AS so often, we begin with a clarification.
I'm not talking about thick shoes vis-a-vis the stoutness of, say, a brogue.
I'm talking of shoes that don't have a brain. Your own grey matter – located in the head, madam; try giving it a shake – lights up in agitation: shoes don't usually have brains.
Not yet they don't. That's right. They – and I think you know who I mean – are now working on "smart shoes". To be fair, these are not shoes able to debate with you about Hegel. These are shoes that'll tell you when their heel or sole has worn down. Gordon H Bennett. Do we really need this?
When I alluded to "they", you'd be assuming boffins and whatnot, which is broadly speaking correct. But, in particular, we're talking about Apple, the company that brings you expensive computerie gadgets. Not content with filling your pockets with screens, they want to give you shoes that beep or perchance flash a light on your iPhone or iPad. Aye, right.
In its patent application, the Cupertino-based company notes: "When a critical-wear level is reached, even if the shoe looks like it is not particularly worn, the shoe may not provide adequate support and may, in fact, cause damage to feet".
Be still, my damaged feet. I'd never thought of it like that. Using the old-fashioned technology of your eyelobes, you might take a gander at your footwear and detect nothing amiss. But, invisible to the naked eye, they're starting to fall apart, undermining your ankle integrity and critically affecting your usually much admired walking style.
Question: isn't this all going too far? It's all we hear now: smart, smart, smart. Smartphones, watches, televisions and, now, shoes. Tell you what: I'm sticking to good old thick footwear.