I hate most shoes and am very happy going barefoot most of the time. I think it's an open/naked sort of thing, I don't really like wearing a lot of clothes in general, I'd rather have minimal substance between the world and my plain self. So in the summer I go through sandals like mad. In the winter I wear sturdy running shoes so my feet don't get tired walking around campus all day. It was in high school I had a totally different phenomenon going on: I had to wear shoes but not sturdy ones, just really comfortable ones. That's when I discovered Converse All-Stars.
They're the perfect shoe. Once worn in, they're like slippers all the time. They're not really lightweight or sturdy and they don't provide a lot of support, but for some reason they blend in with your whole foot and you forget you're wearing them. I'm dedicating the rest of this essay to the memory of the pairs of Chuck Taylor's I've gone through in my life, what I did with them, and what they meant to me.
1: The Navy Flannel Pair
My first and most elegant cons, their outsides were made of soft blue flannel that wore away in a relatively short amount of time (about eight months) so mom threw them away. Darn you Mom! I was so mad. She bought me new ones, but they just weren't the same.
2: Sky Blue Shoes of Happiness
Light blue-gray canvas on feet, what's better? I loved these shoes and eventually dedicated them to something else I loved: The Smashing Pumpkins. My hands-down all-time favorite rock band, no contest, I worship them. I painted the left toe black and wrote ZERO on it in silver paint pen, the right toe had the red and black SP heart forever. I'd spend time every week maintaining shoe decorations, it got scarry.
3: Green With Random Sayings
I got the dark green cons during my mystic poetic phase, so these had words on them. Random lines from people, stuff I thought was funny, etc. The right toe said, in all capital letters, "STOP READING MY SHOE." People would wonder what it said, bend down to read it, and find out they weren't supposed to. Ha! That's funny, right?
Not much to say about the purple ones except they were purple. I put star beads on the laces to make them interesting, they came with purple laces too but anything other than white just seemed wrong to me by this time.
5: The Black Shoes of Darkness
Alright, time for convention, I got black ones. But I put glow-in-the-dark paint and shoe laces with them, so in my own private world when no one was looking they were really really cool.
6: Jenny's Maroon Shoes
My freshman year I met this girl, Jenny, who wore chuck's too. Wow! She gave me maroon low-tops for Christmas, I have her socks. Kinda the same. I'd never had lows before and they were kinda weird, but now they're among my favorites so it's okay.
I have big huge feet, so I was never able to find the mythical Cotton Candy Pink in my size (men's 8). Same with sunshine yellow, I was so mad about that. But I guess we live with these things. Also, the price of cons has gone up a lot in the past few years; there's an outlet by my house where I used to buy them for $14.99, now they're all $30. What gives? Damn capitalists. So that slowed down my purchasing too. But I'm basically of the belief forever that if you just want to hang around in comfy shoes, Converse All-Stars are the way to go.