The High Price of Sole (ms)

I am fond of looking back at things, maybe more so as I get a few years on me. I recall people my age were referred to as old-timers when I myself was a youngster in high school. Old-timers and old people were common references come to think of it. Some of my friends refer to me that way today but they smile as they say it so I don’t take them seriously. It is what it is and nothing will change it.

Anyway, I wandered back down memory lane the other day when I realized it was time to go out for my customary pair of new sneakers. I buy a pair every year about now and that seems to work well. That way, you see, I am ready for the heavy sneaker wear months of spring and summer.

It was that way when I, as a kid, went off to the local store to get my new pair of sneakers for the summer of run, jump and play time that lay just around the corner. I do not know what they cost my folks but I am guessing not much, at least not as much as you could shell out for a pair of sneakers today. Course, they rarely call them sneakers now. Athletic shoes I believe is the most common term.

The summer footwear of my kidhood was sneakers. They had a flat sole that was white and the black canvas sides came up above the ankle. Once you put a pair of those on there was no stopping you. They enabled a kid to run like the wind and came in handy for all sorts of things. When it had been a really good summer, one filled with plenty of action and adventure, the white soles would be stained a mixture of colors. If studied closely, the stains revealed the many paths a kid had taken during his summer excursions.

If you page through catalogs and the various flyers in the Sunday papers you can find similar shoes, in design only. Today they’re more colorful, likely better built and they cost a few dollars more than I think my parents paid or could have paid. Make that a lot more than a few dollars.

One internet store I checked carried dozens of pairs of sneakers (you call them what you want) and the prices varied with the name sewn on the shoe. The more popular the name, the more expensive the shoe. The cost of shoeing three or four kids, if one were to buy such footwear for each, would run into the hundreds of dollars. Let’s see, a weeks worth of groceries or a couple pairs of sneakers…tough choice.

Course, an argument can well be made that the sneakers you buy today are far and away better designed, better built, just better overall than the ones of my era. I guess I might agree with that. On the other hand, if you did a little survey in your neighborhood and saw how many kids were outside during the summer actually using those shoes well you might just say it doesn’t matter much how they’re made.

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on April 13, 2011.

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