In late 2016 I bought what were my most recent pair of hard shoes. They weren't particularly good shoes and were slightly too small (though at least they were relatively cheap), but they served. But recently the fronts of those shoes opened, too. My long walk on Thursday made it clear they needed to be retired.
On Monday, I got nu shooz. I am doing my due diligence as a Portlander by calling them Nu Shooz. (Remember Nu Shooz? They're still around!) Another relatively cheap pair of dark, hard shoes, to serve for now.
Yesterday afternoon, after clouds broke and rain in town had stopped, I took my first long walk in the new shoes, to start to break them in. Foster up to Powell then to a park between Powell and Holgate, where I sat and read while people ran their dogs, then back to the house. I feel slightly taller. Also, as I'd been doing with limited success with the just-retired hard shoes, I stayed very conscious of how I walked. If I'm not careful, I walk on the insides of my feet, which wears down my soles until the shoes slope inward. Ideally I'd get shoe inserts to counteract that, as I once got many pairs of shoes ago, but that will probably wait for the next pairs of shoes.
I'll never be a shoe-horse, collecting many pairs, but it's good to have a variety of shoes and boots. The rule of thumb I once heard is to have at least three pairs of day-to-day shoes that you rotate use of; it gives the shoes more time to air out and they ultimately last longer than if you'd bought each pair one at a time. And one thing I've discovered this decade: I do like wearing boots, on top of boots being useful for the amount of walking I do and the weather my part of Oregon gets.
Anyway, nu shooz. Nu Shooz. NU SHOOZ.