Costumes are a big deal for superheroes. The classic ones are known for wearing tights, wearing capes, wearing underwear or leotards over their other clothes, and so on. Batman is no exception. He is usually portrayed in tights, cape, and underwear over the tights.
Shoes, though, do not get much attention. Unless you are the Green Lantern.
Shoe design has not changed much since we started covering our feet thousands of years ago, and superheroes, by and large, wear boots.
It makes sense. Superheroes need protection from the elements (and in some cases, bullets), so sturdy footwear is appropriate. I will even let Batman’s sneakiness despite his boots go, since I assume he has trained for years to be ninja-quiet. However, I do not understand the negative reaction to Green Lantern’s toes showing. The costume is a skin-tight layer of pure energy around his body. Since it is designed for any alien morphology, it makes sense that it be as exact as possible. How is the ring to know that in this world, toes are not fashionable?
Toe-shoes are the new thing in athletic footwear. Some people have a strong negative reaction to them. Personally, I do not. I grew up in an Asian household and love being barefoot. I am constantly barefoot at home and would be barefoot more outdoors if not for my concern about hot pavement, broken glass, and parasitic worms. A few years ago, I found out about Vibram Five Fingers and purchased the KSO (Keep Stuff Out) version for myself immediately.
I wore them on the half marathon I ran (and several other races since then), when I climbed Half-Dome, and now when I weight-lift at the gym. I had originally planned to wear them for the GoRuck Challenge, but read on their FAQ that they highly recommend shoes with a little more cushion.
In general, though, I love my Vibrams. I get the sense of freedom from being able to flex my toes and arches. My feet can breathe through the mesh uppers and “feel” the ground through the thin soles. I can feel barefoot as I run outside without worry of injury. They even help me with my weightlifting – the skin-tight nature of the shoe means it is easier to check my foot position. The thin soles mean I have a better sensation of where my weight is over my foot (which is important for proper form) and that I have a slight mechanical advantage on deadlifts, which become more difficult as foot height increases to or past the bar. They are also great for travel because they pack flat and I can squeeze them into any bag.
Possibly the only downside I have found is that they get smelly quite fast, but wearing toe-socks takes care of that.