Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…


For a variety of reason, if I want to go anywhere these days. I have to walk.

A trip to the shops is at least 4 miles, more usually 6 as I prefer a bit of choice – so I’ve started to eat shoes (speaking figuratively, just in case).

I threw the black soled examples out 3 years ago, then went and pulled them back out of the bin, to see how long they would last after I had dumped them for letting my feet get damp. The answer was just over 2 more years of use, provided I was careful to only wear them when there was no rain around. I drew the line at carrying on once there I had managed to wear them to the point of having a hole in the sole. You never know what you might step in one day!

Those with the white soles also managed at least another 2 years of service past the point where they would have been discarded. Their wear and demise is quite different from the black ones. The white ones eventually cracked and broke across their width, precluding reaching a proper hole, but hey have more or less worn down to the liner, so that probably counts. The same criteria of ‘wet feet’ applied, and they too had to be reserved for fine sunny days, or in Scotland, just dry days. Even a damp pavement meant coming home with soaking feet, which happened twice, and I think is down to the crack acting like a little pump, catching any moisture and squeezing inside the shoe. On those two occasion, my socks were dripping wet by the time I got back home, although there had not been a puddle in sight, just a damp footpath.

Worn Soles 01

The second pic show two pairs of very light shoes I bought at the start of the year, mainly because of their lightness, and being on sale helped -but they’re not a bargain. They’re rubbish, and useless for wearing outside for walking, and fit only for use as slippers.

The black soles in this pic have only been worn indoors, while the white examples have been used outdoors on about a dozen occasions at most. That’s not even a full year’s use, bearing in mind those shown above managed at least 2 years AFTER I considered them worn out.

The white soles have worn away completely at the heel, and a torch can be seen through it – a fact I can confirm from the pain of standing on small stones when walking while wearing these shoes. There’s not much meat left on the rest of the sole.

I’m thinking of buying some stick-on soles (made for trainers) since the uppers are still like new. 10-12 walks and 40-50 miles is hardly even enough to break in shoes, and some I have barely look used at that level of use.

Worn Soles 02

Just something else to look out for when I’m trying to find some cheap (as in inexpensive) shoes.

The problem I had learnt to look out prior to this was the silly compartmentalised heel. This has air spaces with a grid of material forming cells about 1 cm square.

This might be a good idea for comfort, but I think is just a move to save material compared to having a solid heel.

It doesn’t take long for the material the sides of those 1 cm cells are made of to begin to collapse, and your heel just sinks into the empty space left when all the holes formed by the cells join up into one big one, and the shoe becomes useless. And can be expensive, as the constant flexing of the this space soon tears a hole in your socks!

I’ve tried to feel this grid under the heel in new examples of this hollow type, but it’s almost impossible to detect in a new shoe. I suspect the air trapped in it at that stage keeps it firm, and supports the heel – until the material fractures, the air is released, and the heel collapses.


November 16, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

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