Thanks to the one, the only Jimmy K for this absolutely perfect man edition of Tuesday Shoesday. (Please note that I have relinquished my tradition of using only lower case letters to appease the author, as that styled decision really gets his goat.) Also important to note is that Jimmy K is primarily responsible for my love of Mr. Frederickson & Vermont, for which I am forever grateful. Also, just an FYI, he followed the advice of yesterday's post and enjoyed a few IPAs to encourage the creative process.To establish some continuity between business as usual at Love Vermont and man week, I thought I'd continue the tradition of Tuesday Shoesday with a familiar format: a list. Although men find them somewhat intolerable (especially if it's a to-do list), we're generally more comfortable with power rankings…so here goes. You'll have to forgive me for not contributing the most manly of man week posts, there's only so much a boy can do with shoesday.
- Bean Boots – Absolute classics. Timeless in every sense. Their full warranty – while questionably sensible from a financial standpoint – represents a commitment to quality that is much appreciated by Vermonters. Like other Bean products, they won’t fall out of style; just consult our parents’ mudroom for evidence. My personal favorite pair: the rubber mocs (see above) which combat mud season with the best of them.
- Birkenstocks – The Germans have engineered some pretty impressive things over the years – luxury cars, uniquely shaped beer glasses, counter-attacks and cork-soled sandals that feel like they were built by and for Vermonters. Birks-wearers are likely to either still have a pair from the 1970s, or sport a dancing bears sticker on the back of their Subaru or both. Nevertheless, the iconic shoes earn extra points for their high ranking in the surprisingly competitive sandals-that-can-be-worn-with-wool-socks category.
- Merrells – They will serve you equally well on an afternoon hike as at just about any social gathering from September to April, which is just slightly longer than bourbon season. For what it’s worth, Keens might be less versatile, but could earn you more trail-cred.
- Dansko clogs – Seem to be quite popular in the Science and English departments of high schools all over the state.
- Crocs – A distant relative of Birkenstocks, Crocs are almost as ergonomically appealing and as versatile. The heel strap adds a new dimension and instantly converts these foam creations into the perfect shoe for a lazy float down a river (thanks, helm), or a quick getaway from the fashion police.
- Honorable mention: Bike shoes & Tevas/Chacos. Bike shoes – I’ve heard they really do help you generate power more efficiently on a road bike, so their popularity shouldn’t be surprising considering Vermonters emphasis on energy conservation. Even though you may have helped save the planet by biking to work, it won’t be so easy to sneak in a bit late. Tevas/Chacos – Considering the how-to-pronounce-Teva debate has nearly broken up my extended family, I have to give the edge to Chacos, though both are excellent at giving blisters.