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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The Shoe Dilemma

I’ve been taking stock of shoes lately. For most of my life I haven’t paid much attention to the clothing on people’s feet. That is I haven’t attributed them any extra importance. To me, a great hat is still just a hat. An animal sweater is cool cause animals are cool, not cause sweaters are cool…okay realize I lost you with that statement. Suffice to say clothing is not the most important thing in my world. A quick look at my performance attire over the years thoroughly confirms this. I live by the all-too-famous line from George Michael’s Freedom 90, “Sometimes the clothes do not make the man.”

But in London, it would seem that shoes make the man indeed. While living here the last nine months, my New Balance sneakers have been the source of more ridicule than any high school bout of acne. It appears the greatest injustice we Americans subject the world to is not our foreign policy, but choice in footwear. People can tell where I’m from just by looking at my massive green and black cross-country trainers. And when I say massive, this is no exaggeration. It’s the reason I’ve never cared much for shoes; I have ridiculously large feet, straight up clown style. ***Ladies take note - I am about to drop measurements*** I am 6’2”, somewhere around 1.88 Meters. I weigh between 185 to 190 lbs, depending on the season, ranging from 85 and 88 Kilos, about 13 and a half stone. In US sizes my feet are 13 EEEE. That’s size thirteen, quadruple width. That’s like extra, extra wide. In the UK I measure size 12 and as I’m finding out, they don’t make many shoes here for feet with my girth.

How does one wind up with such unusually fat feet? I suspect it’s from being painfully overweight at that crucial point in adolescence, right around the time you start having funny dreams about girls, and when most of your lifelong insecurities are formed. Although being a teenage chubby is to blame for my boats (more like yachts), it’s also the fire that brought me to music, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Dope songs for a pair of flippers is a fair trade any day.

Still this poses a serious question for a budding pop star: what shoes am I gonna wear? We all know how important fresh feet are to music. Elvis had Blue Suede Shoes. The Beatles wore the Beatle Boot. Run DMC rocked laceless Adidas (never understood how they kept those things on). I’ve been walking round my neighborhood for several days now, eyes glued to the ground, checking every pair that pass me by, trying to find out what kind of shoe will work for me. Here in London, people live and die by their shoes. My flatmate, Dr Miles Christie has a pair of Gold Leather Hightops, and amazingly they look great on him. In England, the Queen is Elizabeth, and the king is Kicks.

Do you have any thoughts on the matter? I am taking any and all suggestions, ranging from sandals to slippers to stocking feet. Feel free to email me at Title your email, “The Shoe Dilemma.” All comers welcome.

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