I made a decision in life that will affect me down to my sole.
After a half-century of crossing, pulling, looping, crossing again and pulling tight, I’ve taken the stance that I’ve tied enough shoes in my life.
Double knots in the time of need included, I figure that I’ve come to closure with, say, oh, wait, carry the four, one million shoes in my life.
From now on, I’m only buying loafers.
It’s not that I can’t still get down there and complete the bow, mind you.
I’ve seen those people, and I am not yet one of them. I can still bring my arms down low or one foot at a time up high. My belly has not gotten in the way. My joints can still rotate.
It’s just that I don’t want to tie one and then two on anymore.
Not when the world has cooperated so wonderfully by concluding that men these days can follow form and function by wearing a shoe and then another that slip right onto the foot and then another.
I get up in the morning and slip on my slippers.
I get ready to walk Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle and I slip on my sturdy walking shoes.
The slip-on world has taken me so far as to become a man of two seasons when it comes to everyday foot wear.
I started out with those sturdy moccasins that seemed just right for fall and winter. You’ve seen my type of harsh-weather loafer. It’s the pair with the brushed-look on the exterior, tough-appearing songs of guns that’ll get me through any and every mud pile and snow slushie.
The first pair was purchased at a K-Mart a dozen years ago, twenty-buck knock-arounds that looked tougher than they wore.
So I dabbled at Sears, with Lands End. I did not like the ones with the little zippers running up the middle like a stripe. It ruined the look and the fit. They ended up hiding in the closet.
I moved up to Bass, the Roscoe, in particular.
This was a shoe that was as comfortable as it was expensive.
I felt like my feet were swaddled in luxurious shoe comfort. But I looked like one tough hiker.
To lessen the financial blow, I’d buy my yearly pair of Roscoes during a trip to the Waterloo Premium Outlets, directly at the Bass store. They seemed to whack a twenty or so off the prices I saw around here.
When I got the new Roscoe, I’d move the old pair into the hallowed position of yard-work shoe.
Yes, I wore these shoes year-round. With shorts, even. At the back of my mind nibbled the thought they were perhaps summer inappropriate. I did not listen to that voice.
I always bought the same brown-beige color.
And then the Roscoe was no longer to be found.
Discontinued, I tell you. Gone. Vanished. Vamoose.
None of the replacement models at the Bass outlet seemed to fit my foot. Yes, sometimes the left felt OK but the right was a little off. Pull another size out of the rack and the right felt fine but the left felt a little off.
Maybe it was me pouting about the removal of my beloved Roscoe, you think?
In any case, I found at Off Broadway Shoes at Destiny USA, Syracuse’s mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex, a fine pair of Merrell slip-on shoes that fit like gloves. They are brown, a shade darker than my old Roscoes.
They’ve lasted the first winter.
Last week in Waterloo, my dear wife Karen bought me a pair of blue Margaritaville loafers at the Famous Footwear outlet.
I love the brand. Jimmy Buffett has provided me now with several pair of business casual brown loafers.
Margaritaville also served up a few summers ago a tan summer slip-on that’s OK for casual wear — you know, a trip to the movies or a happy hour — but not sturdy enough for the long walk.
These new blue babies will take me far. I wore them yesterday to the Syracuse spring football game, and the trip from the parking lot to the Carrier Dome was like walking on a cloud.
Last in need, first in my closet, is my black dress loafer. I purchased this pair six years ago to wear with my new charcoal wedding suit. I do not remember the brand.
But I’ve been wearing both the suit and the shoes at job interviews. They make me feel sharp. One of these days, I may wear them back to some office or another, alternating with my brown Jimmy Buffetts.
Which brings me to sports.
It’s my last bastion for tie shoes.
My white New Balance are ready for a trip to the gym, but we’ve given up the Gold’s membership for awhile now.
My black Dexter bowling shoes have lasted six seasons.
My brown-and-white Nike golf shoes are moving onto season two.
When these need to be replaced, I may have to break my vow and buy another laced pair.
Unless, of course, Big Shoe comes up with a loafer for gym, alley or course.
No velcro, please.
What is your favorite shoe? Do you prefer laces or loafers?