it better’ in which the word ‘baby’ is replaced with ‘Stompy’ and obviously all the non lyrical melody is replaced with ‘glangalang‘.
He needs no shoes to look like a mack.
I am worried about the fact I just used the word ‘mack’ to refer to someone I love in a positive fashion. I suspect part of my brain has been dragged into a part of the early nineties I didn’t even engage with at the time by my thinking about air bubbles in shoes.
I never had nike air. Instead I had some TK Maxx bought Pierre Cardin trainers with immense plastic bubbles in the heels (with the brand written in helvetica inside them). They looked like weird black toys and clearly didn’t have any air in them. I swear they were about five times bigger than my feet, yet were exactly the right size.
I looked like I had trod in two fabric tanks from the future.
I was not cool.
I wouldn’t put dogs through that.
Illustration by Lucy.