The Anti-Birkenstock*

Posted by jlubans on October 17, 2022

Caption: My Teva’s. Like Johnny Cash, “I’ve been everywhere, man.

Why write about a pair of shoes? Because they are my Teva’s and they have served me well for over 30 years.
Yes, 30.
The above photo was taken a few days ago.
When I venture to Mexico this January, they’ll be in my suitcase.
Durable (obviously), easy on and off, the velcro strips still function and keep the sandals snug to my feet.
No flip flops these.
I can walk on rocky creek bottoms or in muck in a bog and not worry about my tender toes or spraining an ankle – or losing the shoes!
Back when I got them – at a store no less than LL Bean’s in Freeport Maine - Teva’s and fleece jackets were all the rage especially among the outdoor adventure crowd.
Teva’s were invented out of necessity; in 1984 a river guide in the Grand Canyon was fed up with his sandals floating off downstream. So he devised a way to strap the sandals and keep them in place when on the river.
Years later, Teva is a shoe company embracing all that can be wokely embraced.
And, there’s a gazillion competitors, even Birkenstock has a Teva-like sole and velcro strips to keep the shoes snug.
Many others have taken and run with the idea.
How durable are the competition’s sandals?
You’ll have tell me. I’ve only worn the pictured pair.
In salt water, the Pacific and Atlantic, the Adriatic , the Aegean and the Baltic, and in Maine lakes and ponds and Colorado and Texas streams, on sand and sea, in mud, muck and gravel, and dusty paths through Guatemalan village markets, and Riga’s cobblestone streets.
From Uluru in Australia’s outback to the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park, NYC.
I’ve been everywhere, man, in my Teva’s.
I write this not as much a tribute to the Teva Company as a tribute to Mother Nature and foreign cultures and getting out in it.
Remember my last blog, “Doing Nothing or Nothing Doing”?
There’s less stress with Teva’s on your feet when quietly quitting or becoming a Great Resignee. And, if you are retired and “bored out of your gourd” well, Teva’s can help get you up and out.

*I’m not against Birkenstocks. If you must, wear them and love them; the German brand has been around since 1774! But, the hippy’s emblematic Birkenstocks (the “fitness sandal” only since 1966 in the USA.
If you want to stay with Teva but seek the Birkenstock gestalt? It’s achievable by wearing black socks with your Teva’s (a genuine geek look).
White socks get you the nerd look.
But, with wool hiking socks and Teva’s you are forever Teva.
Got it?

My book, Fables for Leaders is available. Click on the image and order up!

And, don’t forget Lubans' book on democratic workplaces, Leading from the Middle
© Copyright text and photo by John Lubans 2022

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