On the Pointlessness of Pointy Shoes

Archaeological advice on post-pandemic footwear. Plus: brittle stars in a “weirdo box,” a possible Viking ransom and more in the Friday edition of the Science Times newsletter.

As millions of Americans begin the long trudge from work-from-home back to work-at-actual-workplace, they confront a familiar, sometimes uncomfortable dilemma: What to wear on their feet.

High heels, wingtips, work boots, all manner of confining and constrictive shoe, even loafers, have moldered in closets and gathered dust under beds, no love lost. One, uh, friend has basically been barefoot for the past year, padding around the house confident that his toes, unbound, have rediscovered their splayed, prelapsarian selves.

This all has been terrible for the

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