It happens every few years. And when it does, I am an emotional wreck. That is, when I admit to myself that my go-to Sperry Top Siders ought to be retired and enshrined in my memory for the times they accompanied me for the best of nights at the Box, epic road trips, legendary concerts and other general tomfoolery and ruckus. Now, this decision is not an easy one and I procrastinate making it more than I did writing any paper in college or high school. It gives me separation anxiety, at a minimum.
My general rule of thumb is to retire them only when I fear they may fall apart on the next wear, or in this case, when my feet run the risk of touching the New York City sidewalk; which is a horrifyingly unsanitary thought.
My current Top Siders have had holes in the big toe part of the sole for about a month now. Additionally, the sole is no longer attached to the upper around the big toe. Sloppy, some would say. No. They are just lived in. They are still wearable. The frugal side in me kicks in; then there’s that, you know, whole prep ethos of the older the better… The shoes have a story, a personality, a past, a present; but sadly, an unfortunately short future. They are now flawlessly accustomed to the presence of my foot; and my foot to them. When I put them on it just feels so right. I ask myself, will I ever find a pair as good as these again?
I’ll let you know in a few years.