Miscellaneous Blog Posts

Shoe shopping spree

So the holiday season is here. Are you buying lots and lots?

For myself, I happened to go shopping on Sunday, and happened to buy a bunch of shoes. Shopping Mall Rera in Chitose should not be underestimated. It’s said to have lost customers from Sapporo to nearer Mitsui Outlet Mall in Kitahiroshima, but I never saw such good deals in Kitahiroshima.

For the first time in about 10 years, I’m going to ride bikes in mid-cut shoes. To be honest I was going to step off from Nike after wearing a few pairs in the last years because they are narrow. But I like the construction of the mid and outer soles, and hey, they were under 3,000 yen anyway.

Also for the first time in 10 years, hello Adidas. Back then Adidas sponsored top BMX riders like Dave Mirra and Ryan Nyquist, and many of my friends had their signature shoes. I also saw skate shoes like Lance Mountain ones often. I was psyched to see they kind of came back, so bought these lovely skate shoes. And well, they were less than 3,000 yen anyway.

But you can’t just buy shoes and go ride. You want to make them your bitch by, to start with, re-lacing…don’t you?

Next, let’s see under the insoles. Speaking of which, I used to frantically get 4,000 yen shoes and also get 3,000 yen insoles for them. Not bad, but now my newest hypothesis is that these cheap stock insoles that probably cost only some single digit yen are just fine for sneakers like these. Insole tuning makes a big difference in skiing and snowboarding where the boot soles don’t flex, because there are so many things that insoles have to do including keeping feet in position, absorbing shock, and supporting foot arches. On the other hand, these functions are covered by the upper structure and midsole in sneakers such as skateboarding shoes. And insoles should not hinder the flex and twist of the outer sole. For instance, it felt terrible when I tried insoles with stiff heel plates on my Nike SB shoes.

So anyway, insole off. Typical sight of threads. Doesn’t look so bad here, but once I noticed some bumps and took the insole off, and saw a coil of this like a snake. These are just some extra threads glued down, so why not smaller?

Cutting the threads short near the toe.

Gluing the threads with my favorite glue, the Ultra Multipurpose SU from Konishi. Stays bouncy and works with fabric, rubber or metal.

Rewind the story a little, and I noticed the scissors were dull. Never cared so much about these kitchen scissors, but the blades were quite damaged.

Great performance after sharpening. Blades should always be sharp. And they should be good enough quality to deserve sharpening. Heat treatment is the key to make good steel stuff, but sketchy materials don’t allow it. It’s a similar story to bike frames. These scissors are good, well deserving the carved name.

Oh wait. It’s a name of some famous chef. Well, having a famous chef’s name should not be a bad sign, but I was expecting something like a signature of blacksmith. It’s a good thing I didn’t check details while sharpening and cutting, because then the perceived level of sharpness would not have been this great.