I’m finding shoes to be a real pain in the arse right now. I mean figuratively, not literally. What a shame that the standards of western society demand that people have footwear. Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to have pretty bad luck with shoes.

The shoes I usually wear to work decided last week to start disintegrating. Well, okay, so maybe disintegrating is exaggerating a little – but only a little. They are, naturally, just out of the warranty period. Thankfully getting them fixed over the weekend only set me back ten bucks, but the inconvenience of not having them to wear to work bugs me. I have to resort to my walking shoes.

I’ll call them my walking shoes because I can’t think of any better way of describing them. They’re a pair of brownish-reddish shoes, very comfortable though a little too large for my feet – and no I don’t recall how or why I managed to buy a pair a little too large. That’s not so much of a problem though, ‘cos I just wear thick socks with them.

What bugs me about these shoes is that they’re different colours. Not radically different colours, but different enough that it’s noticeable. At least, I perceive that people probably notice them and think what a strange person I am for wearing odd shoes, though probably nobody has actually noticed them and it’s just a little paranoia on my part.

They’re different due to a tragic shoe-polishing accident last year, when I started polishing one of them with medium brown instead of tan. This proved to be a bad mistake, but not as fatal (again, figuratively) as stopping, trying to wipe the brown off, and using tan for the other shoe. The result after that, almost no matter what you do, is odd shoes.

It’s taken many, many months to be brave enough to experiment again with the shoe polish and try and fix it, but I finally got around to it this morning before dashing out the door with them on my feet. I had a go at the lighter of the two shoes with the darker of the two polishes. They’re not perfect, but I’ll keep at them because I think these’ll be the shoes I’ll take to Europe. They’re sturdy and comfortable and should be good for strolling down cobblestone streets and waiting on station platforms and in airport lounges and that kind of thing.

Besides which, I’ve been reading in the guidebooks about how people who wear runners in Europe are spotted straight off as tourists. I figure that my video camera and backpack should be giveaway enough, I don’t need my shoes to underline it.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.