I wrote about the ecstasy of fitting new tires a long time ago. A female friend compared it to getting a new pair of shoes, something that apparently fills many women with joy, but is far beyond my comprehension.
Until now. On Saturday, I picked up my new Sidi Bullet 2 Megas from Tom's Bicycles in Tulsa.
I've been using Shimano touring shoes for a very long time, so long, in fact, that the shoes have literally begun to fall apart. They were loose enough to make out-of-the-saddle sprinting an iffy affair. I was afraid to go all out for fear they'd simply disintegrate.
I've worn various Italian-made torture devices too, shoes apparently designed by a stylish descendent of Torquemada. They looked good, but after an hour or two on the road, the shoes seemed to slowly tighten, becoming more painful with each passing mile.
To make matters worse, my feet are oddly shaped making it difficult to find shoes that fit properly. They're broad across the toes and narrow in the heel. When I was a kid, my Dad called them 'flippers'. My little toes actually curl under. I always thought that was due to poor-fitting shoes when I was small, but then I noticed my daughter's toes are the same. It's genetic. Regardless, the toes provide a pressure point against the side of my shoes. Corns are common. Sometimes the toes wear out the shoes from the inside. The Shimano shoes actually have holes worn through from my little toes.
So the Sidis were a revelation! Having shoes that do not cause pain is a truly wonderful thing. Oh, I'm sure some of you wonder how I can go on like this about a pair of shoes. Let's just say that at my age, riding a bicycle nearly every day is bound to cause some aches and pains. But when my feet hurt enough to have me hobbling around the house in the morning, my kids make fun of the "old man" because they know I can't catch them!