The Day I Fell In Love with the Huarache
(This post was originally published August 2018 on The Freebush)
I perused for a new pair of sneakers online for a while, as per my boyfriend’s advice, (aka ploy to get me off Instagram.) I bookmarked every style I liked for further review, (aka I hoped he would buy them for me.)
I scrolled through several pages of highly athletic looking shoes. You know the type: sleek design with too much color and fabric contrast. That wasn’t the look that was going to take me from hiking to ordering margaritas. Not to mention I was still hung up on getting a camel-toned pair of sneakers since the lost pair of Jordan’s I once eyed.
Colorful, overly athletic shoes weren’t going to do.
I saw a different style of running shoe then. A stronger, more sturdy base. The shoe was rounded enough in the front to work under jeans. They were a dusty sand color and detailed with a reptile skin that could also be described as dragon scales. They were beautiful.
My boyfriend was surprised that I’d earmark that shoe. After all, seeing them worn by others on the street didn’t speak to us. We mutually agreed it was an ugly sneaker.
But like the ugly duckling that turns swan, this shoe was beautiful. It had fully evolved into the perfect, unsuspecting candidate. It was the Nike Air Huarache.
The next day I walked up to Atlantic Avenue, about a 35-40 minute stroll. I went to Macy’s, reaffirming my trip by the two-year-old Macy’s Gift card I’ve yet to use. I circled the shoe section.
The shoes that were immediately for display were all of the undesirables. The pointy athletic, lightweight designs that I loathe. My casual fly-by turned into a full shoe-department upheaval.
I had a list of shoes to try on for size, but nothing in the store seemed to be worthwhile. The store’s associates were mobbed by middle-aged women and their mothers for every ounce of their attention. I did my best to search and concluded: they didn’t have any Huaraches.
I needed to look elsewhere. I checked DSW to new avail. I googled the nearest Footlocker first, but even closer was a Finishline. I checked there first. They had a wide selection of huaraches in different colors mounted on the wall.
My heart was still set on the dragon-scaled camel-colored Air Huaraches. But I reasoned with myself: if for any reason they wouldn’t arrive in time for our impending Mexico trip for which I NEEDED these new sneakers, I could settle for one of these.
They seemed to have a deal on a few of them: a pair of the all black and a pair of white with Tiffany-Blue accents. They were nice, so I asked for my size.
The associate came back with another pair of color-block shoes and apologized. They didn’t have the colors I asked for.
I told them they were beautiful anyway. I was just excited to try them on.
They fit just as I needed them to! Firm bottom with a soft, snug hug. I jotted down the size (a full size up as I’d expected after researching how they run) and the size of a few other shoes. A Puma and an Adidas pair each got a few moments of hang time while I was in the store, but I fell in love with the fit of the Huaraches.
I went home that night and ordered them. I used a coupon that earned me $10 off, but I paid it right back in rush shipping. It was Tuesday night before a holiday weekend and we had a flight to catch at 7am in 7 days.
When I got the tracking information saying it would arrive next Tuesday, I went into full blown alarmist mode.
I paid for expedited shipping, why weren’t they going to be here in 3 days (making it Saturday)?
I called the shipping service to complain.
“If they don’t arrive by Saturday we’ll refund you the expedited shipping cost,” a bored and unsympathetic woman on the other end of the line told me.
I had to hang tough. I had to hold my nerve.
I was obsessed. I spend days leading up to the hopeful day of delivery fantasizing about sliding into these sneakers. Would they fit how I planned? Will they go as well as I expect?
I was fanatically checking the shipping-confirmation for days until Saturday afternoon when I got the email:
“Your package is set to arrive early!” followed by the crescendo, “Out for delivery.”
I ordered my boyfriend to stay in the house and within a few hours, he confirmed that the package had arrived.
The shoes were brilliant. From the first photoshoot, I had when I tried them on to all of my vacation photos they were perfect. They were so comfortable that I stopped fussing that they got some dirt and scuffs. I just wanted to wear them all the time.
Prior to the pair that launched a thousand clicks, I had tried out a pair of classic Reeboks. I thought I needed a size up for these, but they were too big. They were unforgiving; just twice I wore them before I started to see the crease in the soft leather at the toe line. I deemed them uncomfortable and unworthy and put them back for sale on my online closet.
I returned home to Nike. The Huaraches, to be exact, in an unprecedented wardrobe upset. They’re in my possession and I still can’t stop thinking about them.