Thursday, March 21, 2024


            Shoes are good. They help make my life good. I don’t mean fashionable shoes that look cool. No, I mean shoes that cover and protect my feet so I can walk. When I was a kid I used to go barefoot a lot, especially at camp in Vermont where I would frequently go in and out of the lake. My feet were a lot tougher then, or perhaps less compromised by injuries, weird growths and, possibly, diseases. But now I wear shoes pretty much always, unless I’m in bed.


            I may soon be getting old and may start to forget things, so it might be a good idea to inventory my appreciation of my shoes.


            Before I begin my shoe inventory, I simply have to say that I can’t believe women can wear high heeled shoes, sometimes all day long.


            So, into my closet:


            My main indoor shoes are my Minnetonka slippers, which I wear with socks. I wore out my previous pair after a couple of years, and my replacements, the same model and size, are a bit small, making portions of my feet red, but they are comfortable enough, and with the socks, they keep my feet warm. (I suffer [but not much] from Reynaud’s syndrome, which makes my hands and feet cold.) I bought them from a local taxidermist who also sells shoes – welcome to Up North in Michigan.


            My main outdoor shoes, Merrells, are slip-ons, which means I don’t have to sit or bend over to put them on or take them off. They are reasonably waterproof. Their tread picks up dirt and wood chips from the yard, so I always swap them for slippers when I come in. Their resting place is in a metal boot tray by the front door. I also have a new second pair of Merrells waiting in my closet in case these wear out, or in case we ever find another place to live. 


            I also have two pairs of sandals, one of them for wear in the water where the stones hurt my tender feet and the other for warm days when I wear shorts, which I never do because of my ugly eczema. I also have a pair of water shoes that I lace on when I need security as I attempt to paddleboard.


            Also in my closet is a pair of stylish black shoes with white rims – a gift, as I recall, from my step-son, possibly after a hint from Kim. I wear these when I “dress up” by wearing my black Levis on the way out to dinner or to get a haircut from Trevr. The only problem here is that the white rims tend to show dirt, which means I need to be reminded to clean them. Kim read about cleaning them with toothpaste, and this worked the one time I did it – my shoes have not had any cavities.


            I have two boxes containing a pair of unworn black dress shoes, bought a long time ago to prepare me for some occasion that has not yet happened. I like seeing them in their boxes, as that reminds me of stuff I don’t need to do.


            I also have two pairs of fairly comfortable brown leather shoes – more sporty than dressy – that I wear when I clean up my act with brown or khaki pants. I should check how comfortable they are – it’s been a while.


            I also have four pair of boots: one for hiking in the woods or along the shore, one with metal cleats attached for dealing with the ice that we used to have in the winter, one pair of waders, and one pair of fairly tall snow boots that I wore a couple of times this winter.


            A pair of gray sneakers trainers lurks in the back of my closet. They are for running, and the last time I ran I tore my hamstring, so . . ..


            That’s about it. My brown penny loafers are out in the garage sale, waiting for an antique dealer.


            Shoes are good.

1 comment:

  1. Hi David, I liked your shoe piece. It brought back a memory. Years ago I used to get my hair cut at a small (two chair) barber shop near where I used to teach in NYC. I got friendly with the owner and always chatted with him. On several occasions I remember men coming in and being ushered downstairs where they remained for about fifteen minutes. On their exit they usually carried a small package. One day I was bold enough to ask what was going on fearing some subterreanean illegality. The owner confessed that he had purchased the store lease from a friend who sold shoes at the location. When his friend sold the store lease he left the remaining shoes in the basement and the men coming in were buying the leftover shoes.
    "Can I have a look?" I asked. So I was led downstairs where I saw in the dim basement bookshelves with floor to ceiling pairs of shoes. Not just any shoes, but Santoni shoes.
    A digression here, I did not know about Santoni shoes at the time but later found out they were made in Italy and retailed for close to one thousand dollars a pair. He was selling them for eighty dollars, take your pick. So I did pick several pairs and loved them. On my next haircut I bought some more but I noticed his stock was diminished and was told he was tired selling them a few at a time and so sold a bunch to a wholesale (read junk) buyer. If I wanted some more in the future, better get them now. So I did look and the only thing left in my size was a pair that were...what should I say...a beautiful pair of loafers made for a pimp. Shiny with two colors of leather with variegated trim that felt on my feet like your Minnetonka slippers must home. But I could never wear them in public, at least not while I was in my Sixties or even Seventies. Only in my Eighties when it didn't matter who laughed at me or when I was in some condo in Miami Beach where other men of my age were wearing lime green jackets out to dinner. So I put them away at the back of my closet where they stay to this day, unworn. Miami Beach is out because it is Miami Beach and I am still afraid of being seen in them but every now and then I pull them out to admire. I think they should be in a shoe museum somewhere. In any case, thanks for bring back that memory.
    And BTW, good luck with your house hunting.