your favorite walking shoes

bykfixer

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Once upon a time I had me some of those checkered Vans slip on shoes that were made famous from the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Life goes by and things get lost. I bought another pair in the early 90's when Vans were still made in America. Man, I loved those shoes. Not long ago I went digging through my old closet at my pop's house and found some nice old relics yet no checkered slip on's. Dratz.

Eh, I'll be ok I thought. A few weeks went by and the ocd voices convinced me to go to the mall and buy some more. Things hadn't changed much. They were slabs in the 80's and still are today. Origin of manufacture was the only real change. I slid in a set of Dr Scholl's odor eaters and was set. The little extra padding made a big dif.

Then one day I stumbled across an online clearance sale on checkered slip on Comfy Cush shoes at a huge skateboard e-store called CCS. The so-called Comfy Cush line differs from Comfy Cush insoles that are installed in some of the models. The actual CC line are a simplified construction in a much lighter weight shoe along with a softer, better supportive sole and insert. The difference is striking.

Both shoes weigh about as much as one of the classic model. Walking in them is like going from a go kart to a automobile. They're not squishy. Matter of fact when walking on carpeting they feel a bit stiffer. When encountering a hard surface the difference becomes obvious. It's like walking on shock absorbers.

The toe box area is roomier, the covering over the padding around the ankle is improved and the heel cup is sturdier, oh and a few millimeters taller.

Unlike many Vans with removable Comfy Cush insoles these are glued in. They have a cordura type covering and an arch support you hardly notice but is definitely there.

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A classic versus the new Comfy Cush profile. Top is the new kind.
Pretty close to the same look, but mucho more improved.

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The sole has some built in shock absorption too.
Top is the new kind.

Now Vans says they are moisture wicking throughout. Got me how that works. So I did something old school to create positive ventilation. Installed some 5/32" eyelets.

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Ordinary house holds tools. Awl to poke a hole, scissors to trim the hole(s), mini needle nose shapes the inside half of the eyelet a bit to keep it in place until the needle nose vice grips squish the eyelet anvil style.
The key is a tight hole and when the eyelet is inserted you massage around the outside to ensure no cloth is covering the inner portion when applying pressure with the vice grips.

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The finished product.
 
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bykfixer

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Rockport has a slip on version of their popular XCS series.
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I've had my tie up version for so long I had forgotten to see if they still make them since I stashed a couple of pairs back when I started this thread back in 2015. See post 1 for the tie up version. I'm on pair #2 with #3 still stashed. But yesterday I was in the store that sells them and gladly they still carry them. And now a slip on version that fit very well. They slip on easily and stay on well.

At some point Rockport was purchased by Addidas. The original XCS had what are called Adiprene insoles from Addidas soccer shoes. Well it seems Rockport got a divorce from Addidas and filed chapter 11 after having to pay Addidas a bunch of money in the process. No more Adiprene insoles, which was the charm of XCS shoes for all day comfort. Now they use "trutech" insoles that are a hybrid of neoprene and memory foam with some kind of moisture control something or other. But are they like wearing shoes with Adiprene insoles? In short, yes. But better. Same all day comfort with better odor control and now they are replaceable too. The original tie up kind also have the replaceable trutech insoles now.
They used to run between $85 and $95. Now they are $75 to $79. So it turns out they are at least as good as they used to be while costing a little bit less. It was like going to the grocery store and seeing green Kool Aid again. Woohoo!!
 

Lynx_Arc

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Sadly my favorite comfortable walking shoes was originally a Nike pair with velcro straps. When they were discontinued I went to Walmart and bought their cheap velcro shoes and they were good and both me and my dad wore them for decades and as they were cheap we would have 2-3 pairs of them using the old pairs for lawn moving and such till they completely fell apart. They were great till some idiot decided that everyone in the world now has fat feet and they stopped selling "normal" width velcro shoes entirely along with everyone else and till I found some at Academy sports the only choice I had was a $90 pair of new balance and my budget was only about $30 at most. I still am buying the academy sports velcro shoes but compared to the fit of the walmart ones in the past they are considerably wider and don't last as long and not as comfortable either. I think the "normal" sizes of shoes has changed to wider than normal because I bought some work shoes with protective toes that are too wide in that area and my feet slide and chafe my big toes so much I had to wear a piece of foam around them to stop the pain and buildup of huge callouses. Since my feet are narrow I don't like boots or anything that is high top because the heels tend to be lose and hard to keep my heel from sliding on high top versions.
I've found since I've gotten older my toes hurt after being on my feet all day too.
 

5S8Zh5

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When you find the perfect shoe - get spares. I've got three pairs of Salomon XA Pro 3D - all the same style. First purchased in 2016 and two in 2020.
 

Lynx_Arc

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When you find the perfect shoe - get spares. I've got three pairs of Salomon XA Pro 3D - all the same style. First purchased in 2016 and two in 2020.
The problem is the perfect shoe vanished over 20 years ago and my spares wore out over 17 years ago now I'm using adequate shoes but not as good of a fit and affordable in my current financial state. I tend to walk a lot and wear out shoes more than I used to because I am also about 20-30 lbs heavier too.
 

bykfixer

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Several posts ago I mentioned how Simple shoes has been revived. The new owner was using a small site to sell directly to consumers bypassing the middle man. In August the Hurley family quietly purchased Simple shoes. This could be big, or result in another small company bought by a big company only to be sold at fire sale price later. Time will tell.

In the meantime Simple makes some mighty comfy, mighty durable shoes with an old school flair.

On another note, famous hiking shoe maker Keen has entered the work boot market with a bang. The original models were fashioned like hikers but with reflective stitching, rubber toe cap and super good insoles. Some are domestic US made and some are made in Asia. Both at decent prices to sock good old Red Wing with an upper cut to the chin.

Last year they introduced a wedge sole style boot with a 74a durometer urethane out sole infused with millions of air bubbles. The result is a cross between an athetic shoe and a work boot. The original model the San Jose is an ugly old Craftsman looking number. It has a similar look and feel. Instead of a crepe sole it uses the urethane outsole with a thin slab of firm rubber to walk on. They have added to that line with one called the Colorado that looks just like those old Craftsman numbers down to the replaceable soles.
I wear the dark brown San Jose at work standing and walking for 10-12 hours a day and my knees definitely appreciated the air infused urethane.

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chip100t

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Normally I live in various merrell footwear but due to the lockdown have lived in recent times in a pair of crocs.
 
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