With shoes made of rubber, synthetic materials and metal, some people are happy to put their feet through the gauntlet of wearing them.
But others find the feeling of walking in them uncomfortable.
And according to the experts, some brands can do more to reduce the discomfort, while others just don’t seem to care about the experience of being barefoot.
“There’s a lot of research out there that says, ‘you need to make your feet comfortable so they don’t fall off’,” says Chris O’Brien, a consultant with the Footwear Institute, a charity dedicated to reducing the stigma surrounding barefoot running.
“We don’t know the answer to that yet.
We have to do more research on that and see if it’s an issue that we need to focus on.”
It’s not just running shoesThe experts say there are many factors that influence whether people are comfortable with barefoot walking.
“You don’t need to be a running expert to know that wearing shoes and running can be uncomfortable, and there’s also a lot more to the whole process,” Mr O’Donnell said.
“If you’re looking at wearing shoes that are designed for the human body, then it’s going to be harder for them to make you feel comfortable.”
For example, I wear shoes that I don’t like because I’m not comfortable wearing them and they’re uncomfortable.
“But if you wear shoes and feel comfortable wearing those shoes, it’s the same with running shoes.”
Some people like running shoes because they’re comfortable.
But if you’re running in an environment where you feel like you’re not going to get the most out of them, then maybe it’s a bit more of a no-no.
“It’s important that we understand that the majority of people have some kind of footwear problem, and that shoes are a relatively new technology.”
Some brands have tried to change the perception, with products such as the Skechers Work Shoes which were initially introduced in 2015.
“In a lot the first thing they do is they start out with a new colour and then make a product that’s supposed to be comfortable,” Mr Brown says.
“Then they change it again in a different colour.
So they change their colours, and then it changes again, and they make a different product that is supposed to have a different comfort.”
Skeleton Runners is a US company which makes footwear that features synthetic materials, a rubber sole and leather and rubber feet.
“Our shoes are designed to give your feet a comfortable fit and make sure you feel confident when you’re out and about,” the company says on its website.
“They are a blend of materials and the sole is made from an organic blend of organic material, rubber and leather.”
But for some, there’s a more positive message from the brand’s packaging.
“A lot of the products that Skechers has are made to give you a little bit of comfort when you run, and to make sure that your feet are comfortable,” Ms Brown says, adding that the brand has been helping to raise awareness about the issue.
“And we’re doing a lot with them.
I think that we’ve been able to get a lot out of it.”
Skechers Work Footwear is a $200 shoe that has a synthetic sole and a leather sole.
But while many have been inspired by the company’s shoes, many others have not been impressed with the shoes.”[The company] has taken away the appeal of a lot our competitors have, which I don of course like,” Mr Wooten says.”[I think] the shoes that they’ve come up with is just not very comfortable.
It’s very heavy, and it’s not very supportive, and I’m a little worried about that.”
So I’m pretty sceptical about it.
“There’s also the fact that Skeches work shoes do not come with a cushioning system.”
I think there’s been a shift to shoes made from synthetic materials.””
So there’s nothing that goes on your foot.”
I think there’s been a shift to shoes made from synthetic materials.
“The Skechers team have worked hard to get back into the market, with more than 70 million pairs of Skechers shoes on the market now.”
Skeches is a brand that’s been around for over 60 years, and we’re very excited to be back,” Mr Pang says.