There are basically three places I buy shoes:
– Goodwill, from which I have purchased for myself three pair of Timberlands, one pair of Clark’s Wallabees, and one pair of Reebok running shoes.
– The Nike factory store, where among other things I stumbled onto probably the best bargain in the history of footwear a few years ago: Baseball spikes for $5. I thought about buying multiple pairs, but at my age I never know how many seasons I have left in me, so I snagged one pair and called it good. Still wearing them, btw.
– Big 5, which pretty much is where I go if I need something I can’t find at Goodwill and it’s going to be awhile before my next Nike store visit. Over the years I’ve picked up multiple pairs of basketball and running shoes at Big 5, which pretty much always has a good deal going on something.
My most recent visit to Big 5 was with my daughter Pam, who was in need of softball shoes, and we ended up getting her some pretty cool black Nikes.
While there, I happened to notice this:
“Lifestyle shoes?” I said. “What are lifestyle shoes?”
Pam wasn’t sure, but upon further inspection and discussion we decided lifestyle shoes were pretty much what I refer to as knock-around shoes. Basically, after a pair of basketball or running shoes becomes worn out from a sports standpoint but still has life left from a walking up and down a street perspective, that pair of shoes becomes knock-around shoes.
As they get even closer to the end, they become lawn-mowing shoes. Those Reebok running shoes — purchased half worn out for $6.99 btw — are currrently used both as mowing shoes and knock-around shoes.
Alas, a log jam usually builds up at the end of this process, since shoes seem to live way longer in the knock-around and mowing stages than they do in the athletic competition phase; thus does footwear sort of accumulate in my garage. Oh well.
And now, Catch of the Day, No. 18, which comes in honor of the long-struggling Pittsburgh Pirates, who have rebounded this year to win 58 of their first 100 games entering play Sunday.
The franchise of Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski, and now emerging star Andrew McCutcheon, also featured a hard-hitting, defensively challenged catcher named Smoky Burgess, one of the best pinch hitters in major league history.
Here’s a Wilson-made Burgess model mitt from the early 1960s, an artifact I picked up for $12 about 20 years ago from the old Instant Replay Sports in Albany: