Work for Pizza



December 24, 2012

When I bought them I didn’t have a plan, per se. I just wanted some shoes with little or no heel. As it stands, I haven’t worn another shoe since, literally. I’ve worn that same pair of Sambas every day, everywhere I’ve gone, for the past 515 days. At first they did light duty. Things like depth of field tests with the Fuji X100:

And color balance tests:

But yeah I did wear them, every day. They were there in Portland when the X100 started acting up with the dreaded sticky aperture blade:

In no time the Sambas graduated to medium-duty work. Things like all weather runs in the park and taking me on planes to Utah:

Then heavier duty work like hiking up Utah’s creeks and rivers:

And right out of those rivers and into deserts:

After the long, dirty hikes we’d do a washdown at the water pump:

Then back out the next day into the desert:

But there aren’t just deserts in Utah. There are mountains, too. Here we are on the way down from Mt. Waas:

They saw more than Utah, of course. They took me hiking into places like Desolation Wilderness (desol). I used them to kick steps into sloped ice fields. Here we’re just standing, happy to be upright.

They worked well for walking over snowed-in creeks. The kind where you start off over the creek like a noob and fall through the snow to the water, hip deep in snow. One shoe filled with snow-cone sludge, one not:

It’s not all stumbles in desol. Go cross-country up and toward peaks and you’ll see what pops up when the snow lets go, melts into water and disappears downhill:

But enough about the walking, running and hiking. The most surprising thing is how the shoes look after nearly one and a half years of daily and often rugged use. I bought a spare pair a while back and have worn them twice. Here’s how the 2 day old (worn in the rain) pair compares to the 515 day old pair; well I’d say:

It seems I’m strong/sloppy on my right leg so I do more damage there. You can see the wear on the right heel. The wear on the other shoe is much lighter.

If you’re wondering about my color choices in shoes, maybe I inherited them from my parents:


We’ve learned of planned obsolescence. In the case of the Sambas I think the Adidas team hasn’t quite mastered it yet.


When I was kid my parents would give me money to buy clothes. After one shopping trip with my friend Keyvan I came back in a t-shirt that was cut off at the belly button, the top emblazoned with an enormous Adidas logo. My mother stared me down, “You paid for that?! They should be paying you!” It seems I haven’t learned my lesson.

There are 500+ other days with these shoes but only one other photo so let’s end it by saying they also led me to a really good $4 bottle of wine.

Two Years, One Set of Tennies