Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Spoilt for Choice

I bought new shoes on Sunday that I am disappointed to discover still look new today. I've been meaning to buy new shoes since I came back from overseas, I bought new runners to replace my nike zoom waffles that have lasted almost 7 years, and also wanted to replace my nike + shitboxes I bought in Japan and successfully destroyed over the course of my travels.
City to Surf forced my hand on the running shoes but It's taken me what 4 months to actually buy new street shoes. This is largely because of choice overload. See I'm not one of those douchebags that collects shoes (more ranting on that down the post) and still believe I should get a minimum years wear out of shoes.
They probably will go out of style in the meantime but fuck it, shoes are shoes they are for cushioning my feet from the impact of walking on hard surfaces and protecting them from hobo slag.

I fondly remember in highschool if I needed to buy street shoes you simply bought Converse Chucks (for like $30) or a few near identical imitators like Mossimo n shit. They all looked virtually identical.

Then came the skateshoe phase that had an 'astro boy' or Volkswagen beetle aesthetic to them and I found it hard to find shoes that weren't three times the size of my head.

Then back came the classics like Chucks and Vans and now suddenly poof! there's 100's of gaily coloured shoes to choose from. I'm not opposed to gay colours per se, I think bright colours in clothing are certainly missing from the drab inoffensive attire of world leaders and as such compensate by trying to dress as loudly as possible.

But fuck 500 shoes, I just couldn't choose. I'd go in see three that I liked, lose confidence that I was making the right choice and meekly vanish from the store.

So in times like these I 'look for a sign' usually to make my decision. I bought some green and yellow puma shoes because I saw a sikh practitioner dressed head to ankle in orange wearing the same pair.

This time I bought shoes in the Swedish national colours because I'm going to a Scandanavian festival this weekend.

But the fact remains that I'd have made my purchase decision much faster if I'd just had less choices.

As for Shoe collectors, these entreprenerial teens are the bubble investors of tomorrow. In the 80's comic books proliferated with boxes of unsold 'collector edition' issues following 'the death of superman' where people bought 'made to collect' comic books with flashy foil covers never intending to actually read them just banking on some millionaire actually wanting to buy a copy of the limited edition issue ten years down the track.

Then came basketball cards that have probably preserved their value much better. Largely because Michael Jordan is so famous. But nevertheless the number of people that collected basketball cards in the 90's means that there's actually probably quite a few mint condition sets of the '94 season floating around.

And now Nike simply manufactures 'limited edition' shoes every month for collectors. And there's heaps of collectors buying in. I saw on TV once a collector interviewed and he was asked 'what is the Holy Grail of shoe collection' and the guy said 'probably The Nike Air Force Anaconda's - they are made of Anaconda skin' I'm sorry I would have accepted 'a pair of signed game-worn Air Jordan XII' that I can imagine being sufficiently well designed and rare to qualify for holy grail status. Not some fucking shoe Nike made this year. That in collection terms cannot be 'the holy grail' because anybody could make a pair of shoes out of Anaconda skins and charge you a fuckload of money for it. Just because Nike chooses to make a few overpriced extravagant shoes doesn't mean you should buy it, nor should anyone buy it from you as an investment.

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