New Boots!


I planned to do this for a while, and almost missed out … end-of-season stock clearance and all meaning the ones I’d coveted were no longer there. Not to worry, turned out another pair looked even better. Considering I’m the type of person who doesn’t have any internal struggle over spending agonizing amounts on shoes if they are for some specific purpose (climbing, hiking, cyclocross …), it’s peculiar I seem to live in battered trainers and put off buying new ones because of the cost.

Yes, good shoes are expensive. My first winter in Berlin was made more miserable by the acres of Mitte shoe shops with price tags I could live off for a month. Come to think of it, the last time I owned a pair of hand-made shoes was when I was a student and plied the silver service penguin trade.

And it’s a stupidly warm 20º in Berlin today. It’s still winter! (To be clear, I’m not celebrating. I like the harshness of winter here, I enjoy the beastial cold and snow; it’s profoundly unsettling to be wearing summer clothes when the Vernal equinox is still half a week away.)

Photo? Yes!


some pictures i took with my phone

My iPod seems to be dead, and somehow I keep managing to resuscitate my laptop despite in/out errors and loads of corruption … I thought about just doing a clean install from my backup to see if it would write around the mess, but … Adelaide busses suck so much. Instead of going out to a very sad strip joint (Daniel says having an ice habit would help my job application) and hanging out in Mega-City-One! Adelaide, I’m blogging.

Pictures from my phone …

In chronological order, MoredeliciousthanIcantell, 东北松子, Fashionable, Aftertaste without end, Unable dispute, Hot sell the good taste. I was nostalgic for the divine world of Chinese hard-sleeper train snacks, but I have a suspicion they are taking the piss with the English here. Then, clouds above ADT. I thought they were beautiful. Some guys in a Holden yelled out, “raaugghruuuhhmrrragghuuuunngh!”, I think. Then, me waiting for the bus … waiting for the bus … looking at my sneakers … bus goes past, doesn’t stop. I swear the driver laughed at me.


x-cube the manolo blahnik of climbing shoes

After 18 months and four resoles in a pair of Boreal Stingers I purchased in Toronto, the last resole did them in. They still have a special place in my almost daily climbing, but yesterday I bought a pair of shiny, new, painfully tight orange and yellow Red Chili X-Cube. Weee!!! climbing heaven. I’m off to continue wearing them out, and now I’ve discovered all the inner-city bouldering spots in Taipei, the two weeks until I leave is gonna fly.

Combining the convenience of velcro with the weight and feel of a slipper the X-cube is a shoe built for hardcore. An instant classic this superb shoe sets a standard in fit and performance for all other velcros to follow.

New for 2004 the X-cube features: a new last with lower volume forefoot, this “locks” the foot in the sharp asymmetric toe profile to give immense confidence on even the smallest pockets, smears or scrapes; a wider entry with super comfy cushioned foam and a smaller, reshaped slingshot that really hugs the heel. Team feedback meant we added rubber over the toe for hardcore boulders and comp climbing to give extra bite for “frogging” or the tiniest of toe scrubs and a new light midsole simply adds to the amazing “feel” of this shoe.

This is a shoe that works superbly as sporrts or extreme all raounder but really comes into its own as a bouldering shoe “par excellance” for outdoors, indoors or the “woody”.