Like any great love affair, the steamy romance/foot-sweat between an adventurer and her favorite sandals must someday end. We were not each other’s firsts. I’d sported other straps across my toes; they’d supported other arches. Then we met, and after some light haggling, we walked away together. I was $28 bucks lighter, an inch taller, and in love. They, well they were on my feet. Despite some light cracking in the soles, my soul’s crack was being filled with potential.

A footwear love story

And isn’t that the existential purpose of a shoe? We could get away with most activities in our mom’s old sneakers. But, like Jon Bon Jovi of Bon Jovi said, “You get a little but it's never enough.” So right, JBJ. The shoes we choose help us to go longer, get higher, and look totally baller. Potential is glued into our heels, possibility stitched into our eyelets. Opportunity wraps itself around the hard bits on the ends of our laces which are called aglets; a fact I just googled. (Pro Tip: Don’t google “Hard bits on your…” without your safe-search engaged)

So there we were, toe crack in webbed embrace. For six to eight years we walked on like this; closer than I thought was possible. Sure, sometimes the atmosphere got chilly, and we needed some space, but even with wool socks between us, we moseyed on over valley and glen and home again. When times got tough, the wizened words of the Jon Bon Jovi rang clear, “We're in a sticky situation. It's down to me and you.” And that’s pretty much how things went until the unbridled heat of our flaming sun crashed through the thinning ozone of the Southern Hemisphere to where we stood disintegrating the glue on my shoes, and testing the strength of our bond. There were times that we were whooah half way there. You could say we were living on a prayer.

A footwear love story

I wish I could say I’m mature enough to put an amiable end to things while we still have our dignity. Instead, like most couples, we’re letting the wear of this world tear us down until one or both of us is thoroughly destroyed. As not tripping on flat surfaces becomes a statistical impossibility, the immortal words of the still living (is he even?) Jon Bon Jovi ring clear, “I ain’t gonna live forever”. Death cometh for us all. I’m not oblivious to this, but my hand trembles as I hold these sandals over the bin, my grip the only thing between another clumsy yet endearing walk to the grocery store and eternal sleep.

The old Jove might have said, “Goodbye, so long, I'm moving on”. And yeah, “I've had enough of cryin', bleedin', sweatin', dyin”, but, custom fit adjustable webbing, you’ll always have a place in my heart, and I’ll remember the marks you left on my sole. So while I know the time is coming to divorce my loves and throw them all the way away (Keeping the straps and buckles: Sustainable or Whack?) I’ll relish these dying throes, while desperately trying to protect my toes.