Saturday, June 14, 2014


When I wear flip flops in wet weather, I slide around, soak my feet, and find bits of mud, leaves, and other street dirt sticking to the backs of my legs. I needed something more practical, so I broke down and bought these Keds. (Between a sale promotion and a rewards credit I had, I got them for about $24 at

They are neutral but there's a faint gold shimmer to the canvas. They're simple but different, and I never liked rubber toe caps. When I was in 9th or 10th grade, I had a pair of (dirty) white boys' sneakers similar to these from the five-and-ten, and I sewed rows of dark red bugle beads along the sides, near the laces, to make sparkly stripes. No one else I knew had done this, and I don't know what inspired me, but my mom and I thought my sneakers were wonderful.

While shopping for these Keds, I discovered that I hold powerful, quasi-religious beliefs about sneakers that date to my single-digit, primary-school years. Unlike my belief in the Holy Trinity, my sneaker creed is still Truth to me. So I never, ever wear socks with sneakers. I'm deeply suspicious of pointed, girly toes. And I can't wait for these Keds to get dirty. Clean, new-looking sneakers are sissy, girly and just horribly wrong. Ew.

I didn't buy white ones because I knew I'd immediately have to find a muddy creek, a deep puddle or the city version — a running, filthy curb gutter — and stand in it, soaking them, as I did in my youth.

But, dammit, they hurt. Like the Converse All-Stars I suffered in during the '90s, they bite the backs of my ankles like crazy and won't break in.

A layer of moleskin along the edge didn't help at all. My ankles were bleeding and I was limping after a couple of slow, careful miles. So I've been putting layers of clear plastic surgical tape on my skin. It helps, but it's not perfect.

I hear that taking a hammer to the backs will soften them. They're already pretty flexible, so I'm doubtful about this, although I don't know what else could be wrong. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions before I dig out our big hammer.

Perhaps the mud puddle is the secret.


  1. My suggestion, sorry, throw them out. I have found that if they dont feel good right away, they never will. (oooo, I hate the ones that sit too high on the back of the heel in the soft bendy spot.They never seem to feel good if they grab you there)

  2. Yes, you probably have a point, but I was thinking I could try cutting out the evil portion of the back edge of the sneaker with a scalpel or something if all else failed. It's not like I need my sneakers to look pristine, after all...


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