Just a quick blog to mark what I thought was the end of an era…after 5 years and 4 months of cradling my feet through 15 countries, of staying on when launching my kayak, and while scrambling around on the Lovejoy basalt lava flows and Monkeyface of Upper Park in Chico, my Chaco flip-flops finally gave a last gasp.
As I was walking through the streets in Chefchaouen, I felt a slight tug on the tongue between my toes. Upon investigating, the fabric pulled right out of the sole of the shoe, to the great delight of one of the vendors who just happened to be selling the fashionable pointy-toed men’s slippers in every possible color, alongside a selection of leather sandals. Convinced I’d never get a good price in such an obvious state of desperation, I hobbled past, telling him, God-willing, I’d be back later, and I retrieved my running shoes from the hostel.
Anne-Claire convinced me to try to have them repaired. And so the next day in Fez, I walked up to a cobbler – from what I can tell, they’ve got more work than they can handle – and in a couple of minutes he’d sewed the tongue back in, glued the top and bottom layers of the sole together, and thwacked it a few times with hammer for good measure. He waved off my first offer to pay, but ultimately took 5 dirhams (~60 cents) for his time.
I don’t mean this to be an advertisement for Chaco’s flip-flops. In my eyes, they made the unforgivable decision to replace the far-superior Vibram sole with a cheaper, less rugged version a few years ago on this model. Though the word ‘Vibram’ is barely legible on my shoes, I’m thankful to have enjoyed its benefits.