I’m not really a shoe guy. Unlike some of my friends or my wife, I have a very minimal shoe collection and I generally don’t browse shoe stores or websites for cool shoes.
But there was one pair of shoes that was really special to me – the very first pair of shoes that I absolutely adored and cherished. And these were the Globe RMS3s that I bought while I was 22.
I loved these shoes so much. Firstly, they’re like some kind of signature pair from my favorite pro skaterboarder Rodney Mullen. While that might be the reason I sought them out in the first place, the reason I loved them so much was because they were unbelievably comfortable. Unbelievable comfortable!
Up until that point I was wearing this pair of purple Converse All-Stars. As you know, Converse All-stars, while iconic in its design, offer about as much support for your feet as a pair of hardened unwashed socks. The thick puffiness of the RMS3s was like a godsend for my poor aching feet! Since these shoes, I’ve developed a great fondness for Globe shoes, all of which share that “puffy” look.
Then came adulthood.
Now one thing about adulthood is that you need to wear uncomfortable shoes. You can’t go into some investment firm’s office without wearing some leather shoes that make your feet feel like you’re a little girl in ancient China with bound feet, just waiting to be sold off to the highest bidder – you certainly can’t wear some comfortable skatey shoes.
I tried the whole leather shoe thing before once. When I started out as a magazine writer, I showed up to work in a shirt-shirt, dress pants, and those dreaded leather shoes. I felt so uncomfortable and constricted, and I looked forward to running home and kicking off my shoes every day.
Seriously, kicking off my shoes gave me such a feeling of instant relief… like popping a stubborn pimple or resurfacing after having your head forcefully shoved underwater until your lungs are on fire.
But as time went on, I managed to find jobs that allowed me to keep wearing my puffy shoes. I’d wear a shirt-shirt, and sometimes even a tie to go with, but at the very least I’d still be hopping along in my comfy puffy shoes.
Maybe these aren’t jobs in investment or law firms or anything, but they’re still proper jobs nevertheless. Maybe I didn’t make as much money as someone in those industries, but I still worked hard and made an honest living.
I still wear my icky dress shoes on occasion – like a friend’s wedding or… well, another friend’s wedding; I’ll play the part of a sensible adult when I have to.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I think growing up doesn’t mean you have to give up your puffy shoes. Wearing puffy shoes doesn’t mean you’re still an immature child who hasn’t come to accept the harsh realities of life.
It’s just a pair of shoes – it does not dictate what kind of person you are! So wear whatever shoes you want!