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I want to talk a bit about shoes and my shoe fetish. Actually, it’s not so much a shoe fetish as it is a chew fetish. Now, apparently, many of you reading this [particularly people, as opposed to my readers who are dogs (hi William!)] also have shoe fetishes. Some people are more specific and might call it a heel fetish, or a brogue fetish but call them what you will – shoes, sneakers, plimsolls, pumps, runners, trainers, hikers – whatever you like, they’re all chews to me.
And that brings me back to my point. Nothing beats a good shoe chew. And each shoe has its own merits. For instance a well worn athletic shoe has a certain je ne sais quoi, and I don’t know what it is. Certainly there’s the nearly overwhelming dark sweaty odour coupled with a pervasive lingering dampness that just doesn’t present itself in a fancy dress shoe. And the texture begs to be torn at with a certain degree of vigour.
But then a dress shoe has different qualities that demand equal attention. The leather is of a texture and resilience that begs a more leisurely chew. One needs to gnaw slowly and steadily in order for the saliva to really have a chance to permeate the leather, releasing the subtleties of the flavour.
A sturdy work boot is an enticing combination of an athletic shoe and a dress shoe: It has the mysterious sweaty flavours perfectly combined with the subtleties of leather, although usually a somewhat heartier leather than that found in a dress shoe.
Really, what it comes down to is personal taste. And for me that changes with my mood. Some days I have a craving for that lively Nike, whereas on another day I just want to mellow out with an Italian loafer. My motto is “never eschew a good shoe chew”.
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