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Eulogy for Some Dearly Departed Soles

by Emily Gindle » on Nov 19, 2010 2

After two years of devoted service, it is finally time to lay my first pair of KSOs to rest. The strap had broken once already and I had carefully sewn it back together. The stitching holding the sole together was coming out but the glue stayed strong. Through many trials and tribulations, many miles of trail and pavement, through weight lifting and rock scrambling they had been my constant companion. They always fit so well into a kayak and on a harness. And finally this week they succumbed to box jumps and jumping lunges. The strap broke again and this time there was no sewing it back.

Though there will be many pairs of KSOs after you, I will always remember you, my first pair. It was you that showed me a different way to move in the world that was more playful and connected to the earth. You changed me physically as well: my calves are stronger, my balance and agility have improved, and my feet have shrunk three-quarters of a size as they get more muscular through the arch. You left a lasting imprint on me, and in return I used you until you were wasted. It wasn’t a fair proposition, but now you will get your rest.

Remember that time we went whitewater kayaking and I couldn’t stay in the boat? The rapids tossed me around like crazy and I kept having to pull out to swim. I was very grateful that you didn’t weigh me down in the water, and thankful still that you gripped on the wet rocks when I had to carry my boat along the stony shore.

Or the only time I hated you, when we were hiking out of a climbing day at El Cap Canyon after a rampantly wet spring, and as we bushwacked through the grass all those spiky seed pods worked their way through you to get to me. I complained about the mile I spent feeling like I was getting poked in the feet with needles, but I never thought of how you must have felt getting stabbed through and through. It took the better part of an hour to get them all out of you, but then you were ready to go again. You were always ready to go.

Though your outsole is as spry and grippy as the day I bought you, and though you still hang on to my foot without the strap, your days of precise fit and high performance are over. If I were a gardener, you might be able to retire to more relaxed pursuits, but I am not a gardener. I am a runner, a rock climber, a Crossfitter, a kayaker, a yogi. Our time together was wonderful, and now it is time to let you go. Thank you, KSOs. You will always be remembered.


  1. Victoria Klein

    November 19th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    A moment of silence for your loss … I’m impressed they lasted 2 years!


  2. Bob (Downtown Runner)

    November 19th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Your dearly departed pair has kin here at my place. Same color, but about 9 months younger. I can only hope that my dear pair enjoys a similar level of longevity.


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