Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

After eight long, hard years, ye olde Tevas finally gave out ... I lost an old and dear friend Saturday evening – no, more than a friend; in some ways we were more intimate than lovers.

Tevas, Tevas, Tevas … I’ve never had anyone in my life like you. You will be missed like no other. Indeed, others came and went, but you were always there for me. Even when you got stuck in the closet for an entire season while I dallied with Chacos, you didn’t complain. You merely waited patiently, seemingly knowing that in the end my fascination with the chunky sole and that stupid toe strap was just a passing fancy — that in the end, I would come back to you. We were never apart after that – unless you count the occasional wool sock.

We trod up and down mountains together; we traipsed across valleys together. The soil of more than a few nations and two continents – not to mention states in America – is ground into your soles. You’ve been with me as I traipsed through remote deserts and primeval forests; you’ve been with me as I navigated the insanity of Bangkok late at night. You have bathed in two oceans, a number of lakes and rivers, and countless streams, creeks and puddles – not to mention my blood on more than one occasion.

I still can’t believe you’re gone. One minute we’re walking along a Biên Hòa street to get some bánh xèo; the next, with a subtle, quiet ripping of fabric you are gone. It wasn’t a complete surprise; I knew your time was growing short. Your treads were worn through long ago and your Velcro has been ratty and tattered for even longer. Nevertheless I didn’t like to think about it; I looked the other way. After all, you’ve always been there for me when I wanted you, lo these past eight years; I guess I just assumed you always would be.

Alas poor Tevas, I hardly knew ye. Which isn't true, I've had them for 8 years.Okay, it’s silly to get this sentimental over a pair of sandals. But in all seriousness, my Tevas have been one of the best pieces of gear I’ve ever owned. Only my Asolo hiking boots can claim to have lasted me longer – but they were specialists, only used for snowfall and the occasional hardcore trek; they didn’t see the eight years of high mileage (except for the Chaco summer) that the Tevas endured. Not sure what I’m gonna do now for everyday footwear. I could go native and sport cheap flip flops. But the thing about my Tevas was that they could go casual for a walk down the street, or they could go hardcore for a four-day trek.

Alas poor Tevas; I hardly knew ye.

Maybe my Vibram Fivefingers will get the every-day nod, now that the cool* season is here (like I need to give people here another reason to stare, lulz). That’s the thing about replacing the Tevas with other Tevas. I’ve gradually been phasing out my shoes with thick soles and heels — i.e., flirting with barefooting, as it were — and it seems Teva has gone in the other direction, which is a shame. They are great footwear, if mine were any indication.

*not actually cool, but rather an absence of f**king hot.