Remember sneakers? The fashion footwear of the seventies and eighties. Good ole trusty sneakers that your mother hated. The kind you wore until they were really scruffy and had holes in the canvas. Just when they were getting really comfortable, the soles would fall off.
Sneakers, runners…you know what I mean. Recently, I went looking for a new pair. Things have changed a lot in the footwear industry.
When I was in school, we wore runners and we actually ran in them. What an antiquated notion.
Now, you couldn’t possibly do anything as strenuous as running (correction: “jogging”) without the specific shoes designed for that task alone. They are also designed to empty the wallet. This they do very well.
“Try these,” said the perky sales clerk in the local sports equipment store. “They’re the latest. See these little pockets all around? You pump them up with air to fit your foot.”
I looked at the three figure price tag and jumped three feet in the air. Clerkette had something for that.
“You need these.” She pointed to a pink and white concoction that looked like something out of Flash Gordon. “These are specifically designed for doing aerobics.”
I peered at the impossibly high cushioned heel and shook my head. “I’m more liable to fall sideways off them and break an ankle.
She gave me a pained, ‘get with it – this is technology’ look. “We have deck shoes, court shoes, jogging shoes, track shoes, shoes to walk in and shoes to dance in.”
I squinted at the trendy wall display, which spanned the length of the store. This was a bit much. I mean, Lord help you if you happen to be walking across an intersection and you need to run before the light turns red. I’m sorry, but I really don’t have time to change my shoes.
“Listen,” I said. “For thirty years I’ve walked, jogged, played tennis and changed diapers in sneakers. Don’t tell me it’s not possible.”
Do I need a special pair of shoes to scrub the floor? Is there a unique type of footwear designed for vacuuming?
I like to help the economy, but this is ridiculous. I sure don’t have the bucks to invest in a separate pair of shoes for each sport. So best to look at what I do most and buy shoes to accommodate that particular activity.
Actually, what I do most is chauffeur the kids around. Next thing you know, they’ll come up with a shoe specifically designed for car-pooling. Complete with little pop-up flags to remind you whether you’re coming or going. Or worse, computerized footwear – like the voice reminders on fancy cars.
Good grief, I can hear them now:
“You’ve been jogging again. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times, these are Tennis shoes. Take them off right now…”