What shoes do you miss the most?

We go through hundreds of pairs of shoes in our lifetimes. They serve us well, take the beatings we dish out, and are worn out and forgotten in due time. But some shoes… they go beyond that. They do more; they define a period of time for you, they fit you perfectly, they suit your personality, they’re just too comfortable for words. These shoes deserve recognition, for performance above and beyond, and I hereby dedicate this thread to the gone, but not forgotten, footwear we hold dear.

For me, it was a pair of Nike Calderas (I looked up the name in an attempt to find another pair, years later). Brown hiking boots with a green swoosh. Comfortable, light, versatile, and, somehow, very much me. I would kill to find another pair of those. Specifically, I would kill someone I really, really didn’t like and who was going to die soon anyway, provided there was no way I would be caught. These shoes are the ones that I aspire to every time I buy a new pair of shoes; none so far have lived up to their legacy.

It was a sad day when I finally came to terms with the fact that they were just too ratty to wear anymore; the toe had been worn through on one, and the sole was coming off on the other. Even so, they sat in my closet for years until I moved, giving off a fait aura of regret. At least I think it was regret. I do miss those hiking boots.

So, what shoes have served you well? Which ones would you love to find again? Which ones bring back the fondest memories of times gone by?

Oooh . . . I had a great pair of Joan Crawford Fuck-Me Pumps, which I bought at Veteran’s Warehouse in Baltimore back in the Seventies, for about fifty cents.

They were 1940s platform shoes, black velvet, with ankle straps, high heels and a cut-out at the toe surrounded by rhinestones. Gee, but I loved those shoes . . .

I had a pair of Nike street hikers from the mid 80’s. Thought they would last forever but some battery acid did them in.

I bought a pair of black Kenneth Cole shoes on the clearence rack at Dillards. The list price was $110, and I got them for $35. They were a little unusual, but I loved them. They were comfortable on the first wearing, and worked with everything from Jeans to a Tux. I wore them everyday for about 6 months. After that time, a small crack appeared in the sole, and I waited too long to get them re-soled. By the time I took them in, the crack had spread upward to the layer between the sole and my foot, and they could not be saved. I still have them, over 5 years later, I just can’t bring myself to throw them out.

Nice topic!

For me, it wasn’t shoes, but a pair of brown leather Colorado sandals. Hideously overpriced, but I wore 'em all day every day the past two summers. (And in Western Australia, our summers last the full three months and some). They died this February, the leather finally parting, much to my dismay.

Oh, YES. Mine was a pair of Rossi ‘Scrub’ hiking boots. Heavy as hell, and took a couple of months to wear in, but after that…

I wore those shoes for 8 YEARS (and for 4 of them, everyday, winter AND summer), and never needed to resole them (but the shoelaces wore out a couple of times). They never got stinky despite their usage (maybe I just have pristine feet:D )

It was only last year that I decided I had ‘outgrown’ them, choosing to adopt some slightly more feminine footware in my old age (from getting sick of people saying “G’day MATE” when they were looking at my feet) They are now in the garden with geraniums growing in them (I couldn’t bear to throw them away) and the bastards STILL haven’t rotted away. Talk about tough as old boot leather. (mind you, 8 years of weekly ‘dubbining’ might be helping there!)

I had a pair of black Doc Martens that I bought in London for 42 pounds. I wore them while I travelled through Europe. I wore them here for several years until they gave up the ghost last year. I wore out the shoe leather in the back, and they looked like they were held together with shoe polish.

I still miss them and I haven’t bought another pair since they are so damned expensive here

I had a pair of Air Force - issue speed-lace jump boots. Translation: Combat boots with truck-tire soles and big metal grommets riveted onto them. I wore them for 10 years, in all conditions from spit-shined to turning brown from loss of finish and back. I wore them fishing and stood in 8 inches of water for 8 hours so the fire ants couldn’t reach me and still had dry feet. Finally, the little metal plates finally came out of the soles. Thus, with the steel arch support gone, they started hurting my feet and had to be given up.

Haven’t been able to find any like them at the surplus stores so far.

I bought a pair of Clark’s loafers for $15.00 about 25 years ago at a ‘seconds’ type store because they were a hideous shade of orange. (That’s not why I bought them, that’s why they were on sale.) I swabbed them with shoe dye and polished them with brown shoe polish about 5 times to bring them down to an acceptable shade of tan. They were made of deer skin and were the softest, most comfortable shoes I’ ve ever owned, and they lasted for about 3 years. I’ve never found another pair like them.

I’d also nominate a pair of Forest Service boots I bought over 30 years ago except that they’re not gone, I’ve still got 'em.

Pair of leather Mary Janes with embroidered flowers on the toes. I had them when I was six years old and foolishly left them at the poolside at the hotel we were staying at on vacation. Never saw them again. When I realized they were gone, I must have cried for an hour.

I’ve got three that stand out:

My purple suede 3 1/2" pumps, circa 1986. Oooooh they were cute!

Knee-high lace-up biker boots. I could lace them in about 5 seconds with one hand.

A pair of short, studded slut boots. I still have them, but the zipper is busted, and they don’t really go with anything anymore.

I’m gettin’ a little misty here…

Odd that this thread should appear at such a distinct moment in my life. My sandals are not gone, but may be soon.

I bought them in 1992 as camp shoes before going out to do a little hitch hiking and a long stint on the Appalachian Trail. Comfortable, durable, and perfect for taking along inside the pack.

Three girl friends and my now wife have tried to get me to go buy new sandals, but mine are serviceable and nice enough to wear anywhere you can wear sandals. Remarkably, the soles are still in great condition. It’s like they stuck steel belted radials on the bottom.

Unfortunately, the velcro is dying and in need of replacement. I decided this past weekend that I would do surgery on them to replace the velcro. If they don’t survive I’ll probably hang myself. Or someone else.

Don’t know the brand, but they were walking shoes, brown, with Vibram soles.
Bought at a discount, they lasted, with heavy use, almost 10 years!

Most comfortable shoes I ever had, too.

I had this wonderful pair of red leather flats, not as dark/purply as oxblood, but not bright red. They seemed to perk up everything, and they fit–which is a difficult thing to get when you have hobbit feet like mine. (Wide at the toes, not furry.)

Then one day I cut my heel on the metal edge of a staircase and bled all over them. Six stitches, a tetanus booster and I trashed my beloved shoes too. Not a good day.

Pair of black velcro-strap shoes that looked so very good on me. Lightweight (these were fairly cheap shoes, BTW), withstood a year of jogging and six months of normal use and very comfortable. I’d beat someone gently with a soft down-pillow for another pair.

I’d nominate as runner-up a pair of sandals - but I gave them up for reasons I will not disclose. They were comfortable and they were sandals, and thus, very cool in Floridian summers - I even wore socks with them, and my feet sweated nary a drop. Loved those sandals…

It was a brown pair of Nike Calderas for me too. Light, durable, comfortable. Never had a pair fit my feet better. I wore them practically everyday for seven years, people were still asking me if they were new after five years.

Decided to start wearing them to work instead of buying new work shoes. Big Mistake. The soles wore down in less than six months, and they began to hurt the balls of my feet. Had to retire them after that. They sat in the closet for about two years until they were thrown out during a cleaning purge.

A few years back, I misplaced a pair of size-12 Bruno Maglis somewhere in Los Angeles…

I’ve sported a shoe or two, some memorable, others not. This thread brought to mind the only pair I’ve had custom made.

In 1977 I went to the Multnomah Leather Shop in Portland, Oregon and had a pair of clogs (hey there, Coldie) made. After the fitting, the shoemaker asked about color. I really hadn’t thought about that and sort of randomly picked out a Baby Blue as my GF and sister began looking beyond the walls. He said, “Are you sure?” I reconsidered and went with black.

They were great! Mountain-climbing high-water all-weather rock’n’roll clogs! Thick wood soles (that made me about 1½" taller) and a hard leather front - they were good for anything and unique. They didn’t cut the mustard for running or playing drums, but I was surprised how well they adapted to rural use. Like short boots. And then you could clean 'em up and go boogie.

They did take some breaking in, but after that they were easily the best shoes I’ve ever had in my life!

Well, life progressed, and after four years of living in them, I finished school and went to work as a corporado. They were relegated to off time wear and finally got irreparably smushed in a move.


The shoes I miss most are a pair of coleman hiking boots. I bought them at the salvation army for $2(they had no laces). They plastic at the back was cracked, so I melted the sharp edges off and put a strip of duct tape over it. I wore those shoes everywhere for a year-I worked construction, walked all over my town, travelled across the country and they got me through my first semester of college. Turns out they used to belong to a family friend of mine, who also fixed them with shoe glue for me when I ripped the leather off the back of the sole hauling junked engine parts up a hill doing volunteer work for her forest service office. They were beat, covered in paint splashes, had tie-dyed shoelaces and fit me perfectly. The soles finally wore down so much on one side that it wasn’t comfortable to walk, so I had to junk them, but those were the best shoes I ever wore, and the latte I had the morning I bought them cost more.

I had a pair of shoes that reminded me of ballerina slippers. They were black canvas and they criss-crossed across the top of my foot. They were sooooo cute and they made my feet (size 9 - 9 1/2) look really small. I used to wear them with my daisy duke shorts and tank tops back in my bar fly days. They were great for dancing!