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.