This is the first post detailing the gear we will be taking on the Grand Tour (the "GT"). Starting at the bottom, physically, here I discuss the all-important shoe selection (or as Jesse calls them, Shoe-balls*). As is my custom I ordered and had delivered a half a dozen pairs of shoes for a deliberate and extensive, indoor, try-on session.
The contenders for best non-sandal shoe were:
Anyway, I have always been a great fan of Merrell brand footwear. Sturdy, great soles, wide toe-box for my fat toe-balls and always rugged looking, you could regularly find me wearing my "hiking shoes" in somewhat inappropriate places: the gym, kickball games, fancy restaurant, even rehearsal dinners (Sorry Nair!).
So it is with great apprehension that I have chosen to go with the Vasque Juxt | 7004s. But since I can only have one pair of shoes I've (read Jesse) has decided these (somewhat) decent looking shoes will compliment all of the leg-wear I plan to bring on this trip - regular shorts, work-out shorts, jeans, and convertible pants (more on each of these items to come) better than the chunky leatherish Merrells. Plus those clever Vasque marketers really hit all my buttons with their advertising copy.
Understated style [me], excellent durability [me] and solid support for enlightened souls [me, maybe] who appreciate functional utility [wow, I am really close on this one]. Being comfortable enough to live in every day, this shoe's secure lacing and tenacious sticky rubber sole inspires plans into the unknown [sounds a lot like the GT!].Plus, the Juxts have the "Arc Tempo, which creates an athletic fit that promotes quickness and agility over technical ground." I am happy to engage any technology that promotes quickness and agility. Apparently it does this by "plac[ing my] foot in a more powerful position during toe off [and provides an] aggressive toe spring [that] facilitates rapid obstacle clearance." With my new-found quickness and agility, I will most certainly need rapid obstacle clearance.
So, me and the Juxts for one year. Lets hope it works out. But, I have been wearing them while drafting this post and am somewhat troubled because the entire time I have been aware of the outside of the toe-box rubbing up on my sensitive, yet manly-looking, pinky toeball. Stay tuned to see if the Juxts make it out of South America, or if they make it out of New York at all...
* This terminology arose after a cleaning woman broke a light in our house and left us a note, writing with "I so sorry, I break lightball." Now any item can be appended with "ball" and it is instantly fun and cute - to us at least.