Monday, September 28, 2009

Vale Urban Mountain Loafers

It was bound to happen - just days after reading the Doc's obituary for his orange sun goggles, my much loved Urban Mountain Loafers carked it.

The poor buggers have been my clod-hoppers for about 8 years, through thick and thin and in addition to being the shoe of choice for around town, have also been fine travelling companions. They've survived countless music festivals, including being honourable replacements for more appropriate gum boots at the legendary Mudford Folk Festival. They have shod me through thick and thin, across 2 countries (well, parts thereof) and despite many efforts at destroying them through inappropriate use (although this did not, curiously extend to actually climbing any mountains with them, as the Tiger strictly forbid me from taking them on our hike up 3000 metre Tateyama recently. I shall never forgive her for not allowing the Mountain Loafers to realise their true calling in life before they died). Nothing could stop them, it seemed, until their final moments trudging through the sleepy streets of Takoaka (transporting a very hungover body from a mate's tiny apartment, after a very drunken evening where I lost my karaoke virginity). A faint clip-clop sound was drilling into my head-holes with every step, annoying the absolute bejesus out of me. A couple of miffed glances behind me to find the source of this irritating sound were unsuccessful...

until I looked down and found the sole of the right loafer had finally given way and was flapping helplessly away from the shoe itself. Truth be told, this was not the first occasion this had happened, but I just wasn't ready to bid them farewell just then and so hastily glued them back together. This time, however, it was pretty clear they were unsalvageable, especially after I attempted to rip away the offending flappy bit only to come away with the entire soul (leaving them soleless... not soulless).

I picked them up at a post-Christmas Myer sale in Brisbane in 2009, prior to one of my numerous jaunts to Brendan's Byron hideaway. It took just a week of trudging around the beaches, through the hinterland and around parts of the Border Ranges National Park and in and around beer-soaked Byron venues for me to absolutely fall in love with the black buggers. My at times irrational love affair even outlasted my immature dalliance with my 8-hole Docs through high school and beyond; a love affair which left me with permanent calluses on my toes and numerous run-ins with ingrown toenails (although I still kept them in my closet until very recently, even though I officially retired them years ago). And so with still a few more walking days ahead of me in Japan - we're leaving the homestead tomorrow for a few days site-seeing around Yokohama and Tokyo before flying home on Thursday - I was in need of some suitable treads. I've never been a fan of lace-up shoes, and was rather reticent of clod-hoppers which required socks (I'm still in that phase of wanting to show off my Pearl Jam tat on my left ankle, which would be obscured by socks), and thongs have never really been my style. With that in mind, we set about finding if rural Japan had anything fitting that narrow brief. Our second store threw these up at us:

I'm still not sure about the boldness of the colour, but they're comfy as shit and are pretty easy to match with most clothing I wear. So, Vale old Mountain Loafers and welcome the Red Riding Hoofs... may you serve my tootsies well.


Natalia the Russian Spy said...

Women fail to have such compelling relationships with their shoes *sighs*

Dr Yobbo said...

Sunglasses still work... in fact they fit better and look less stuperd than the newbies.

Dammit, still stuck in the 'I like my old stuff better than my new stuff' cycle it seems...

Not entirely sure about the Ronald McDonald specials but if they make you feel beautiful on the inside and don't make yr bum look big, who am I to judge.

Jamin (AKA Blue Box) said...

Nat - yeah, it's all about the bloody football and beer with you sheilas these days, innit?

Doc - Ronald McD specials eh? Good news is they were tested around Tokyo today and fared pretty well. Plus, the outlandish colour does tend to draw attention away from my hideous mug. So all good, eh?

Big Bad Al said...

Pretty in Pink.

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