AIA#141 The crisis of “Dad Shoes”!

The other day I went to the shopping mall to buy some shoes for work. I got on the bus to the mall. The bus driver was kind as I ask him if this was the right bus to the mall. He smiled and said yes, it was. On the way to the mall I looked out the window at the town. The weather was nice and people were out on Sunday morning, walking, riding bicycles or driving around in nice looking cars. I really didn’t want to spend the money on shoes. But I had no choice since I needed them for work. The mall was a decent size but not huge. Lots of families were in the mall as well as couples on dates. As I walked in I noticed the Tsutaya book store chain. I went in and looked around. It had a nice bakery area and cafe. It smelled so good as rolls, muffins and cookies bombarded the senses. Japanese know how to make food look good. I contemplated getting a coffee but I already had one at home. The books were in a nice shelf area. The whole store was well designed and made you want to come inside. I went to the magazine area and flipped through a fashion magazine. I like to see what’s in style and try to take some hints. I’m not a fashion guy but I do hope that looking at new fashion looks rubs off on me somehow. Who doesn’t want to look good?

I decided to quit wasting time and find the ABC Mart Shoe store). ABC Mart is a another chain store in Japan and they usually have some decent sales on tennis shoes. I went to the next floor and found it. It was busy with weekend shoe shoppers. Ugh, the Men’s shoes were higher priced than the women’s shoes. I needed shoes that were cheap and simple.

4972231_origAesthetically, Most men’s tennis shoes are often poorly designed, many times trying to draw attention with bright colors. In short they don’t enhance your wardrobe, they de-hance your wardrobe. You should look for something that goes with dark jeans and a black t-shirt. Simple. Not flashy. Flashy is almost always bad in the realm of tennis shoes, especially for guys over 40. Don’t ever buy white jogging shoes like these New balance!



UnknownI headed toward the Vans section of the store, you can’t go wrong with Vans. Granpas can get away with wearing Vans. They’re simple and they go with just about anything you wear.  Vans have become a classic, like aviator sunglasses and jean jackets. The problem with Vans in Japan is that they’re a bit on the pricy side so maybe I’ll go with Vans another day.



adidas-gazelle-trainers-petrol-blue-white-p12464-71806_imageThe Adidas Gazzelle is another favorite shoe.  They’ve been around for 50 years according to Sneaker stuff blog. You can always go with them. The Gazelle They’re good for work or for going out to a bar. They’re simple and compliment jeans and kakis extremely well. Sadly, the Gazzelles were overpriced as well. They look cool, without looking try hard



4572595_500_AI’ll admit I was feeling a bit defeated when I headed over to the New Balance mens section and they had some decent colors. New Balance usually has some good colors, nice soft grey or deep blues, Greens and yellows and more. Although New Balance leans on to the “Suburban dad” side, I consider them a possibility when it comes to casual tennis shoes. I thought they might have some on sale. No go. I still don’t get why people pay $130 US dollars for a pair of New Balance shoes. It probably cost them $20 US dollars to make them.

I walked around a bit and discovered the Saucony section hidden behind a stack of shoe boxes. Score! I still can’t figure out why the store gave them such a bad display area. They were almost hidden from view.

sy-s60368-95The Jazz (horrible name for a shoe) designs were on sale so the price was right so they would work and within my budget. And the colors were good, they had a decent light brown, black and blue. I went for the blue. I tried on a few pairs, found some that fit and made my purchase. The Jazz Saucony shoe has a classic 1980s look and like the Adidas Gazelle they’ve been around forever.

Saucony brings back memories of my childhood soccer days. I was the only kid with a pair of Saucony soccer shoes everyone else had adidas. It’s funny how much that stuff matters when you’re a kid.

I’m happy to say the Saucony shoes brand has made a come back recently (With help from style icon Nick Wooster, I’m sure). The brand has gained momentum but you can still think of them as the underdog to New Balance and many wouldn’t consider them hip enough (Which oddly makes them more hip). Or even better people don’t know about the brand at all. They’re the indie rock tennis shoe of tennis shoes.

The lesson: Don’t rock the “Dad Shoes”, white jogging shoes or jogging shoes with multiple colors, Ugh. Keep things simple when it comes to tennis shoes. If you don’t know what to do just go with a pair of Vans, checked, no laces, Red with laces, it doesn’t matter just about all of them work.

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