The Science of Shoes
Oh, wise all-knowing Oracle! Tell me.: Why can I only take very small steps, when I have bought a pair of shoes?

Truly, your question touches upon the deepest mysteries of the nature of the physical universe.

The process of shoe generation, like many events in physics, has about it a certain symmetry. Just as a passing gamma ray sometimes produces an electron and an anti-electron, the colossal cosmic energies which lead to shoe creation precipitate the formation of both a shoe and an anti-shoe. This fact explains why shoes nearly always occur in pairs, and why the two shoes in a pair are mirror images of each other.

Most pairs of shoes, once produced, quickly come together and annihilate in a burst of radiation. Indeed, in the early universe, shoes rarely if ever existed for more than a fraction of a second (which is why artists typically portray Adam and Eve as going barefoot). However, as the great physicist George Reebok suggested in the mid-1970's, shoe production occasionally occurred very near to the event horizon of a black hole. In these cases, one shoe would be sucked into the hole, while the other shoe would be spun out of the vicinity, to be thrown willy-nilly across the voids of space. These unmatched "cosmic shoes" sometimes enter the planet's atmosphere and fall to earth, where they are often seen on the sides of highways.

Although shoes have stabilized somewhat due to the cooling of the universe, there is still a strong attractive force between a shoe and its anti-shoe. This force is mediated by a spin-1 particle known as a futon (an English corruption of the original German "fu▀on"). Futon exchange is readily observed among the bins of shoes found at K-Mart, which contain the raw by-products of high-energy boot collisions.

The force impeding your steps is due to the exchange of futons between the shoe and its anti-shoe. The exchange usually manifests itself as a stream of white plastic-like particles. The solution to your problem is to increase the potential energy between the shoes by pulling them apart; this will reduce the attraction and make walking easier. Since you must add a complete quantum of energy before the futon exchange slackens, do not be surprised if the shoes resist strongly, then "snap apart" all at once.

The manufacturers of more expensive shoes usually provide the necessary increase in potential energy before shipping. However, the Oracle has it on good authority that a few discount shoe manufacturers are instead breaking the shoe/anti-shoe symmetry by a dastardly and highly secretive method. When a pair of socks is raised to high energies (e.g. by being heated and tossed in the dryer), it is fairly easy to destroy one of the socks entirely; the energy released by breaking the sock-symmetry is enough to separate several shoe pairs. Hence, certain companies are quietly destroying socks in the world's dryers in order to support their shoe separation facilities. The result is a lot of missing socks and terrible consternation among sock owners, all for a few cents' reduction in the price of shoes. The Oracle is frankly disgusted.

We hope that our explanation has clarified your problem. You owe the Oracle a pair of Doc Martens - size 10D, please.