The (Near) Immortal Soles

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIt was September 1992 and my dad was helping outfit me for the big trip: Hong Kong and parts unknown. So we hit Paragon Sports looking for a sturdy pair of boots. The Mephistos fit great, were tough and lightweight. But $300 for a pair of shoes?! Dad insisted — it was his money, after all — so I acquiesced. From then on, my soles belonged to Mephisto. The boots finally gave out in Biloxi, but until I put them down that final time, we shared a memorable 13-year-relationship.

If all it takes to know a man is to walk a mile in his shoes, then we knew each profoundly. Together, we waded through Suppong’s underground rivers and clambered through caves; played basketball in Pai, Izmir, and Prague; explored the ruins of Sukhothai, Borobodur, Ephesus and Caunos; climbed to Mr. Ong’s Organic Farm; hiked the Cameroon Highlands; ascended Mt. Bromo; ran from the macaques of Ubud’s Monkey Forest; skirted the rice fields of Bali; echoed through the Hagia Sophia; tiptoed around the Blue Mosque; zigzagged through Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar; and tromped the streets of Hong Kong, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Singapore, Melaka, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bunyawungi, Kuta, Ubud, Rome, Prague, Telc, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul, and Paris.

Back in the States, over the ensuing years, we made our way through the Black Hills, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon, not to mention local hikes in Sonoma, Cape Cod, and the Berkshires.

For 13 long years, they withstood pounding, scuffing, being soaked through and dried out again, replacement shoelaces, and worst of all, my stinky feet. Brave, brave boots! But every great partnership must end, and my old companions just couldn’t handle ERV duty. They were replaced — by a $15 pair of Wal*Mart construction boots — but will never be forgotten.

About joshcomix
Brooklyn-based cartoonist specializing in nonfiction comics about topics like Hurricane Katrina, the media, travel, and finance.

14 Responses to The (Near) Immortal Soles

  1. man_size says:

    Does Sari know?
    Shame on you!

    • 4_eyez says:

      She does, and swears she was never jealous; not once.
      But, come to think of it, she’s the one who told me to leave the boots behind when I was packing to come back home.
      Hmmm…

  2. thamesrhodes says:

    I put over 10 Million steps on a pair of red nike’s once.
    They had been all over the world, etc.
    I sent them to Nike with a note thinking I would get some kind of shoe endorsement, but they never responded.
    Did you know it’s only 320’000 steps to Baltimore?

    • 4_eyez says:

      Wow, what a pair of Nike’s! Was it hard to part with them?
      I would love to see you in a Nike ad: “Just walk it.”

      • thamesrhodes says:

        Yes, it was. I paid $39 for them and they were my only pair of shoes for 4 and a half years. Never found a suitable replacement.

      • 4_eyez says:

        can’t you find that exact same model somewhere?

      • thamesrhodes says:

        No!. Sneakers are impossible to find the same model, ever again! I look constantly.
        However, in a first, my latest pair is an exact duplicate of my last pair.
        I had the last pair for 3 years and they had holes in them and were in terrible shape. I saw the exact pair in a store and I bought them and wore one shoe from each pair out of the store. Same Sneakers but one was dirty and full of holes and the other was brand new. I wore them to work like that one day. Looks cool!

  3. speedracr says:

    Sweet lord, that’s some life you’ve lead… Amazing🙂

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