Tuesday, May 31, 2016



No, today we are not talking about some cheesy 90’s sci-fi show about sliding along the space-time continuum, which, okay, honestly, I did rather enjoy tremendously when it first came out but it seems like whenever I come across an episode recently such as on cable ( in the short period of time I watched it moving back into town, before I talked the New Old Lady into canceling commercial laden DirectTV and just getting Netflix and saving $50 a month ) it didn’t seem to jibe with my memories of the show-perhaps I was watching the ones which were aired after the show “jumped the shark” ( a term taken from the Happy Days episode when Fonzi jumped a pool with a shark in it on his motorcycle, the first gimmick used in a desperate attempt to revive slumping ratings and the point the show really went downhill in quality ).  I wouldn’t doubt it, the foul bastards experiencing orgasmic joy whenever they can cheat anyone, and exponentially increasing that feeling whenever they know I personally am being violated.


Speaking of which, and I’ll spare all of you too much of a detailed repeat of my recent years long shoe shopping angst and just quickly say ( for the benefit of any new reader ) that nobody, and I mean almost nobody, seems to want to put out a shoe that lasts any period of time-not within any affordable parameter.   Yes, I know a $250 boot that lasts five years is far better than a $25 one that lasts five months-but the trick is knowing which brand to trust, not knowing which has “gone Maytag” on us ( suddenly substituting cheap quality on a once trusted brand ).  It really does seem that shoe companies feel one of two ways.  They enjoy humping me, personally, or they feel justified jacking the crap out of the price of their shoes if they are quality made ( what?  I mean, seriously, there are no more cows around since Texas lost the use of the Aquifer?  Leather is THAT expensive?  I think not, great snot ).  I don’t know about you, sitting in your concrete bunker atop a mountain fondling your freeze dried Yak testicle dinner and one of many HK-91‘s, but I can’t afford to stockpile shoes for post-apocalypse at the new prices.  You might as well expect me to be able to afford health insurance ( speaking of which, did you hear about the few states still offering “affordable” entry level plans-one of the chief selling points convincing the public they weren’t actually getting humped-planning on raising the minimum pricing 20 to 30%?  Friggin priceless!  Suck it, Democrats and Demopublicans ).


I probably shouldn’t worry, as I have at least a dozen pair of  boots made way back in the day before the new non-quality issue came along, but it is in my nature to worry and constantly reevaluate how many of everything I actually need ( the bar keeps getting raised on just about everything except wheat and ammo.  Mostly because those two items got priority for ten years and since then I’ve concentrated on everything else.  Which is a much longer list than I had anticipated ).  To me, even though cobblers will reintroduce themselves quick enough, I simply don’t have enough shoes.  Even though I rationally tell myself otherwise, I can’t stop the neurotic shopping.  So, how can I apply a frugal priority to my post-apocalyptic footwear stash?  I modernize the standard survivalist advice on making tire sandals.  Which, okay, is good enough advice as far as it goes.  It isn’t all too difficult to figure out how to do it, even if you forget to download an article on it or lose your paper printout.  It is one of those handy skills to have.  However, I’d like an intermediate product I can utilize prior to resorting to making my own ( and if you can’t afford it, no big deal-there aren’t all that many uses for tires that they should be in huge demand.  Growing potatoes and underground houses come to mind, but that isn’t a universal.  Perhaps shoring up earth walls to absorb cannon fire?  Regardless, there should be enough tires around cheap enough come the time.  This advice can be filed under “nice if you have the spare coin” ).


Family Dollar stores sell two types of men’s sandals, both at $6 a pair.  Clogs, or Soccer Slides ( hence the article title ).  Clogs are like the “Crocs”, and sliders are an improvement on flip-flops ( which, despite the cheaper price, I advise against strongly unless you live in a year round mild climate-otherwise you want socks along with your footwear ).  Instead of the toes holding the sandal in place-making sock wearing close to impossible-the flat piece has a bar of “rubber” going across the middle of your upper foot.  Thus, you “slide” the foot in to wear.   My last pair of Slides lasted several years of regular use-except during the three winter months-and I just now put a few drops of Shoe Goo on them and expect them to last several more.  Now, of course there are caveats.  Sandals are NOT the same as boots or shoes.  I completely understand that, and I urge you to remember it also.  I’m NOT advocating completely eliminating shoes and wearing sandals- I’m saying that wearing sandals at every conceivable opportunity to prolong the life of shoes will work out quite nicely.


Also, be aware that Family Dollar likes to play a little game of Bait And Switch.  They offer a vast improvement over Wal-Mart, get you hooked, then raise the price or decrease quality.  I put up with this because even then, they are better than Wally ( per square foot, 2-ply toilet paper at Family in a four roll pack is cheaper than Wally with its 12 pack.  Also, wooden matches, 500 count at under $2, is far superior in quality to the crap recycled paper hard to ignite paper matches both Wally and Kroger push ), but just beware of this tendency.  The Sliders I buy today may not be the same as the ones I’m raving about.  Yet, even so, they should still provide a good return on your money.  If you go with the Clogs, the top plastic seems a bit thin, but they are more comfortable and leave more room for sock wearing.  The Sliders seem better built, except for a tighter fit, but make sure to stock the Shoe Goo.  But I’d only recommend them for summer wear-the Clogs seem to win out in the pros and cons.  $6 seems to be a fair amount to pay for stockpiling footwear. 


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  1. Warning Will Robinson!
    Everything is in the downward *slide* now so I have no allegiance to any retail establishments. Walmart still gets a fair amount of my routine coin but it is up to me to get the best value for the dollar, and this requires more time on my part because the retailers are very cunning. Even with my deeper levels of scrutiny I get it stuck in my ass frequently. But worse is the online purchases, which I am cutting back on drastically. There is something to be said about seeing a perspective item with your own eyes and holding it in your own hands. The only people getting happy about online purchases, because they always win, are the shipping companies.

    So, my goal is to spend less, spend smart, and spend local.
    Mama didn't raise a complete idiot over here, I can see the patterns when I'm focused on them.

    1. I use few online companies but swear by those I do. My location, retail has very high rent, so I minimize those. Great analysis, though.

  2. here's a thought on modular shoe wear...


    1. Modular footwear, now that's some inneresting food for thought.

      Tire treads seem to be lacking in traction for human purposes. The treads are too big. But because the composition is so dense I wonder if the treads can be modified with a Dremel so as to create a more human friendly tread pattern?

      Also, because the rubber is so dense, I wonder if holes could be countersunk in the treads and flat rivets used to secure the tire tread (along with contact cement) to the bottom of an otherwise decent leather boot?

      Just thinkin' out loud.

  3. Since the quality of leather has not gone down (I don't think, unless I'm missing something?) that pretty much leaves either poor stitching or crappy soles I'm thinking? I wonder if you could restitch them for improved durability? If it's bad soles, one thing that you might try is to add an additional sole to the boot and glue it with the Barge rubber cement. I actually do this with my cheap slip on Walmart shoes, because the soles are so thin that it hurts to step on the rocks lying about our yard. I made the soles from old tires.

    I'm going to see if I can come up with an improved variation on the simple tire sandal. I'm hoping for a complete rubber shoe when I'm done, that provides full protection to the feet.

  4. Hi Jim,
    What size do you wear? I'll send you some freebies to test.
    R de B

  5. I thought this post was going to be about White Castle