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The World's Best Shoes Ever
The History of Kickers
Back in 1975, a company called Kickers produced a boot for men that went against all current fashion trends.
The market in 1975
With more outlandish colours and heel heights than you could comfortably shake a stick at, the mid 70's was a time of glamour, glitz and sprained ankles.
Trouser widths were measured in square feet and if the sole hadn't been built up to make the wearer at least seven feet tall, no-one was interested.
They would have been much less interested if the colours weren't bright, metallic, garish even - and as far as fashion was concerned, the gulf between men's and women's shoes or boots had just blurred to the point that apart from the size range, there was no difference.
Gary Glitter, Mud, Sweet, Roxy Music, David Bowie and countless others were appearing on television with platform soles that frankly were big enough to house a small family and androgyny seemed to rule the roost.
Perhaps it was time for a change.
So what was the design that turned fashion on its head?
A simple boot.
Well, perhaps not simple.
For a start, the detailing was almost jeans-like and jeans were becoming more and more popular as fashion items at that time. Don't get me wrong, jeans had always been popular, but as work clothes, not fashion as such. Suddenly they became the must-have fashion items that didn't scream beatnik, hippie or work.
The triple stitching around the upper in white on these boots, contrasting against the red leather; the white laces and even the way the joint between the sole and the upper went outwards and not under was very different to all the current shoe designs. Moreover, the soon to be famous tag; that almost flower-shaped embossed leather piece that served no purpose other than to show the name Kickers made these boots stand out from the crowd.
Comfortable Men's Shoes?
That was a concept that had been forgotten in the race to see who could wear the highest most outrageously coloured shoes or boots and whilst wearing them was one thing, walking in them was something else again.
Kickers took the chunky sole from simply un-walkable to practical. The contrast between it and the upper - whether blue, brown or red was eye-catching, different and above all - modern. Okay, so they weren't as high or as bright - though how anyone in their right mind can think that bright red is not bright enough is beyond me - but they were modern, stylish and now, thirty-five years down the line, retro, but no less a style that has weathered the test of time and changing fashions to still be there at the forefront both here and on the continent.
Okay, but are they comfortable?
Over the years, I have bought and worn probably over a dozen pairs of Kickers of varying shapes and styles, including the famous Kick Hi. In fact, my newest shoes that arrived only yesterday are Kick Hi, which go with my three other pairs of Kickers.
Okay, so I don't own four pairs of red shoes and boots and to be brutally honest, had they not been the iconic style that they are or that after already owning a pair and having a hankering after having them again, I probably would have continued with sober black or brown shoes, like most other men do.
But then, I'm not most other men.
I'm an individual and whilst I'm not exactly predisposed to be a dedicated follower of fashion; not really that keen on designer labels or trying to be at the forefront as far as current trends are concerned, I do like a spot of individuality. Having already owned a pair of Kick Hi red leather boots, I know how comfortable they are. In fact, all my Kickers have been or should that be are, comfortable.
Having large, fairly narrow feet, I have often found buying shoes problematic. I've had all sorts of styles and so on, but the ones I now stick with a) because I like the way they look and b) I like the comfort factor they afford me, are Kickers. I can walk, run, stand, work and play in Kickers and never be rubbing my feet and complaining about how they feel. So for me they are the most comfortable shoes.
Recyclable, fully degradable packaging
One more thing that impresses me about this manufacturer is that the boots were ordered on-line just before a bank holiday and arrived yesterday, meaning that they took no more than two working days to get to me.
Secondly, the packaging made me smile - big time.
The packaging was marked to let me know that not only was the bag reusable, but was 100% degradable and would do so in NORMAL rubbish in less than three years. Not like all the other so-called biodegradable stuff that needs an industrial strength composter to degrade.
So all things considered, this firm not only makes the best shoes and boots in the world - ever, they are also one of the kindest to the environment I have come across in a long time.