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March 4th, 2005

Real Shoes

Well folks, it’s been a fun run… but I’m ready to say goodbye to all of you.

You’ve been very supportive to me… at least in the beginning. Since then, I’ve noticed that things have gotten a little softer overall. I’ve felt a little more pain and, at times, to the point where I thought, “Why the heck do I have anything to do with you?”

This dialogue is what I said, at least on the stage in my head, to my shoes. Yes, my shoes. Forever I’ve been buying medium-price shoes for work (and inevitably, New Balance for sneakers.) But I’ve had it. Enough! I want shoes that support my feet nicely. I want shoes that feel good, and I want shoes that don’t look like crap, either.

It’s a shift in philosophy to be sure. Instead of just replacing shoes every year (or six months, or two years) I’m set to pony up for a Real Pair and keep ’em for a good, long time. It’s not like my foot size is going to change anytime soon, right? And conveniently, there’s a foot repair shop (not a shoppe) right across the street from my place. So when it comes time to resole, I can. Heck, I can resole!

So anyway, I want to thank all of you again. As I said, you were supportive. Now you’re not. Now you’re no better than foot covering, which isn’t that tough a job. Goodbye… and good riddance.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Friday March 4, 2005 -- 9:41:47 am
I go to discount stores like Marshall's where they often have top brand shoes at realistic prices. $50-100 for Cole-Haan, Joseph Aboud, Bostonian, etc., that usually sell for much more presents quite a bargain. Plus, I can try the shoes on, don't have to pay shipping, and don't have to be embarassed about offering my foot to a shoe salesperson for measurement. I get self-conscious that my socks aren't clean enough and will usually wear brand new socks that aren't over a few hours old if I actually go to a shoe store. You do these things if you have naturally sweaty feet.

Anyway, the point is, you don't have to spend $300 to get a $300 shoe.

Nothing kills shoes faster than wearing the same pair every day. Follow the wife's example--you just don't have to go overboard. Buy about three or four different pairs of brown shoes and the same number of pairs of black shoes. Maybe two pairs of oxbloods, or whatever color best fits your wardrobe. Then rotate shoes. You can have this many pairs of nice shoes if you find the hi end brands at the discount stores. If you're paying retail, unless you're independently wealthy, you can forget it.

Also, I've found that investing in cedar shoe trees helps a lot. You put them in the shoe immediately after you remove it from your foot all hot and sweaty. The cedar absorbs the moisture thereby preventing it from attacking the leather. It also helps the shoe retain its shape. Again, Marshall's often has shoe trees for about $7 a pair--they're like $25 at the shoe store or department store.

Plastic shoe trees are for the birds.

I hate to sound like a Marshall's ad, but I've got lots of nice shoes and haven't had a worn out dead pair in a long long time. Some of my shoes are now at least five years old and still look new. I haven't bought a new pair of shoes in well over a year.




FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday March 4, 2005 -- 9:46:12 am
Oh, I'm not going to spend $300. I am Bohemian. I know my limits. But I'm also looking to spend a good deal more than, say, $25-$30 which is what my current pairs cost. I'm also not anti-Marshalls; one can find some good, name-brand stuff there.

Thanks for the tip on cedar shoe trees, too.



FROM: Matt
DATE: Friday March 4, 2005 -- 1:11:11 pm
I just bought a pair of adidas sneakers at Marshall's two days ago for $30.



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Monday March 7, 2005 -- 4:09:24 pm
Cedar shoe trees also kill foot odor and replace that swamp smell with a fresh outdoor cedar scent.



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