Shoe Hole Solidarity (A Short Promise to my Friends) by Lili Siegel

Some nights
we would swipe into the Resource Center on Sexuality and Gender
and stare at the books they had there
about other. The day when we get
our space
always several years off.
So we set up folding chairs on the lawn,
affix our stories to them and call it victory.
We find ourselves
between music
and medical bills,
In the space between breathy whispers
and hearing aids.


When you reveal to me
holes in your shoes,
I feel that maybe as close as we can get to a movement
in this union of distinctions
is that the same ground that tore your shoes
tore mine too,
in this struggle to live
the life
we have earned


Somewhere is filled with books about where we came from.
And how long it took us to arrive.
If our type of kinship is made by blood,
it is the blood that spurts out of the well-earned gash in my big toe.
And yours
My tired fingers clench in yours


Which tells me that I have walked well
and heavy.
If there is swagger to the limp in my ankle,
you see it more than me.


You have danced many times before and you will dance again.
And our shoes will glimmer. Together in the every day light of life.


If ever I get home first
I will buy you a shoe rack.
I will put it in the room we will build together.
I will repair your shoes
but only if you ask me.

The textured band that wraps around the toe of the shoe - the band of rubber that is loosing its crosshatched pattern and disappearing to ever so slightly reveal other layers of the shoe - is apparently called a “toe bumper.” 

Toe bumper is an apt name for this particular strip of rubber, I guess. It also seems like a phrase one might used to describe a move in a game of footsie. The more you know….

The more accurately you can describe the wear and tear occurring on your shoes?Brand: ConverseNumber of Wears: 17

The textured band that wraps around the toe of the shoe - the band of rubber that is loosing its crosshatched pattern and disappearing to ever so slightly reveal other layers of the shoe - is apparently called a “toe bumper.”

Toe bumper is an apt name for this particular strip of rubber, I guess. It also seems like a phrase one might used to describe a move in a game of footsie. The more you know….

The more accurately you can describe the wear and tear occurring on your shoes?

Brand:
Converse
Number of Wears: 17

A possible solution to the CP Shoes issue! In addition to improved standard, stagnate shoe design and enhanced sole repair products, we need shoes that regenerate themselves. Worn out shoes today, brand new shoes tomorrow! I wonder, though, if the amount of regeneration could keep up with the wear and tear that occurs on most shoes worn by people with cerebral palsy. Has the designer tested the shoes on people with a variety of gaits? I would definitely be willing to take them for a test wobble.
Converse, you’re beginning to crack.

Brand: Converse  Chuck Taylor All Stars 

Number of Wears: 16

Converse, you’re beginning to crack.

Brand: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

Number of Wears: 16

Brand: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars
Number of Wears: 15

Anonymous asked: I'm looking for shoes worn out at the toes for a project I am working on with a friend who has cerebral palsy. I'm wondering if you have any or know who I can contact to find some. This is for a social documentary art project. thanks

Hi Anonymous!

The art project sounds very interesting. I have lots of shoes worn out at the toes and know lots of other individuals who do as well. I do not know of any organization that collects such shoes. I recommend putting out a call on Craigslist, Freecycle, or social media groups for people who have CP to see if folks would be willing to donate their old shoes. I would be willing to do a signal boost for you and your friend if I could find out more about this project. If you would like to send more details, please email spazzyshoes@gmail.com.

Thanks for writing!

“Where are you? Come now, don’t be shy… Step into the light,” the dragon Smaug says slyly to Bilbo.

Because we all know that this photo was taken right as I was about to attempt to save my homeland by drowning a dragon in molten gold…

Lord of the Rings: Desolation of Smaug “Step into the Light” spot.

Brand: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars 

Number of Wears: 14

“Where are you? Come now, don’t be shy… Step into the light,” the dragon Smaug says slyly to Bilbo.

Because we all know that this photo was taken right as I was about to attempt to save my homeland by drowning a dragon in molten gold…

Lord of the Rings: Desolation of Smaug “Step into the Light” spot.

Brand: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

Number of Wears: 14

Brand: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars 
Number of Wears: 13

Brand: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

Number of Wears: 13


March 20th Should Be International Shoe Day. 

I pronounce March 20th to be International Shoe Day because I love shoes, and it’s my birthday, and making pronouncements is the kind of thing one can do on their birthday…

Really though, in addition to being my birthday, March 20th should be International Shoe Day because it is the day that Jan E. Matzeliger received a patent for his shoe lasting machine in 1883 and soon completely revolutionized the shoe industry.

Jan Matzeliger was a black immigrant to the United States from the Dutch colony of Suriname. He arrived at age 19 speaking no English and having very little education. He settled in Lynn, Massachusetts and got a job doing maintenance work in a shoe factory. By age 30, Matzeliger had invented and patented the machine that allowed for the rapid production of high quality shoes - the shoe lasting machine.

Prior to the mid 1880s, most shoes were made entirely by hand. A shoe “last” was a model of a particular person’s foot, and these lasts were made so that shoes could be made to fit well. Shoe lasters were individuals who shaped the shoe and put the upper and lower parts of the shoe together. Such detailed and tedious work was commonly thought to be the toughest part of shoe making, and, of course, such work could only be done with human hands. Before the introduction of Matzeliger’s innovation, shoe making was a specialized skill, and expert shoe makers produced approximately 50 pairs of shoes per day.

Matzeliger’s shoe lasting machine held a shoe on a last, pulled the leather down around the shoe’s heel, set and drove in the nails, and then pushed out the finished shoes. With this new machine, 700 could be produced in a day. 700. That’s a 1300% increase. Forget incremental change, that’s a game-changer. In addition to drastically increasing high quality shoe production, the shoe lasting machine cut shoe prices in half, and it created tremendous opportunities for the employment of more unskilled workers.

So, when you go into a DSW or a Payless or check out Zappos.com and see what seems like endless low-cost footwear possibilities, thank Jan Matzeliger and his shoe lasting machine. Though the shoe industry looks much different than it did  when Matzelinger’s invention was popularized in factories, many of those more current innovations would not have been possible without his machine. One machine that made shoes available to people world wide. I am telling you, March 20th should be the International Shoe Day.

As the snow is cleared off to make way for spring, so too do I clear the treads off my sole and make way for holes. Perhaps my toes will enjoy sunshine and April showers.
Brand: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars
Number of Wears: 12

As the snow is cleared off to make way for spring, so too do I clear the treads off my sole and make way for holes. Perhaps my toes will enjoy sunshine and April showers.

Brand: Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

Number of Wears: 12