However, a pop-up shop is trying to persuade us that our money is better spent on footwear that does precisely the opposite.
Vivobarefoot sells ‘barefoot’ shoes for men, women and children, for a range of purposes.
The brand’s patented feature is an ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole, hinged on research that 70 per cent of the brain’s information for movement comes from the nerves on the soles of our feet.
The shoes are made ethically, and there’s even a range for vegans.
This pop-up is staffed by certified coaches, who offer personal consultations with video gait and plantar pressure analysis. Granted, not everyone’s sold on the benefits, but if curiosity kills you, pay them a visit.
14 Great Marlborough St, W1
Open: Mon–Sat, 10am–7pm; Sun noon–6pm, until at least Jan 31
Cost: About £100 a pair