When it happened the first time, I said: I’m not going to blog about that. When it happened for the second time in a single week, I sat down and took a blog photo of my shoe. Note the water damage to the toe and the heel (despite my use of the expensive water-treat spray the store insisted I purchase). Although not as visible, the front of the shoe is flaking and the sole has come detached after it caught on a cobblestone. I bought these shoes in August. They represent just one of the two pairs of my shoes that fell apart this week alone. And so here I am, writing a blog post about how the Netherlands (or, my lifestyle therein) ruins shoes.
In the US, I used to give shoes away periodically to Goodwill. Usually they were in good condition, and the offense was that they were uncomfortable or no longer suited my taste. A few times I sold shoes on eBay, because they were so pristine that even donating them seemed premature. But since we moved to the Netherlands, what happens? I ruin shoes. Wear them out. Holes in the bottom. Soles coming separated from the shoe body. I have thrown shoes in the garbage, in pieces.
It makes sense, and it is a sobering commentary on how much I used to rely on a car. Riding in a car, your shoes will last quite some time. Here I walk or cycle everywhere, rain or shine, so the shoes get weather damage as well as high mileage. On Saturday, the day I discovered a penny-size hole in the sole of my brown boots, I went to den Haag to do some shopping and see Sinterklaas arrive. According to Google Pedometer, I walked about 3.5 miles that afternoon alone.
The brown boots are a leather pair I bought in the US about five years ago, and I hardly wore them until we moved to Europe. They were expensive when initially purchased, and the uppers are in good condition, and so for the first time ever, I find myself considering having my shoes resoled instead of giving them away. Do any of our Delft friends know of a good cobbler shop? And while I’m at it, I’d also take a recommendation on a place I could have the zipper replaced on a leather jacket. And maybe some shoe stores…