I haven’t bought a pair of shoes in nearly a decade. I’m particular about everything–everything--but I’m even more picky about shoes than most other things.
About a year ago I saw shoes that I loved–loved–on the New Balance website. They were yellow. They were black. They were Pikachu-colored. And I was certain that they would be mine.
But things didn’t work out the way I’d planned. I wanted to try them on to make sure I got the right size since they cost a hefty $115+ a pair, but I could only try them on at a New Balance store. And the only place in New York to find a New Balance store was New York City. So New York City it would have to be.
We went down to NYC the day after my birthday in September 2009, but we couldn’t find the store before we had to catch our bus and we ran out of time.
We went down to NYC again for New York Anime Fest 2009, but with scheduling as it was, when we finally made it to the New Balance Store on Sunday morning, they weren’t open because they opened late on Sunday. We ended up missing the chance to hit the store again.
The next time we went to NYC late in 2009, we couldn’t find the New Balance store at all. I thought it was my fault for not writing down the address and assuming I’d be able to find the store with my laughable navigational skills. I was wrong. I found out in Spring 2010 that all the NYC New Balance stores had closed.
I looked on the online New Balance store, but the shoes had been discontinued and could no longer be purchased there. So I had missed my chance, and I despaired. I gave up, and thought the Pikachu-colored shoes would never be mine.
Flash forward the better part of a year to this summer. I had a sudden craving–a need–for these shoes. Knowing that the shoes were rare and limited now, I knew that it was now or never. I hunted relentlessly online and on ebay for these shoes in the 10.5D size that I guessed would be the best fit, but was distressed to find only two pairs in existence: sizes 10W and 11W, both with an extra-wide heel. I wasn’t sure the shoes would fit with an extra-wide heel, and I didn’t want to drop a ridiculous amount of money for shoes that I wouldn’t be able to wear. But man–I wanted those shoes. And I was almost ready to buy a pair that wouldn’t fit right in order to have them.
But then, the holy divine light shined upon me. I stumbled across a size 10.5D pair of Pikachu-colored New Balance running shoes listed online. And my life was changed forever. I ignored the price–because I didn’t care–and immediately purchased the last new pair of 10.5D Pikachu-colored shoes in existence. Oh, they had to come from Britain, but they’re mine. Mine.
The quest is complete. Was it worth it? Oh hell yeah. I have found the perfect shoes, and they complete me. These are the coolest shoes I’ve ever had or seen. If I’d given up on getting these, I’d have regretted it all my life. And the repeated attempts and failures to get these sneakers before achieving victory have given them all the value in the world to me. Will I ever find shoes this meaningful again? I wonder…