Archive for July 3rd, 2012


Why would someone give away a brand new pair of New Rocks?

A few months ago I had a huge stroke of luck, I found a brand new pair of New Rocks for 12 euro’s. That for the uninitiated is about one twentieth of their usual retail price. So for ages I wondered why anyone would be so dumb as to spend that much money, only to in the end give them away. Then suddenly it hit me, people are wimps.

New Rocks are unusual. For one thing they either fall apart in the first month, or they’re still traipsing around the city of your choice 5 years, and two resoles later. They look like main battle tanks built for feet, complete with the metalwork that description implies. They’re unbelievably tough, and protective for boots that don’t have steel toe-caps at least. But that toughness comes at a price, and that price is for the first week or so of your ownership of them the potential  of a rather impressive amount of pain.

You see unlike virtually any other shoes you will now buy on the high street, New Rocks need to be broken in. Those of you who grew up in or before the 80’s, or are hillwalkers/military type folks are right now smiling, and nodding your heads. Those of you born after that, and who have only ever owned All Stars are probably looking confused. You see there was a time when the leather in shoes had to be softened and moulded to the shape of each individuals foot by wearing the damned things. This was back before people thought black runners were formal wear.

Basically breaking in leather boots is done by wearing them for gradually expanding short periods of time, until they stop rubbing your feet in uncomfortable ways. Really that’s about it. Oh there’s loads of old wives tales about breaking boots in faster, and easier with water, or hair dryer’s and newspaper. But the simple fact is that no matter what else you do, in the end you’ll have to wear the buggers. Which leads me back to people are wimps.

I was, in my time both a hillwalker, and a scout leader. I’ve broken in half a dozen pairs of mountain boots. I’ve also owned three sets of Goth boots, all of which needed to be broken in. But even with that experience, when I got my new New Rocks, while being incredibly careful. while making sure to wear two pairs of socks, only wearing the boots for short periods of time, and very slowly extending those times, I still ended up with some monster blisters. And trust me, those hurt like a hundred thousand sons of bitches.

Which brings us nicely back to the start, and the question of why someone would give away their New Rocks. Because they were probably in their mid-teens. Because they’d probably never had to break in a pair of boots before. Because they’d never had to suffer for fashion before. Because when it came down to it they were too lazy to wear something that needed work to become comfortable. But most of all because they were frikkin’ wimps.

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