It’s almost time to send my favourite Chuck Taylors to the big powerline in the sky. I can’t bring myself to do it just yet though. They remind me too much of me – sole-worn, frayed at the edges and faded from the stronger shine of their younger self. Right now I’m passing that off as ‘character’. My sister even complemented me on the on-trend, dark emerald hue they are right now. They’re supposed to be black. There’s also the knocks and scrapes that tell a story of a life well lived. Soon that pleasant fiction will fall to the reality of atrophy.

I’ve had these Cons for almost a decade. That’s a crazy amount of time for one pair of shoes, especially canvas ones. They’ve walked with me through dozens of different countries – dangled off clifftops in Morocco, protected my feet when riding motorbikes in Bali, and stepped in dog shit in a slum in Mumbai. They’ve also padded down hospital halls during the birth of my two children and years of cancer treatment for my wife. If these shoes could talk (instead of just squeak against the floor) they’d have a thing or two to say. 

They’d tell me my feet are too wide for regular sizing and that’s why they’re split at the sides like every other pair of shoes I own. They’d tell me I should untie and retie them when putting them off and on, instead of just slipping awkwardly into them and damaging the backs. They’d tell me that perhaps I’ve lost my marbles, listening to inanimate objects likes shoes. It’s funny how attached we get to things because of the events they’ve been through at our side (or, on our feet). They’re like talismans that bring forth memories.

See this scratch on the side? That’s from the time I…
See this knot in the laces? That’s from the day that she…
See this part that’s missing? That got lost in the sand when we…

We get more attached to things the more experiences they take us through and the better they serve us in those moments. It’s a testament to the fact that those who have the strongest brands, make products that last. Levis, Rolls Royce and Leatherman also spring to mind. Hats off to Converse for making something that last so long and fits into multiple situations. I can’t say I have the same attachment to many other things I own. What they’ve done might not be the best get rich quick strategy. I paid about $7 a year for how long I’ve had them. No one is retiring of that in a hurry. But, over time it adds up. I’m bound to buy another pair. I’ve also already bought a few for my wife and a pair each for my kids. They skateboard in them because everything else just falls apart. Perhaps as thanks, I’ll upgrade to some more expensive leathers next time. They might last even longer, especially if I go the high top versions that force me to untie and re-tie when I take them off and on. The leather might stretch around my grossly wide Hobbit feet, instead of fraying and splitting too. Only time will tell.

For now, though, these trusty shoes will last into another year, whether it’s days, weeks, or months, I’m not sure. When I do finally upgrade, they’ll go onto the powerline in front of my house, so when I pull into my street I can look up and still remember the things they walked me through. Until then, emerald/black kicks it is – scuffs and scrapes and knots and all.

If this article elicited a need to go out and buy some new Chucks for yourself hit the links below for your region. 

Converse Australia
Converse USA
Converse Europe

or, buy the basic black ones like I’ve been wearing.