Shoes Blues

I can’t seem to find a decent pair of shoes I like anywhere, I’m seriously running out of options.

At this rate, I will literally be on my uppers, and run down at heel, even though I have the money for shoes.

I know what I should have done, what I ought to do every time I find some excellent, comfortable and long-lasting item – I should rush back to whence I bought it and buy out their stock. Squirrel it away for when the original items wears out, and then painlessly replace it from my personal stores.

Look, I am fussy with shoes, I know, I know.

I don’t want trainers. Unless I’m going training. A lot of shoes look like trainers now. If I wanted my shoes to look like trainers, I’d go buy trainers. I want shoes.

They must be leather.

I’m biased towards brown. Unless it’s Doc Marten Gibsons, then it’s black.

I’m biased towards laces; I just won’t have slip-ons. Unless it’s deck shoes.

Btw, I won’t countenance slippers. Unless they’re deck shoes.

I had a terrible job being admitted into hospital once, with deck shoes. They insisted on slippers, it said so on the letter. I said these are indoor shoes, never worn outdoors, they said but they’re not slippers! I said, what are slippers, then? They said indoor shoes. I said, do they have to be fluffy looking, then? Stripy or tartan? Not especially, they said. They finally let me wear deck shoes.

The laces must pass through reinforced eyelets. Not just cheap looking holes punched into the leather.

The uppers must be made from as few separate pieces of leather as practical. I don’t want shoes looking like they were cobbled from offcuts and scraps. Oh, and that reminds me – no crimping pie crust stitched uppers either, those that look like you’ve slipped your feet into a couple of Cornish pasties. Hideous.

And I like a nice rounded toe end, not pointy, not chiselled.

And that’s all really. Not much to ask for as you can see. Yet can I find a pair to suit? No. I tell you, the country has gone to the dogs, and we’re all going down to hell in a handcart, two feet at a time.

It happens, in Jamaica, Clark’s are the thing to be seen in. Always have been. Dancehall Rudie Yardie and t’ing. I’ll admit to being partial to a Clark’s too. So essential, songs have been sung in their honour down the ages. Here’s a recent one by Vybz Kartel, Popcaan and Vannessa Bling. A good beat, masses of passion and some handy shoe maintenance tips. Pay attention to hygiene, avoid cheesy feet. Care for your shoes, folks, care for your feet.

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