I am a top-class de-clutterer! I will happily give books I have read to friends, send things I no longer use or wear to the charity shop and sell stuff to others via Ebay and yet I am finding parting with these old shoes a real wrench. These Brasher Ntoba shoes have given me around 15-years of comfort and I am pretty sure that no other shoes will ever be the same again. Made for everyday comfort for exploring and travelling I have worn these shoes on walks up small hills and around the countryside, they have taken me to work in wet and snowy weather and out to the shops through the last ten winters; they have never felt uncomfortable and putting them on has always bought me pleasure.
I can still remember the day I bought these wonderful shoes. It was a wet day in the Lake District and not really fit for walking and so we were shopping for shoes in one of the many shops specialising in walking gear in Ambleside. I put these Brasher shoes on and as I walked around the shop trying them out for size and comfort I knew straight away they were special shoes; really I should have bought two pairs [or maybe three] while I was there so I had enough for a lifetime.
I think I am finding parting with these shoes particularly difficult because shoes are perhaps the most important item of clothing I buy. They are my connection with the earth and carry me on the miles I walk every day and being able to do this is so much a part of who I am. As these wonderful old grey shoes were already on their last legs five years ago I bought a replacement pair of Brasher shoes [again in Ambleside]. These brown Ambler GTX shoes are robust and comfortable enough for a few hours and I wear them through the winter but for some reason they are not the same and wearing them all day leaves my feet feeling tired. Consequently I don’t love them in the same way as my old shoes. For the hills I now also have some technical lightweight shoes that are really comfortable to wear and this might be the way to go for the Salford streets too.
I have hung on to these old grey shoes way beyond their reasonable lifespan as I have been unable to part with them but walking in them recently both side seams were gaping wide open where the stitching had come undone, the soles no longer have any tread left and I had to admit that it was time to call it a day. So farewell old shoes, I am not sure walking will ever be quite the same again.