A Remark on Jimmy Buffett

Goodbye, Old Shoes

You served me faithfully for many years. 


This picture was taken about a year ago, when we were about to move to a new house, and I was trying to get rid of things that really had no reason to go with us. I am one of those people who find it difficult to throw away anything that might possibly still have some good use: if not useful at the moment, then possibly so at some future time, or, if near the end of its useful life, not definitively arrived there.

But those, whether prudent or not, are purely pragmatic considerations. My attachment to these shoes was a purer thing, a regard founded upon but not limited to merely material considerations. I loved them. But they were effectively deceased, inasmuch as they were no longer capable of serving as shoes, and so I reluctantly put them down, as one might a beloved dog who is in visible pain and can no longer wag its tail or eat its supper.

They were from a company called San Antonio Shoes, the model called Time Out, which is still in their catalog (click on that link to see what my shoes looked like, more or less, when they were new). This was at least the second pair I've worn out to almost the degree which you see here; possibly it's the third, but second seems to fit more closely into the possible span of time in which I wore them.

In 1992 I had fairly severe back problems (a ruptured disk) and had surgery to repair it. The surgery was successful, but I continued for years to have a certain amount of pain. Somewhere along in the following five to ten years I bought a pair of these shoes, and their cushiony sole and insole did great things for my back. I suppose some sort of athletic shoes might have done as well, but these were presentable for work. I wore them out, then bought another pair. The second pair, the one you see here (I think), was looking very bad by the time I stopped going in to work in 2016. They had the cracks in the sides which you can see in the picture, and the sole of the right one had twice come loose and been glued back. I still wore them fairly often around the house, enough for them to deteriorate further. When the sole came loose again, the upper was so far gone that there wasn't enough leather there to which the sole could be glued. That wasn't so very long ago, maybe a year before I had to make the difficult decision described above.

I now have two pairs of this same model, one brown and one black. I don't have occasion to wear them all that often, so at my age I don't expect to have to replace them. I notice that the company's price for them is now $209. I think that first pair cost no more than $60 or $70, and the second not much over $100. 

Earlier today, while thinking about this post and looking for the photo, I experienced a painful muscle spasm in my back which was one of the problems I had long before and long after that 1992 surgery, and which has not happened for at least the past ten years. Now, some hours later, it still hurts and I'm moving slowly and carefully, trying not to aggravate it.  It's as if the shoes have spoken to me from beyond the grave: don't forget us. 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I never realized that those were San Antonio Shoes. I got some once and they nearly crippled me. I am sorry to hear about your back. That's a misery.


Thank you, happily it’s not that bad.

Presumably your SAS shoes were not the same model :-)

Shoes were a thing that my dad always told us not to skimp on. As I've gotten older I've found myself paying more attention to that. He said the same thing about furniture. I have my grandmother's bedroom set, which dates from the 50's, and other than a few cosmetic issues it's pretty much as good as new. Of course nowadays you'd probably have to pay a fortune for that kind of quality (just like better shoes tend to be on the pricey side).

Pretty good advice.

No, I got the ones without holes.


Maybe if you had stuck it out longer, until the holes developed? That's part of the break-in process.

Saw an odd pair of shoes the other day at a department store. They were from a brand I like, Rockport, and were called fisherman's shoes, I think. They looked like walking shoes but had openings all the way around like sandals -- looked like a combo of the two.

Sounds pretty nerdy :-) I guess I'm imagining a variation of something I see around here sometimes: old men wearing socks with sandals. Could be very comfortable I guess, especially where the temperature has been passing 90 almost every day for many weeks.

I just noticed that this was tagged "obituaries."

Have you still had no cooler weather. It has been really hot and dry here, but this week has been nice. I drove over a bridge that spans the Coldwater River, and the river was not there. It didn't even look muddy.


Slightly cooler. For the past week or more it's gotten below 80 at night, sometimes to the low 70s, which helps. I'm hoping the 90+ days are definitely past now. Still very dry. Almost every day I see thunderstorms passing 15-20 miles north of us, which is frustrating.

I never thought about it before but "Coldwater" was probably always a bit of an exaggeration for most of the year, even way up north where you are.

When I was in college many of the African students, both white and black, would wear sandals with socks. Struck me as odd, but then again I've never liked sandals to begin with -- I've never found them very comfortable.

I've only recently adopted the idea of buying two pairs of the same shoe at the same time if it's something I like. The idea was passed on to me by my brother-in-law, who got frustrated when a certain shoe that he really liked was discontinued. Next time he bought two pairs of the same shoe to avoid that.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)