Today was the final day for my longest-serving pair of shoes. They had been with me since before the birth of our first child, which was almost 11 years ago. That’s a long life for a pair of skate shoes!
I still remember the day I bought those shoes. We were in Kelowna for a shopping trip and I happened by a shoe store that was having a sale. Well, it might have been a skate shop. Hmm. Can’t remember that much detail. Anyway, these particular shoes were on sale and I always like to have a pair of skate shoes around the house, so I bought them. Having a pair of skate shoes is nice because you can slip them on and off without tying the laces. They’re like my lazy shoe. I don’t skate, by the way. I’d probably fall and fracture my asshole or something.
I do remember feeling a bit awkward buying the shoes because I felt old. I suppose I was around 25 or 26 at the time (36 at the time of this writing, unfortunately) and didn’t skate, so it was a bit weird. Then again, who cares?
Those black skate shoes didn’t spend a lot of time out in public. I don’t recall wearing them out very much, if at all. They spent their early life around the house with the occasional visit to the beach, as this was around the time I refused to wear sandals. I was into wearing hiking shoes back then. For the most part, the skate shoes spent a lot of their early life in a drawer until called into service for renovation duty. I think I started to wear them inside the house when we were doing renovations. The advantage of skate shoes is, as I mentioned above, the simple ability to slip them on and off. The disadvantage of skate shoes when doing home renos is the lack of a steel toe. They were never worn in winter because they have shitty grip, if any at all. It’s like driving a Camaro in the snow without sandbags (that’s another story for another time).
Time and situation in life changes things. As we became more established in our jobs and matured along the way, I started buying footwear that was more appropriate for work. I soon had quite a variety of shoes in my arsenal, so the skate shoes were sort of forgotten. This would be known as the Middle Ages for the skate shoes. They were starting to look not so new anymore and had been cast aside for newer styles. In addition, sandals were slowly being introduced around this time, so that took even more time away from wearing the skaters.
Finally, the twilight years for the venerable skate shoes were the past 2 years or so. They lived a life of leisure and activity! They became my mountain biking shoes. I had been wearing hiking shoes for riding, but they began to feel too clunky. The skate shoes were brought out of retirement and given new life. They even matched well with my riding shorts, which was a bonus. They performed quite well and handled the challenge. Unfortunately, their age simply couldn’t take the repeated stress. The back of the right shoe blew out, which compromised my handling prowess. It got to the point where my heel would slip out of the shoe if I had to hike the bike anywhere. Ultimately, the decision was made to officially retire my old friends when I stumbled upon a new pair of skate shoes just this past week. And yes, the new skate shoes were on sale! So begins a new generation.
(Interesting note: The old skate shoes never failed me until the bitter end. They still have the original laces.)
Farewell, old friends. You have been good to me over the years. Rest easy, old boys, rest easy.