Cooz in Effect

1203100185I tend to buy new sneakers once a year, and, to my wife’s eternal amusement, tend to spend several months searching for the right pair. On several occasions I’ve waited so long that by the time I pulled the trigger, the shoe I wanted was out of production.

My most recent purchase, a pair of blue and white Asics fencing shoes, was a bust from the get-go. They’re a little heavy and spacy-looking, and didn’t quite work. And my standby PF Flyers were coming apart after two solid years of service. For replacements, I wanted two things: 1. Light running shoes with thin-soles. 2. Canvas shoes for the spring, but not Chucks because the soles suck, and they’re generally kind of dull.

Going simple was harder than usual this year, what with the relentless onslaught of ugly, throwback RUN DMC-style shoes that are absolutely everywhere now. As a young Quincy punk, I rocked nothing but Adidas shell-toes for something like five consecutive years in grade school and high school, and as fond as I am of those memories, I’m all set with the style. Moreover, all the running shoes (that aren’t for running) on offer are 70s and 80s styles with enormously thick soles. I probably walk something like 30 miles a week, and need a little more support.

After a few weeks of searching around, I found a pair of Asics running shoes with thin soles that I really like. They’re simple, sharper than they look in the photo, light and comfortable. But I still couldn’t find the right canvas sneaks. I tried the Jack Purcells, but they were too narrow. I looked at the patchwork Purcells but didn’t think I could pull them off without getting my ass kicked in the road. And those laceless, slip-on Chucks and Purcells looked odd and a little forced to me. I bought a new pair of ox-blood red PF Flyers, but they didn’t quite work either, so I returned them, and resigned myself to a pair of shitty cheap-o Chucks.

Then came word that PF was reissuing the shoes Celts great Bob Cousy wore in the ‘50s. Low-top, canvas shoes with these vents on the side—PF calls them the “Gullwing Enclosure”—which add a bit of subtle, unusual style to an otherwise plain-looking shoe (unless you get the wild all-green version). Plus, the soles offer a little more support (“PF” stands for “Posture Foundation”) than Chucks or Purcells, though they’re not even remotely suitable for basketball.

However unique they look, though, the only negative is that I’m likely going to be one of many, many people around here wearing them. The calls have been coming into Bodega all week (they’re getting them in tomorrow or next week) asking about the Cousys, and I’d guess the same goes for Louis, the only other local retailer that will be carrying them. But, again, they’re not so unique that you’ll look like a tool. They’re pretty subtle. And anything that keeps the name “Bob Cousy” in circulation around here can’t be anything but positive.