I wanted to buy standard white sneakers, the kind I've worn most of my life. I wanted simple, unadorned white sneakers that support my arches and allow my feet to serve their intended purpose without necessarily calling undue attention to them.
They are, after all, just feet. I do not need my feet to make a statement about me. I need them to walk, to pedal the RPM bike at the gym, and occasionally to run from point A to point B without tripping over themselves and sending me into a face-plant on a hard surface.
Shoes should assist the feet in meeting this fairly limited set of responsibilities. I require only comfort and function from my shoes, whether they be for business, or sport, or casual use. My concern over shoes has never relied heavily on the opinions of others. Be sure, I would not wear sneakers with a three-piece suite, or clown shoes to a funeral, but I do not typically spend an exorbitant amount of time pondering my choice of footwear when making the purchase. The only questions that cross my mind at the shoe store are:
1. Do they fit?
2. Are they comfortable?
3. Are they reasonably priced?
4. Are they suitable for their intended purpose?
The gray and neon green mesh-like sneakers fit (check one), are comfortable (check two), and were reasonably priced (check three). In most ways they are suitable for their intended purpose, except for the inescapable and unavoidable fact my feet sound as though I am walking with whoopee cushions strapped to them.
With every step I take, a barely audible (but audible all the same) pooting gust of air escapes around my ankle. No matter how I place my foot upon the ground as I move, the sound is there, mocking me for not sticking to my guns and buying my old man shoes. Wherever I go, if those gray and green mesh-like sneakers are on my feet, I sound like Fozzy Bear testing out his new fart shoes. All that's missing is a spinning bow tie and me holding my hands out and shouting "Wocka, Wocka!"
I suspect it won't be long before I am once again wearing proper old man shoes. They might not be sexy, or stylish, or contemporary, but I'd rather have people thinking I have old man shoes instead of old man incontinence issues.
© 2012 Mark Feggeler