Thursday, 6 October 2005

one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

I decided to wear a pair of boots to work today that I haven't worn for several months. The second I walked out of the front door and began to make my way towards my car, I remembered why: they squeak. It's not an especially loud noise, and it only comes from the left boot, but I find it incredibly grating. The noise cuts right through me with every other step that I take, and it makes me want to take the offending shoe off and hurl it away, happy to hobble on with one boot just to escape from the maddening sound. But I don't. I shuffle on towards my car, looking around to see if anyone in the street is looking around to discover the source of this strange noise, but the road is empty and the squeak goes by unnoticed.

If it's so annoying, why not just replace them? Because these are good quality, hand-made shoes, and although they are a couple of years old, there is nothing else wrong with them, and I refuse to just throw them away.

As you know, I'm not an obsessive person, but I must know why these boots are squeaking and I want to make them stop. The squeak appears to originate from the sole of the shoe at the point where my foot rolls away as I start to lift my heel to take my next step. This stands to reason, I suppose, as it's the point at which the shoe is at its maximum stretch and therefore under the most pressure. There must be an air pocket caught between the shoe and the sole. I've found that if I alter my stride pattern slightly so that I roll my foot differently as I take a step, I seem to avoid the air pocket and the shoe doesn't squeak. Fantastic. Sadly this new step is awkward and if I walk like this for much longer, I think that I will develop a permanent limp. I can hardly spend the day walking around the office on tiptoe, so I'm squeaking my way around trying as hard as I can to just get on with my day and not let it bother me.

Perhaps I can learn to live with it. I may not be the only person to hear the noise, but I'm almost certainly the only person who cares about it. I don't imagine that people are learning to identify me by the noise my shoes make, at least not yet, so perhaps I can just carry on with my day and learn to tune it out. Perhaps it will just go away.

Unfortunately I know myself better than that. Even when I'm walking on carpet and can't actually hear the squeak, I imagine that I can **feel** it creaking beneath my foot. I'm not going to be able to let this go. I'm going to think about it all day, and when I get home, I'm going to take these boots off and not wear them again for another few months.

I think perhaps I should just bite the bullet and get them re-soled. Better that than to never wear them again.

Maybe there is no squeak at all and I'm just going mental.

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