It was a sad day in September when my favorite garden shoes came to the end of their long and useful life. I've owned these flip flops (we used to call them thongs back then) since the seventies! They came along with me when I packed up and moved to Idaho in 1978.
They sat in my closet for many years, and I started seriously wearing them around 1990. If you do the math.....that is nearly 20 years of use!! They were the cheap old firm rubber kind, having nylon straps with a piece of leather sewed unto it. I probably paid a dollar or two for them. I had worn them so long, they had actually formed to my feet....similar to a pair of expensive Birkenstocks. (Which, BTW, I also wear, and have been through several pairs while still wearing these flip flops!) These were soooo comfy to slip on, as I headed out to work in the garden on a summer day. As you can see in the above photo, the toe strap of the left shoe finally gave out, and just below it is the fatal wound that finally brought them to their end.
Look at the bottom of these shoes!! They are worn down to the third stripe of color, the light blue.... completely worn through the black and the medium blue color layers. Here you can see, from the bottom, the fatal wound.... caused by using the shovel while wearing said shoes, a move I now regret, as it shortened their lifespan by who knows how long?
A side view shows just how worn these babies were.... the layers were dinged up, separated and worn down. Not pretty, but as comfortable as an old friend. Farewell, favorite garden shoes....you will be missed!
Shown above are the 'new kids on the block'....a pair of Tevas I forked over 20 bucks for, to replace my old favorites. I chose the ones with a small blue stripe on the side, in memory of the the old pair. I could tell right away that these are not going to last long! They feel soft and mushy on the feet, and just make me miss my old ones all the more. Guess I'll head on over to Ebay where...maybe, just maybe...someone might be selling a pair of sweet vintage seventies flip flops, in black with blue stripes!
Old friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were the easiest for his feet.