I’ve never been concerned about fashion when it came to sneakers. I usually look for something comfortable that doesn’t cost too much. I have no brand loyalty, and probably have worn shoes made by a dozen different manufacturers over the last few years. I do try to avoid certain brands because, thanks to Michael Moore, I can’t get away from the image of a half-starved, six year old third world child applying bloody fingers to a pair of $190 shoes. But that’s just me.
I guess that’s why market researchers don’t care about my opinon.
Recently I was shopping in a discount department store with my wife. She was actually shopping. I was just loitering around the underwear looking for those white tee shirts that have no label tag to irritate my delicate neck. As I wandered across the border into the shoe department I saw a pair a shoes that I found very attractive. Even though, according to my self imposed footwear schedule, I was not due to purchase a new pair of sneakers for at least 3 months, I couldn’t help but be attracted to these shoes.
They were not the Seinfeld white that I normally buy, but light tan in color with a flat bottom and very shallow tread. Around the edges there was a dark red trim. The laces were long and round and plump and glowed with an attitude that said “Hey, you. Tie this!”
They were on sale at a very reasonable price so I tried on a pair. They fit perfectly. I walked around the shoe department in them. They were light on my feet, almost like not wearing shoes at all. Then I stood with my back to a mirror and quickly turned around to get a surprise look. The impact was stunning. They looked great on me. I had to have them.
When I got to the checkout my wife was waiting. “New shoes?” she said, observing the box under my arm. “Is it that season already?”
“I saw them and I had to have them, that’s all”, I said somewhat defensively.
“Relax”, she said. “It’s your schedule, not mine.”
By then we were at the register and I handed over my purchase. The clerk scanned it and I saw the description on the register screen come up as “Skate”.
“What does ‘Skate’ mean?” I asked the young man behind the counter.
“Like, you know, skateboarding.”
“You mean these are shoes for riding on a skateboard?”
“Well, uh, yeah.”
Now I was riddled with doubt. How many 58 year old men wore skateboarding shoes? Was I just going to look ridiculous walking around in shoes designed to execute ollies and frontside 180's?
Still, I remembered the impact of that surprise look in the mirror. I went ahead and completed the purchase.
Now I have one more decision to make.
Do I get the maple deck pintail longboard or go with the f-glazz old skool pooler?