Holy Toes

April 4, 2019

Rose Edwards, Sailing intern

Sneakers in a sea of Chacos

Sneakers in a sea of Chacos

Ship's Log

Current Position
24o 49.2’ N x 72o 25.9’ W

Course & Speed
140o True, 4.8 knots

Sail Plan
Single-reefed mains’l, main stays’l, fore stays’l, jib

Alternating rain and sun, force 5 winds from the NExE, 4 foot seas.

Souls on Board

Everywhere I go, I am surrounded by Chacos. It seems to be the shoe of choice for adventurers, sailors, biologists, and study abroad students.

Being wide-toed myself, and having had uncomfortable experiences with Tevas in the past, I've never felt like the Chaco life was right for me. Sandals are too binding in just the wrong spot, so I stick with the pair of sneakers that my pinky toes broke free of a mere month after first donning them. This has led to many jokes about whether I own close-toed shoes (a requirement for CTD deployments) and my feeling like a bit of an outsider (see photo).

So I wear my sneakers, and love them to death. They have served me well over mountains and across oceans, on tropical beaches and roads in Acadia National Park. They are no fashion statement but they are comfy and secure.

But gosh, that zig zag Chaco tan is so cool. Way cooler than a sock tan that cuts off at the ankle, leaving my feet white from the Maine winter I just left. And my feet get wet during science deployments and deck washes, leaving my socks squishy and saturated. (Sometimes I dry my shoes in the sauna-like engine room.) I tried some sandals from gear adrift (our lost and found bin), but they too cut into my tender feet in unpleasant ways, and they are too long.

I've never been much into fashion trends, but I'm eyeing those Chacos more and more these days. My sneakers are reaching an unacceptable level of decrepitude and bits of the worn-out, tread-less soles keep detaching themselves. I've glued them back on countless times. I hate to admit it, but it might be time to finally invest in the cool zig zag sandals and say goodbye to my beloved, hardworking, borderline-dead sneakers once and for all.

Thanks for all your hard work, sneakers. And don't worry; you're still all I've got until we reach New York, so we needn't say goodbye just yet.

(Hi Brett, I love you and miss you. Hi mom and dad and Kelly and grandparents and aunties, I love you and miss you too.)

- Rose Edwards

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