Saturday, June 4, 2011

The King of the $20 Shoes Gets Wet Feet

Yep.  I own this one.  Completely.

Lets call this "Bill Returns From The Land of 'Duh'".

See, I've always bought a pair of knock-about shoes.   They typically would be $20 and I would wear the daylights out of them.  What I mean by that is that they'd be worn literally through the soles and then tossed with a brief "Auld Lang Syne" thought. 

Being as active as I am, historically, I'd always have a pair of painfully overpriced running shoes for when I ran.  The "Daily Drivers" were never anything all that important.  I'd wear them through all the weather, in the car, out back in the yard, walking the dog.  Basically I have been lucky enough to find "cheapies" that felt good and would wear for a while. 

I'd have a backlog of them in my closet.  There would always be a box of shoes in the closet waiting for the old ones to get embarrassing to wear.  Even after tossing them in the pool (chlorine to sanitize), leaving them in the sun to dry, then freezing to sterilize them, sometimes they'd just better be left at home for the next time you go to do the edging or use the hedge clippers.

But the "daily drivers" were almost always cheap, typically white or grey, and what we call sneakers.

When I went to the wholesale club I spotted the next pair of "daily drivers".   Sure, it's a bit early because I have two pair of daily drivers that are twins.  One white, one grey, they fit beautifully and I switch off.   Probably another year before I need to consider sending them to the great shoe store in the sky, but hey there's a kiosk of Brand New Grey Sneakers!

Score one for the home team huh?

Put them on and they were more comfortable than the old ones I came in with.

Just My Size, and Grey too!  $19.95?  I'm sold.

I didn't look too closely at the small print on the box.  Sure, I shuddered when I saw that I was buying "Yet another piece of Chinese Crap" that I'd prefer had been made by someone here in the US, but good luck finding American Made Shoes at a decent price. 

It was late when we got home with the orange shoe box with the grey prize in it, so I set them in the bedroom closet and gathered up the dog for her walk.

Fast forward to tomorrow, I wanted to try out the new shoes.   Oooh, Comfy.  Nobody will ever know my secret that I paid all of $20 Bucks for them, they look like hiking sneaks... Yeah that is what I'll tell them.  The Orange thread is to hold them together for the quality, right?  

What's this on the box?  They're built to keep your feet cool and dry by venting out moisture?   Great!  Living in Florida it gets hot out there doesn't it?

Bright sun on a warm day faded to a beautiful evening.   That night for the third and final dog walk, it looked cloudy but we didn't think much of the little spritz of rain that danced on the tin roof on the Lanai out back.  It's Florida, wait 15 minutes, it will dry out and get nice again.

Or so I thought.

Walking out with the dog with my brand new "quick drying shoes" we got a whole block away.

And... The... Skies... Opened... UP!

Hmmmm, that yellow blob on the radar did not quite miss us like I thought it would.  We had brought our umbrellas just in case, but Mrs Dog was drenched so we all turned back.

In the gloom of the rain, under the relative shelter of the palm trees, we were on a concrete sidewalk.  They're a rarity in South Florida compared to New Jersey where it is a requirement.  But the City wisely is insisting that in front of new construction you put in a sidewalk.  

Unfortunately these were sidewalks put in by Glenn Wright.   Yes, the builder of Mc Mansions that went through a bust and some legal hassles.   I think he ended up in Jail, but I could be wrong.  There are all sorts of things "Not Quite Wright about a Glenn Wright Home".  The layouts are strange, the quality of the builds don't quite seem to be where they should be, corners aren't always "square", driveways and garages have cracks in the concrete after a scant three years plus.

That was where I stepped in the first puddle.  On a sidewalk that was "new" and "flat" there were small puddles.

Yep, you guessed it... those brand new grey sneakers were designed to let water out, and let it in.  By the time I got back home, the cotton socks were a wonderful sodden mess, and this from a puddle that was a sheen on steroids - nothing really to mention.

Ok great, new shoes that should not be worn in the wet.  We can deal with that.  I went out this morning for a mile and a quarter dog walk in the sunrise and breezes and they really were dried out.  

To paraphrase something that I've said in training people "RTFM".

Read The 'Friendly' Manual.

...or the shoe box.  


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