In what has been a welcomed flashback to days of yore, I made two shoe purchases in the span of a month. Now, before we got all excited and start talking about foolishly camping for a Christmas Eve Jordan XI release, I’m going to end all speculation by saying that both new pairs of shoes were bought for practical purposes (boo!), replacements for pairs that had exceeded their expiration dates.
Last night a 2014 graduate helped the Wrecking Crew out by filling in for an absent player. Since he did not have plastic cleats, I let him wear my old New Balance pair. It was the last time they would be worn before unceremoniously ending up in a CORP trashcan. They were great shoes, comfortable but heavy. They lasted for several years of Nakagusuku and Wrecking Crew softball, but the cleats had worn down and their comfort diminished to the point where my feet hurt immediately after games. The best thing I can say about them is that they were durable and dependable, and though those are not sexy traits in the least, I think we can all agree that I gave up on sexy years ago.
Lynnette and I wandered into Sports Authority last weekend on a whim and found a bunch of Nike Keystones in various colors. The options were these gray/volts, gray and red, white and red, blue and grey, and white and blue. I assume there was a black/black version at some point, but the sample shelf was empty and the shelf behind it equally as bare. I went with these because they were the most neutral of the remaining pairs. Red and blue simply wouldn’t have done for Nakagusuku, and at least I can get away with this volt being close to the yellow lettering on our hunter green jerseys. They only cost me $40, which is nice. They are light, and as an added bonus, my feet did not hurt at any point last night or this morning. Like Toni Braxton said, that means the world to me. It probably would have helped if my complete and utter lack of a throwing arm didn’t cost us the game last night, but at least I looked flamboyant doing it.
I picked these up for a little over $40 on Black Friday in Las Vegas. It’s a Lunarlon outsole so they’re comfy, and there is very little in the way of actual structure past the fat strap which means the fattest part of my feet a free to muffin over the sides of the shoe. I haven’t worn them out yet. I guess I’m just waiting for the right time or something. Also, it’s been rainy, and I have something of a house rule where I don’t wear nice/new shoes into harsh weather conditions. I save that grunt work for the red Skechers that are far and away the most comfortable pair of shoes I own because…
…I finally let go of the previous holder of that title. Like my New Balance baseball shoes, I had flattened all the comfort out of these runners. To be clear, these were the most comfortable shoes I’d ever worn. I got them at the long-gone New Balance store at Ward Centre back when Madison was about 2-years old and took the biggest dump in her life. She filled her diaper with so much feces that it spilled out over the back of her diaper. Lynnette and Madison disappeared for 15 minutes and when they returned, Madison had a new diaper and Lynnette wore an exhausted look on her face. “You don’t even want to know how many wet-wipes it took,” she said. It was something like that, anyway. That memory was always attached to these runners, which felt like I was stepping onto insoles made of butter (or soft feces). In recent years, I treated them the way some professional sports teams treat their aging stars: rest them in meaningless games, break them out for must-wins. I hadn’t worn them regularly before our California trip two summers ago. They’d been in hibernation until our Las Vegas trip this Thanksgiving.
As I walked around Las Vegas, my heels began to ache. That’s never happened in these shoes. When we began packing for the trip home, it became pretty clear that I wasn’t going to have enough space to accommodate all of the new things I’d purchased, including those Nikes. “Well, this is how it ends,” I said to myself (and the New Balances). “What?” Lynnette asked. I pointed to the shoes leaning against the wall. “Really?” Lynnette said. “Yeah. Yeah.”