Tuesday, 9 October 2007


We are in the FOURTH shop selling trainers and I am being very difficult!

I need new trainers, I really do; but, despite wandering around looking at walls literally shelved with trainers, I cannot find a pair that I am even willing to try on!

The trouble is, something is wrong with all of them: chiefly because today's trainers - with their iridescent colours and wacky materials - are so obviously and exclusively the territory of the YOUNG and could only look unbelievably ridiculous on a man who is heading for the exit turnstile from middle-age.

Finally (and only after a vast amount of persuasion and no little fuss) I try and buy these: a pair of Nike Air Force 1...

They look, I tell myself, innocuous and anonymous enough for a fifty-something to get away with. So, I surrender my old, beaten-up trainers and put on my gleaming new AF-1s...

I have scarcely left the shop and have just paused to adjust the laces slightly (the way you always have to do with new trainers) when I am accosted by a group of excitable teenage schoolboys...
"WOW! They're Air Force 1s aren't they?"


"Are they a limited edition?"


"Did you just buy them?"

"Where did you get them?"

"How much were they?"

And, do you know, all of a sudden, I begin to feel... well...

...Y O U N G E R !


David Weeks said...

This is absolutely true!
Of course had I not been present and we had been in London then the chances are that Brian would have had the AF-1 trainers taken from him as he sat adjusting the laces.

Or am I just being pessimistic?

Suzanne said...

"Exit turnstile from middle-age"??
Hey, less of that please, Brian!
As a 50-something myself (OK so I'm at the beginning of my decade!) I certainly do not feel middle-aged - far from it!

LisaH said...

I wish you good health to wear your swanky new trainers Brian - Nike Air are pretty good - not only for your street cred.
However, I do feel I should take you to task a little for suggesting that you are getting old. Nowadays, being fifty something is comparatively young.
So, keep wearing the Air 1s and continue to feel younger.

Brian Sibley said...

GILL comments...

My mother, who was a very wise woman, always said that middle age was 5 years older than whatever age she was at the time.

I concur.

Brian Sibley said...

Yep, I take the point...

I should also remember that my great comic hero, Jack Benny, was still officially '39', even when he was ACTUALLY well on the way to being 81...!

Qenny said...

I, too, have despaired of finding an age-appropriate pair of trainers. I would much rather get my hands on some classic, non-fussy things, the likes of which were available before labels became important. I wouldn't want to rewind fully back, because then it would be black plymsoles, the like of which I wore to gym as a child. But something classic, comfortable, and respectable looking.

A few companies seem to be doing "work trainers" - shoes that look kind of work-like, usually entirely black - but are made of the same materials that they use for training shoes, and with similar internal properties.

Still, your AF-1s do look comfortable.

Elliot Cowan said...

I have had to accept the fact that if I want to wear sneakers that are good for my feet I have to look like an extra from Back to the Future Part 2.