The Hideously, Fabulous Sneakers

Monkey's sneakers

My son has these ridiculous shoes. They came to us as hand-me-downs from friends whose son who never wore them. Apparently, the sneakers were custom-made for our friends’ son, but he exhibited some kind of advanced fashion sense and never wore them.

Because they are kind of ludicrous.

I mean, they are blood-red, white and royal blue.


Clown shoes.

Anyway, my son fences. (No, he does not steal. He is a saber fencer.) And last weekend, his foot suddenly didn’t fit into his fencing sneakers. (How does that happen? Friday, good. Saturday, not so good?) Anyway, one hour before the big tournament, all we had were the clown shoes. Monkey tried them on and they fit. Like a glove. (Okay, that’s a terrible mixed metaphor. They fit like a pair of fabulously comfortable pair of whacked-out clown shoes.)

Thrilled, Monkey immediately ran upstairs and grabbed an ancient pair of unworn royal blue soccer socks. (You know, to match.)

And he kicked ass. (And by kicking ass, I mean he did better than he ever has before: He did not win, but he did not come in last place either.)

Meanwhile, and perhaps more importantly, everyone commented on his shoes.

And Monkey (who tends not to be an attention whore like his mother) actually liked the attention.

Those wigged out kicks gave my boy a little swagger.

Frankly, the patriotic Nikes seemed to be a constant and very visual reminder that he needs to move his feet.

Which is something his coach often reminds him that he forgets to do.

As stupid as it sounds, the clown shoes made for a great weekend moment.

Of course, now we have to go to the mall.

You know. To buy sneakers.

Tell me about that one ridiculous piece of clothing to which you were very attached as a kid. Or tell me about something you have to tackle on your to do list! 😉

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46 thoughts on “The Hideously, Fabulous Sneakers

  1. Sweet kicks. Wasn’t there a Nike campaign with Michael Jordan back in the day that said, “It’s gotta be the shoes?”

    One item on my to-do list is write a commencement address by next Sunday. I’m going to be looking for some advice, so hope you’ll drop in and share something profound.

  2. My son (12) has a wicked sneaker fetish. Custom shoes everywhere. He wants sneakers for birthday and holiday gifts. He designs sneakers on the Nike site for later purchase. You better watch out!!!

      1. It’s very cool. You should show it to him. He can save the design. Yes they cost a bit 120 – 150. But we would spend that much anyway. If that is what he chooses to spend his money on. …. His choice. The only downside is they take a while to make and ship.

  3. Renee,

    I swear, My kid has shoes like those, too! He loves them. Blood red is hip.

    One great moment was our walk for Domestic Violence this weekend in Kay’s name.

    Very Very Powerful.

    1. I’ll have to trust you there, Kim. In my view these sneakers are hard because they don’t go with everything. Like they look freaky-deaky with black and yellow shorts, for example. Or with anything green. He simply cannot wear green with these shoes. Seriously, we have created an extensive chart explaining what shirts and pants he can or cannot wear with the sneakers. If he wears anything green or yellow, he looks like a clown.

      And clowns are scary.

      I’m glad to hear the walk in Kay’s memory was a great moment. I was kind of hoping you were going to say that. I’m glad that brought you a kind of joy. I hope it felt like she was there with you, perched on your shoulder. 😉 You weren’t wearing sneakers like these, were you?

  4. Glad your son kicked ass–I’ve long admired fencing, it’s a romantic, intense sport. The shoe connection was great!
    On my to-do list (for almost a year now) is to attack the “teacher stuff pile” in the basement as I retired last June. I’m not very sentimental but there’s some good stuff in there (yeah, right). Maybe this week…

  5. Funny stuff. What’s nice about those shoes is when your son wears them, he’ll be easy to spot. My 12 year old son is obsessed with shoes. We went to see 11 year old son’s baseball game yesterday in the rain and my 12 year old said to me, “What shoes should I wear?” I told him to pick a pair that can get dirty and wet. He said, “I don’t have any shoes for that!” He’ll get a kick out of these. Can’t wait to show him.

    1. You aren’t kidding. He was totally easy to spot! And I have to admit, I did appreciate that. In a sea of white pants and socks and sneakers, he was “the kid in the red, white and blue shoes.” Everyone knew when he was fencing, so I never missed a bout. And the rest of the time, I could just sit and write. 😉

  6. Nice kicks. I’d say I’d wear them, but I know I never would. Not after having my purple Airwalks made fun of in the second grade. Of course my much older friend told me that they were skater shoes and therefore awesome.

    One great weekend moment: Thing One scored a penalty kick Saturday morning. With her left foot. Ok, so I’ve got another… Thing Two ALMOST scored against a kid who is three times his size, and a much better player than he is.

    On the to do list: Become a teacher. Laundry. Buy and restore a motorcycle.

  7. Actually, those shoes sort of rock!
    When my youngest was 4, she insisted on a pair of hot pink cowboy boots with glitter stars on the sides. They were in the sale bin at the shoe store for only $4.99. Who can resist a pair of shoes that cheap? She wore these boots with EVERYTHING, including sweat pants. It was a sad day when they no longer fit.
    Great post! :

    1. Glittery hot pink cowboy boots? For $4.99? Outstanding!

      If I ever were lucky enough to find those in my size, I’d buy two pairs. Those suckers don’t show up every day. (As you well know.) And I bet your your youngest rocked ‘dem boots.

      Glittery, hot pink cowboy boots go with everything. Everything. 😉

  8. So, will Monkey be wearing his lucky blood-red, white and royal blue sneakers to all future fencing events?

    I totally love that he’s into fencing and can’t wait to see him in the sequel to The Princess Bride!

    1. He’s into it. Do you remember this line: “You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.”

      I would say the same is true for a person wearing whacked out sneakers while wearing a mask. Just sayin’. 😉

  9. You are lucky he’ll take them off to sleep. Those are ROCKIN! I’d like to think his fencing prowess was the key to his performance. I’m sure the sneakers were helpful in providing some distraction to his opponents. Muah ha ha!

    I did have a red corduroy cap. I wore it everywhere until a certain football player threw it off the bus. Never was recovered. Sigh. I should hit him up for a replacement.

    1. Heather:

      Let’s be clear. Monkey has a ritual with these sneakers. He takes them off and then lines them up against the wall very carefully, so they are ready to be worn the next day.

      He wouldn’t dream of wearing them to bed. And he would never wear them if it were raining or if he heard that it might rain. As a walker, there is simply too much risk of mud.

      I kinda remember the corduroy cap. Wasn’t it more of a plum color? Or maybe it just faded by the time I noticed it. Would love to know what football player pitched it off the bus. I have it narrowed down to three. Must pow-wow privately for confirmation of this 1980s royal douche-bag. 😉

  10. What a great weekend moment. To illustrate the difference between older and younger males, here is the highlight of our weekend with our three year old son (this actually occurred this morning so not really the weekend but still).

    After having a bad night which included an accident in both our bed and his bed resulting in two sheet-changings (and total sleep disruption for daddy and mommy), my son crawled into with my husband this morning snuggled up and said “Soooo… Frogs and Toads.” He then proceeded to have an hour long in-depth discussion about frogs and toads with daddy.

    Awesome. I only wish I could have been there.

    Glad to hear your Monkey found his swagger!

  11. No shoe stories to contribute, but thanks, one and all, for the most entertaining pieces I have read all day— all week??

  12. Those shoes occupied my son’s closet for almost 2 years. Never worn once. Why you ask? Initially it was because the “color was too bold and didn’t fit his personality.” Later it was because they were a gift from the deranged ex husband of my cousin. They guy is a menace to society and should be locked up. I do like the shoes though.

    1. Jimmy:

      I wondered if you’d show up here.

      Monkey is LOVING them! Please never, ever let him know that he can customize his own pair. Both he and hubby need to continue to shop at the Outlet Malls so as to keep me outfitted in the clothes to which I am accustomed. Ha! 😉

      I hope the “deranged ex-husband of a cousin” doesn’t read blogs and track down the shoes here.

      That could be awkward. And potentially dangerous. For all of us.

  13. Kids are just not as afraid of color these days. My kids go for the colorful stuff, too.

    And I’m not sure what you mean by “were” very attached to as a kid. I still have my beaded headband from 1971. 🙂 Love your blog.

    1. Such a good point. I still have my Grateful Dead shirt circa 1981. But when I was really little I had a purple leotard which I wanted to wear every day. Because it went really well with my purple ukelele. 😉

  14. A shiny polyester lavender colored shirt (circa 6th grade, just a little post-disco era) that I was the recipient of along with an entire rack of decent rummage sale clothing in my size. Wore that shirt constantly, thinking I was “all that” until my mom scorched it during ironing one day. She probably did it on purpose, her way of giving me a much needed “fashion-don’t” nudge!

    1. Kathy:
      Ouch! I bet that shirt was smokin’ – you know before your mother smoked it. Did you have tall, side-zipper wedge-heel boots, too? I loved those boots, and I was beyond happy to see that they were back in style. So hot. 😉

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