Living in Portland, at the nexus of both Nike and Adidas, is a blessing for the average man. Y'see, almost all clothing and footwear samples are produced in the same universal sizes. Size Large tops, Size 34 pants/shorts and size 9 shoes. Across the board, whether its Nike or Adidas - if you are average you are the perfect man. It's about time.
And if, like me, you know just a few people at the shoe companies you can get some very good swag from time to time.
I am very loyal to a particular style of sneaker. Adidas Stan Smiths have been the footwear of choice for my casual and everyday wear for as long as I can remember. I've dabbled in a few other items, and you can't play soccer in a Smith, but for the most part those are the only sneaks that I spend money on. And, recently, I scored a killer sample pair.
I happened to be going over to my cousins' place for a beer and some smoked ribs. They throw a cider making party each fall and this was the day. It was a stunning October Sunday; crisp but not cold. As I traveled toward their house I went by the former spot of Copeland's Sports. Now Copeland's was a really crappy sporting goods store. No personality at all and horrible service. But they did have good prices on my favorite Smiths. As I parked at Stuart and Katharine's I was lamenting the loss of my best source of footwear, knowing that meant paying $12-$15 more at another retailer when my current pair went under.
After some pleasantries and some snacks (including incredibly mild venison sausage from Stu's recent hunting trip) Stu took me to his room to show me his stash. His stash of sneaks that is! He must've had 10 pairs of brand new shoes just waiting for average feet like mine. He brought out the pair shown at far right and it was something close to lust. Oh what insoles! What perfect tread! Look at that pair! Not only are they a fantastic fit but they are an even more pristine white than any other Stan Smiths to come before (Note the tongue and rear are white as opposed to the traditional green or slate blue.).
The Stans on the left are now looking over their laces trying to make sure that the young, chiseled, pure Stans know their place. "Kid, you may get a Sunday stroll every other week but I am day to day until my tread is gone, maybe even longer. Don't push me. Dong Le Ma*?" Eventually every pair will be replaced. Even my Birkenstocks knew that. But only when it is time.
Alas, I'm stuck with just shoes filling my sample bag at this time. Large shirts and 34 waists are a few burritos in the past. But I am working on it.
*Dong Le Ma is Mandarin for understand. The kicks are made in China after all. Native tongue. Ouch.