In the greatest book written in the last century, The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille, the protagonist John Sutter is getting into it with a law enforcement official and closes his diatribe with, “… and at least have the decency to wear leather shoes.”
The rubber soled shoe subject will not die, but a founding father of it just passed. The Amazing Tom sent me the obituary of Bruce Katz, who founded Rockport. He was also a huge proponent of walking as exercise. I am not sure which came first, neither is the author of the obituary. I do know that Mr. Katz put his money where his mouth was and sponsored a chemical engineer named Robert Sweetgall, who walked 11,000 miles in a year in the Rockport Pro Walker. I did the math, and there is a good deal of ambiguity there too – that comes to over 30 miles a day. If you walk at 3 miles an hour, that is walking 10 hours a day every single day for a year. I am not at all sold that this is possible.
Turns out Mr. Sweetgall was also the author of a few weight loss books, and yes, if you walk 10 hours a day for a whole year you are probably going to lose some weight. But again, I am not sure he did.
I have a pair of Rockports, and they are certainly comfortable. But I can’t wear them. It feels like I am going mall walking. The design is ok until you get to the sole (I know people like that):
Rockports to me are the gateway drug to the shneaker thing we have been working on. And now that I reflect on it, I actually appreciate the shneaker thing more. At least the shneaker owns itself. No pretending there, you are not fooling anyone into thinking you are wearing real shoes. They are authentic. Authentically horrible, but authentic, unlike the Rockport. And so we reach the conclusion that while neither is particularly Ivy, the shneaker comes in ahead of the Rockport.
The Amazing Tom also sent me an article on how the Clarks Wallabee is huge in New York Hip Hop. I too, am huge in New York Hip Hop. Actually, not. So I had to read the article, and it turns out there is a guy who did a whole documentary on Clarks Wallabees in New York Hip Hop.
I don’t know about hip-hop, but I know a little about Wallabees, which have been covered here ad nauseam. I consider them Ivy, and here’s why. They are authentic, and they have precedent.
So it goes, in order, for rubber soled Ivy shoes that are not sneakers or true boat shoes… (1) Wallabees (2) …
I am going to get off of shoes for a little, well, until next week when I show you shoes after my own 11,000 miles. And one of my ongoing resolutions is to stop picking on Brooks. Still, I do not get how a company that sells this:
… also sells this: