RogerBW's Blog

Hush Puppies: Unfit for Purpose 23 March 2018

A few times a year I have a need or desire to look reasonably smart. Usually this involves a fair bit of walking on pavement too. So I want a good-looking shoe with reasonable internal padding and a solid, ideally not leather, sole. Last time my solution to this was Hush Puppies.

Now, I admit, "last time" when I bought them was in 2005, so one might reasonably expect a bit of wear. But here are the uppers, which I've never polished; I've worn them on perhaps two or three days a year at most. And yet here's the state of the soles:

That's not "I walked on them a lot and they've worn through"; that's "the rubber has broken wholesale off the substructure, and the substructure has started to disintegrate too".

I am not impressed, and welcome recommendations for good-looking, comfortable, not hugely expensive shoes which don't have built-in self-destructive tendencies.

Tags: real life

  1. Posted by Dr Bob at 06:14pm on 23 March 2018

    Perhaps Hush Puppies took the Hitchhiker's GTTG scenes about the strata of shoes too seriously, and have taken steps to prevent it? :-)

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 06:19pm on 23 March 2018

    Or they're trying to create their own distinct stratum…

  3. Posted by John Dallman at 09:14pm on 23 March 2018

    I currently have a pair of Rockport, and a pair of Geox. They're both comfortable, although since I wear such shoes a great deal, I wear them out in 3-4 years.

  4. Posted by Dave at 04:16pm on 26 March 2018

    We've had the same problem with Hotter shoes. I was wandering around town leaving a trail of rubber whereever I went. Alison bought a couple of pairs of shoes, wore one until they were worn out, then took the other pair out of the cupboard and they pretty much fell apart immediately.

    According to https://www.iol.co.za/the-star/want-your-comfort-shoes-to-last-wear-them-dont-store-them-1310597 wearing them actually prolongs their life.

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 04:28pm on 26 March 2018

    Interesting; thanks.

    My solution in this case was to buy a pair of really good shoes, a pair of Barkers that suit my style and are tremendously comfortable. Leather soles, but at least they can be replaced; the uppers should probably see me out if I'm careful.

  6. Posted by Chris Suslowicz at 10:39pm on 27 March 2018

    I'm still buying Hush Puppies, theyare reasonably comfortable and can be bought by size (and actually fit me), unlike some other brands. Build quality has varied over the years, from the last of the British made "Broadways" which were splendid apart from the sponge rubber soles (that had a short life before wearing thin, becoming porous, and actually pumping water inside when walking in the wet), through some foreign (Italian? Polish?) versions with very hard plastic soles that were lethally slippery when wet (and tended to crack across the ball of the foot after a while), to the current non-broadway type that are fairly long lasting and grippy.

    I have had other shoes (non Hush Puppy, I think) that self-destructed in storage, the soles breaking up into a sort of rubber crumb - fortunately not particularly sticky or it would have caused serious damage to other things.

    I'll stick with them for now, and probably buy some more paratroop boots if I need something for serious walking.

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