Walking in Imelda’s shoes?

My wife calls me Imelda, as in Marcos. For those who don?t remember the foot?wear-hoarding former first lady of the Philippines, it is my spouse?s way of saying she thinks I own too many pairs of shoes. I respectfully disagree. All serve some purpose.

While I admit that I likely do own more shoes than the average middle-aged male, each pair has a distinct role and purpose. I run about 18 miles a week, so a good pair of properly fitting jogging shoes is a necessity.

We road warriors know that running shoes are only good for about 500 miles in the best of surface conditions. Each time I head out, I go from pavement to rocks to sand and back again. So, the soles of my Mizunos show wear more quickly than average. Hence, I need to replace them about every six months or so.

My old sneaks are not completely worn out, so they stack up in the closet. A guy only needs so many pairs for mowing. Besides, they are designed to be light in weight, so dust and fine dirt can penetrate the uppers, rendering them generally unfit for yard work.

In my defense, I don?t spend nearly as much money as I could for quality running shoes. I wait for closeout sales, saving about half the cost. Once I establish a brand in which I am confident, I can buy my kicks online at a substantial discount without worrying about fit.

In addition to my running footwear, I also own a couple of styles of hiking boots. One pair is what I would call urban hikers, lightweight and less sturdy. I also have a pair for the more rugged trails. They are probably even rattlesnake proof, a necessity when traipsing through the canyons of Colorado or even Kanopolis State Park.

Yes, we have seen a rattlesnake on a trail near Alamosa. And, I have a pair of waterproof boots for clearing snow, though there was not much of that last winter. They are also good for walking through water.

As a schoolteacher, I also need some more ?dressy? shoes. They don?t need to be formal, but they need to be an upgrade over sneakers. I have a couple of pair of browns and a small collection of blacks. These shoes have to be comfortable above all other attributes.

Again, when they begin to look a bit shabby, they still have lots of life in them. I just can?t part with them while they continue to be serviceable. There must be some practical use for them. I just haven?t figured it out yet.

I also own some casual kicks for after school or church. These need to be comfortable and in decent shape. These are the shoes my wife complains about most as they fill my side of the closet and seem to spill out onto the bedroom floor.

Since I coach tennis in the fall, I need another pair of shoes for that purpose. Again, I have a couple extras just in case. I used to play basketball, but I gave that up and own no Air Jordans or anything similar. I think there are some golf spikes somewhere in the basement. I haven?t played that game for a while, either.

I don?t own any cowboy boots, though I have a couple of pairs of slippers or house shoes for the winter. I am without flip flops, but I picked up a nice pair of sandals last summer that I believe could also be used for water sports as required.

So, you can see that I don?t really have a problem. I am not addicted to purchasing shoes. I can stop any time, and I seldom buy a pair that doesn?t have a discernable use. Of course, it never hurts to keep looking, right?

Bob Woelk teaches English and journalism at Hillsboro High School. He can be reached at bob.woelk@usd410.net.

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