Thursday, April 03, 2008

Shoes make the man.

As Mark Twain so eloquently put it, "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

As I was putting away the sundry rubble of my life in an attempt to set a good example for my daughter, I noticed that my shoes say a lot about me. I don't mean the leather hoohas I wear to work. Although I spend a lot of my time at work, the shoes I have for that activity are based largely on factors outside of my personal choice or even control. (Damn you, corporate America!) But the shoes I wear when not at work, they say a lot about me.

There are my Vibram Five Fingers (; my running shoes. Running, which used to be a chore to be avoided has become a pleasure to pursue since I found barefoot running. There is something very eight-year-old-esque about them that I like. I had forgotten how fun running could be.

And then there are my beloved La Sportiva Katanas. (Hmmmm...there is an undercurrent of a ninja theme here.) The comfort-opposite of the Five Fingers - I can only wear them for short periods at a stretch - they are none-the-less one of my favorite pairs of shoes. I love how I climb in them. I love how they look. They are technical and hard enough for the dreaded little, sketchy toe edges on a 5.11 and make me look pretty good on a V4 or 5.

And my Avalanche snowboarding boots. One word: comfortable. Well, they look cool as well. So two words: comfortable and cool. (Damn, that's three.) I love to hit the slopes - in style - with these guys. Snowboarding - which I only recently discovered as being wonderfully fun as opposed to skiing which is horribly un-fun - gives me that winter-activity to help round off the sports trifecta.

And what do these shoes say about me? For a non-sporty guy, I guess I'm a pretty sporty guy. Interesting. And strange. Running. Rock climbing. Snowboarding. Yet I still don't think of myself as being terrible sporty. But then, do the shoes make the man? Or at least say something significant about him? These shoes are indicative of the choices I make for my free-time; the golden moments I spend with family and friends doing what excites me, what I love, what I crave.

I suppose I should have included my flip-flops in the photo. But that's another story.
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