Monday, May 1, 2017


I put my foot on my desk and took this picture. You can see the sneakers I wear everyday, and note the bad spot where the sole is coming away from where my toes are.
My husband, actor singer John Cullum, periodically re-attaches the soles with glue. Each sneaker, with the newly glued sole clamped in a vise, sits on his desk for 24 hours. When they're fixed they look ... not pretty ... actually, they look awful but I but I wear them again and again, because... golly, can't throw them out.

Anyhow, sneakers are very IN. Famous folks like Kanye West now design their own styles. People are spending $2000 to $25,000 for refurbished, famous brand sneakers that a super athletes have worn. Does buying what a celebrity, like Michael Jordan, wore endow you, or bring you closer to him/her -- to achieving what that person achieved?
You can even buy Chuck Taylor's  sneakers. Basketball player, coach, shoe salesman/evangelist in the 30's, Chuck's the man behind the All-Stars Converse Sneaker, the most successful selling basketball shoe in history. By the way, if LeBron's one of your heroes, you can buy a pair of his sneakers for a much lower price.
If you're not sure what you want, head for Kixify Market Place, and click all. You'll be amazed.

I gather that Sneaker-itis started in the late 18th Century with people wearing rubber soled shoes called plimsolls -- they were crude, with no right foot or left foot. Around 1892, U.S. Rubber Company came up with more comfortable rubber sneakers with canvas tops called Keds. By 1917, Keds were mass produced.

They were nicknamed "sneakers" because they were so quiet -- a person wearing them could sneak up on someone. Around that time Marquis Converse produced the first shoe made for basketball, the  Converse All-Stars shoe that Chuck Taylor made famous. In 1924, a German guy Adi Dassler created Adidas, the sneaker that track star Jessie Owens wore when he won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics.

Kids began wearing them as fashion statements, especially after seeing James Dean in sneakers in the popular movie "Rebel Without a Cause.

Then, in1984, Michael Jordan signed a contract to wear a Nike shoe that Nike called Air Jordans -- the most famous sneakers ever made, even more famous after Jordan retired from the NBA. Meanwhile, Nike, Reebok and Adidas are competing, changing the look of sneakers with wild colors, adding this and that, producing shoes for every sport, sneakers that folks hang on to and love.

Like me and my favorites with the Cullum-glued soles. Hey, if you've got a pair from your olden days that you'd love to get fixed, contact Red Star Cobbler in Chicago. The owner Ray Ramirez charges $25.00 for a basic sneaker cleanup. It might take quite a few months till he gets to yours but wow -- he'll make 'em beautiful again and more precious!

Yes, my favorite sneakers are precious. I write-talk more constructively when I'm wearing them. Maybe that's why people wear their favorite sneakers -- they make you feel as if you can walk, run, do sports, do whatever you do -- better.

No doubt about it -- it's sneaker love -- my sneakers are my good luck, rabbits-foot.


Carola said...

All my sneakers have holes in the toe box because I can't find sneakers with a wide enough and tall enough toe box.

Unknown said...

I have a collection. Certainly, not a collection comparable to a pro athlete's. But, over the many years, I never throw my old sneakers away...more like, I put them in semi-retirement for that "just in case" moment. Some have been waiting for THAT moment for well on 30+ years. Yes, I am a
"dude". :) Loved this piece Em!