Traveling Shoes

This is one of those observational blogs. It doesn’t have much to do with architecture. I went out on a limb at the first of the year. I ordered my first pair of shoes online. I’ve had a pair of L.L. Bean loafers for about 8 years. They were very comfortable, yet I know the style and size I wanted. I would need for a replacement pair and ordering online was a safe bet.

I’ve been on the search for a pair of black penny loafers. I think I have exhausted every shoe place here in Tucson with no luck. Keep in mind, Tucson is a pretty large city (over a million in the metro area) with a small-town attitude. It has been resisting change to hang on to its past. Now for my architectural plug, I believe you can do both. Embrace change and the future without losing your roots of where you came from. Anyway, back to the shoes.

Because the L.L. Bean experience was successful, I decided to order my loafers online. I looked at all of the resellers and decided on Famous Footware. I have had a membership with them since my days in Dallas. I did quite a bit of research. I knew I wanted real leather. I knew that the shoes need to come from a reputable manufacturer. I put almost as much effort into this as I do when researching a new computer. 

I settled on Brown BILT Black Penny Loafers. They are an all leather shoe, the original company was founded in 1877 in St. Louis, Missouri. George Brown simply wanted to make the good quality shoe after seeing how much out there was of a poor quality. Sound familiar? You get what you pay for. I placed my order for the shoes on April 13 and the next day they were shipped.

The amazing thing is the journey they took. I watched every day to see where my new shoes were next. Below is each stop scanned by FedEx.

  • Mount Juliet, TN to Northampton, PA - 786 Miles
  • Northampton, PA to Knoxville, TN – 623 Miles (I'm not to sure about this extra side trip to PA)
  • Knoxville, TN to Fredonia, AK – 476 Miles
  • Fredonia, AK to Vega, TX – 676 Miles
  • Vega, TX to Camp Verde, AZ – 626 Miles
  • Camp Verde, AZ to Phoenix, AZ – 92 Miles
  • Phoenix, AZ to Tucson, AZ – 113 Miles

Once they got to Tucson to the FedEx Sort Facility near the airport. The shoes were loaded on a delivery truck at 4:17am. My FedEx deliveries are always towards the end of the day, this is probably because I’m on the opposite side of town about 35 miles away from the sorting facility. That is 35 miles for me to drive there, I’m sure there are plenty of other stops probably doubling the distance on the final leg of the journey.

The total distance my shoes traveled (drum roll please) 3,427 miles. Now for the real fun, I keep shoes for about 5 years. These are for my business casual wear when I’m wearing black. So, if I wear them 3 days a week and on average walk 4 miles a day. Yep, I strive for my 10,000 steps. I will only walk about 600 miles before I get a new pair. The shoes were made in Italy, I don’t have a method to see their journey to the US. But I can speculate about 7,500 miles. The irony is, these shoes will travel over 10,000 miles in their life, which is almost half the distance of the planet.

…and now for something completely different.
Avocados are poisonous to birds.




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Thursday, 13 August 2020

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