One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.
Welcome to my new short term photography/style series … Sole Exploration, where I take a more stylistic approach in exploring my collection of esoteric sneakers, boots and other incredibly utilitarian but seemingly still special footwear.
I’ve developed quite a sneaker collection over the years. I still blame it on the fact that I didn’t get my first pair of Nikes till I was about 12. Yes there were special and I wore the crap out of them. But growing up with my fair share of 2nd hand shoes, getting a new pair of sweet kicks (usually with the ubiquitous tick) signified my ascension into middle class affluence. Mark Twain once said that “Clothes make the man, Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Would it be wrong to say that shoes maketh the woman? After all it’s become a running joke that handbags and shoes are what keep the female-centric fashion industry financially viable.
Where other women collect bags, jewellery and clothes from overseas department stores, I always seem to come back with more sneakers and more recently boots which creates a bit of a space problem. As I welcome in new recruits, I often have to say goodbye to old friends, and thus to old stories and experiences. So this series is essentially a mediation on mood and memories.
#1 – Clarks Originals Desert Boot in Brown Leather
Where – Urban Outfitters
When – February 2014
Why – I’ve always wanted a pair of classic Clarks desert boots. Utilitarian yet still chic, they’re perfect for dressing down, or even slightly up. The crepe sole makes for a forgiving stride and the tough leather upper feels like it will weather hundreds of damp and dewy mornings.
Did You Know? – Clarks is a brand synonymous with school shoes in Australia. Every new school year you’d trudge off to your local school shoe reseller, and get measured for a pair of fugtastic black school shoes. Why? I don’t bloody know, maybe it’s a way to make the yoof toe the line (ha) and stop running about or something. So it was to my absolute surprise when I discovered the Clarks Originals range, their history and the cool stuff they were producing. I like my stuff functional yet very urban street in style. So Clarks is definitely up my alley these days, great way to suppress the horrid memories of the school uniforms of yore.
The Bad – Slightly narrow in the forefoot. I got a 0.5 size smaller than my usual because they were the only ones in stock, which has meant a very painful pressure point on the 1st metatasal as the leather bends into the foot during each step. Much disappoint as I will have to wear this pair gingerly until the leather gets broken in.
Photographic Mood – Marlboro man circa 1979.