This is a rant about shoes.
If you ever want to see me truly miserable, take me shoe shopping. I despise shoe shopping.
Why, you ask?
For one, I’m extremely picky about style. This may seem odd coming from someone know to wear t-shirts and jeans to almost every occasion, but what you don’t know is that each piece of that outfit is carefully chosen. The shirts I’m not so strict about, but I only like certain kinds of jeans and certain types of shoes, and I expect them to look a certain way.
I also despise cheap shoes. Many of my friends, in fact most of them, are Target/Payless/Wal-Mart shoe people. And this is fine. I wish I could be one of you. However, I hate the way cheap shoes feel, and I hate the fact that I have to replace them often, because finding a new pair of shoes is always an epic adventure for me. I literally searched for multiples of years for a decent pair of boots. When that pair started dying, I searched for two years before finding a replacement that was passable…just barely. I still haven’t found a pair that I like equally as well.
I had a pair of sandals I liked my freshman year of high school. When those died in 1997 I began the search for a replacement.
I finally bought another pair of sandals in 2005.
Today, after a long search, I bought a pair of dress/casual shoes. It’s been so long since I bought a pair of shoes of this type that I honestly can’t remember when the hell it was. And I can remember that pair of sandals from 1997 and last buying a pair of tennis shoes in 2001 right off the top of my head. Consider that.
And I hated every minute of it. I hate spending that much money. Part of me really wanted to buy the $15 Target special. But they’re crap. I hate crap. Yes, thousands of elitist bastards who only buy $500 or $2,000 shoes think what I just picked up was cheap at $49.99 (go K&G!), but they really aren’t. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a cheap bastard.
Why did I buy that exact pair? I don’t know. For some reason despite looking nearly identical to dozens of pairs I had looked at already, they were the one. I don’t question that feeling. That feeling is what gets me shoes that last for tens of thousands of miles. They simply felt slightly more comfortable, or were shaped a little bit better. I don’t know.
Because I keep shoes for years. I may hate buying them, but I keep shoes forever. And this pair even has shoe trees to help keep them in proper shape. Hopefully by the time these need replacing dress and business casual shoes won’t be universally ugly. I’m not holding my breath, considering that ugly dress shoes are a western European tradition, but maybe something radical will happen.
You want to know just how long I keep shoes?
My last pair of ($80) boots I wore daily, everywhere. This has been cataloged on this site many a time before. They lasted six years.
I’m still using a ($2) flip-flops that are now entering their fifth summer of use.
My ($50 on sale) Birkenstocks are going into their fourth, and more or less replace all of my other shoes for everyday wear in the summer. And the best part? If they ever die, they still make the exact same damn fucking thing.
This article brought to you by hatred.