Will Morrow (courtesy)

Will Morrow (courtesy)

If the shoe fits

Alaska is a footwear-intensive place to live

For years, I’ve been able to blame the piles of shoes by the door on the kids.

Except the kids are now gone, off to college, and the pile of shoes by the door is still there. Maybe it’s time to look at my own two feet. In fact, if you were to look at the various entry points around the house, you might guess that I have significantly more than two feet.

In my defense, Alaska is a footwear-intensive place to live. I mean, it’s not like I’m Carrie Bradshaw with the latest pair of Manolo Blahnik pumps.

For example, I have three pairs of winter boots — you know, for cold, colder, and coldest conditions. There’s cross-country ski boots for skate and classic skiing. Then there’s Xtratufs for breakup season, and hiking boots for summer excursions.

Of course, you don’t always need hiking boots to hike; so I have some lightweight trail shoes, too.

And that’s just the boots. I have all sorts of other shoes for biking, jogging (let’s not pretend that what I occasionally do could be considered running), working in the yard, working out, going to work, and putting on when I get home from work. And then there’s that one pair of shoes that I’ve been saving to do a chore that, immediately after, will require that the shoes just be thrown away.

There are also shoes that, at this point, could best be described as ornamental. I have a nice pair of dress shoes that I got to go with the suit I wore at my brother’s wedding. The shoes now get worn every two years or so, and the suit even less frequently — I think the last time I even took it out of the closet was 2014.

There’s also a stack of shoes that aren’t worn out, but might be out of style, like my 1990s Doc Martens. I’d break them out of the closet, but I’m not sure they go with my 2022 dad jeans.

I think it might be time for me to take a Marie Kondo approach to my footwear.

When I was in elementary school, I made do with just one pair of shoes — two, if you counted galoshes, but those were worn over my other shoes. Every few months, my mom would load me and my siblings up in the family van, and we’d head over to the local shoe store. The trip usually coincided with someone’s toes wearing through the end of their shoes. We’d get to check out the display of kids’ shoes — Zips were the featured brand — pick out some new kicks. We always got them a size big so we’d have “growing room.”

Anyway, that pair of shoes was good for everything, from school to sports to the outdoors and everything in between. School picture day? Kickball on the playground? Youth basketball? Soccer or baseball? Camping and hiking? One shoe to rule them all.

I don’t think I can get back down to just one pair of shoes again. But I can probably part with the track spikes from high school and the soccer cleats from college. And seeing as I haven’t gotten to that chore that will ruin a pair of shoes, I can probably just throw that pair away now. By the time I get to it, I’ll have another old, worn out pair ready to go.

The Doc Martens, however, will have to stay. As Marie Kondo would say, they still spark joy. And the retro look will come back sooner or later, right? What’s more, they still fit.

And if the shoe fits, I’ll wear it.

Will Morrow lives in Kenai. Email him at willmorrow2015@gmail.com.

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