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New Sneakers After 14 Years

{ Posted on Oct 10 2010 by Marcus Alston }

This past weekend I bought a new pair of sneakers to replace my current pair of sneakers that I bought back in the Spring of 1996.  That’s not a typo–1996.  That means I have had my current pair of sneakers for over 14 years.  Wow time flies.  While part of keeping my sneakers for 14 years is due to my frugal mentality (Ok, I could  have saved over $1,100 over 14 years versus buying a $50 pair of sneakers every year for 14 years assuming I saved the $50 per year for 14 years at a savings rate of 6.5%), the short explanation for keeping my sneakers this long is simply that some how my Avia Cantilever sneakers have  not worn out on me.  Ok, yes the treads are worn down some, but not completely and the cushions inside are still very comfortable.  The sneakers also don’t have any holes in them and while they do not look new, they do not look dirty either.  They are still in great shape and get the job done.

So you may be wondering why I bought a new pair of shoes since I feel my current ones are in good condition?  Its not because my vow not to buy new clothes for a year (included shoes) has ended (although I had carved out an exception for using gift cards which I used in this case).  Instead, I was traveling recently, and did feel that my feet were a little sore.  I decided that I should get some new sneakers.  So I bought a new pair (Filas this time) and I bought my oldest daughter a pair of new sneakers too.  She also bought Filas so that she and I could match.  I used a 16 month old gift certificate from Marshalls to buy both pairs for about $45 total.  If I believe the retail price listed by Marshalls, I should (or could) have spent double else where.  I still have $5 remaining on the gift certificate.

I put the new sneakers on today and what happened?  I noticed that my old sneakers still felt more comfortable!  Maybe its the new shoe feel and I need to break the new sneakers in, but my old ones felt a heck of a lot more comfortable.  Also, when I was traveling, I used my 4 year old dress shoes to walk to daily meetings and walked a total of 2 miles a day to and from meetings for 4 days and carried a heavy brief case.  My feet could have been bothering me due to the unusual amount of walking I was doing–I don’t normally do much long distance walking in my dress shoes.

Nevertheless, I am wearing my 14 year old shoes now and put the new ones away.  I have decided I will not get rid of my old shoes and will break in the new shoes in slowly–very slowly.  I think the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  My saying is, “If it ain’t broke (and you are using it), don’t get rid of it.”

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4 Responses to “New Sneakers After 14 Years”

  1. I have the same passion about a pair of jeans I still own and wear from high school! I graduated in 1995 so do the math, its too painful for me to realize how old I am getting…lol

    These jeans are terribly worn jeans from Express that I am lucky to still get into, but alas they are still my favorite and no other jean I have purchased since matches up to the feeling of slipping into those well worn jeans that have seen me through the past 15 years.

    Maybe it is nostalgia, or knowing I can still “wear” jeans from back then either way if we all lived by the line if it isn’t broke don’t fix it think of how large our retirement accounts could be!

  2. Suzanne, your story is impressive in a lot of ways. First, that you still have a pair of jeans from 1995 and second that you can fit them after 15 years! Sounds like you have stayed fiscally and physically fit.

    I agree, your jeans story is a lot like my sneaker story. I still love my old sneakers and so far I still wear them more often than my new ones. If and when your jeans are totally worn (say in another 15 years?!?!??), I hope you find a new pair you love just as much.


  3. Ahhh, footwear. I have a small foot, 6-1/2EEE. Comfortable shoes are like finding a pot-o-gold. I have two pair of expensive dress shoes bought in the seventies, resoled at least twice and well maintained. Twenty year old Dunham insulated boots(two pair) for winter wear. Garden sneakers, occasional sneakers and “Sunday go to meeting” or dress sneakers. I spend more time over footwear than I do buying a car. As I get older, I am even more careful. I spent some time in a hospital in Boston next to a 96 year old retired lawyer who was having his foot amputated. He bought a pair of shoes that he thought would stretch after wearing them for awhile. Instead he developed a sore that turned gangrenous. I no longer have a motorcycle, but the boots? Yeah, thirty years old. Buy the wrong pair of shoes and you may end up without a leg to stand on.

  4. Denis,

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your shoe stories. It’s good to see others are wearing their shoes a long time, but you have me beat. Shoes from the 70’s and 20 year old boots! That’s impressive. The retired lawyer story I will remember for a while. Thanks again my friend.


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