Day 59: The Dark Knight Returns

Yes, I managed to use the word “Knight” and not replace it with “Nike”… 

Feb 28

Two years ago I did “28 Days Of Trainers”, when  I Tweeted a pic a day for each day of February 2012. That wasn’t for charity and it was pretty easy because at any one time I usually have about 30 pairs of trainers. But I bought this pair especially to tweet on the last day.

And here they are exactly two years later, slightly grubbier but still looking splendid. ’60s Batman certainly thinks so. (And I always preferred the inner foot side design to the outer one…)

Feb 28 b

So, the end of month two, and yes, I have broken the £500 donation barrier!  I know lots of friends who are promising to donate when they think I’ve made it far enough through the year to warrant it, but come on guys! Keep my morale up with a constant little trickle! It’s all in a very worthy cause – Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Anyway, brief blog today after a couple of mammoth posts in the past few days. Can’t do the epics all the time, especially with Comic Review on deadline. But check out the blog over the weekend; I have something very special and Star Wars related planned if it comes off

Usual sign-off:

Current total: £500 (thanks to Boo for getting me to this landmark figure… and she’s found me some trainers too!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so we can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

Cheers
Dave G

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Day 58: Game Of Thrones – The Nike’s Watch

A special preview for you today of the pop-up book that wins the throne, plus some very classic trainers… Remember, it’s all in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK

Games of Thrones pop up book and map on white

Games of Thrones pop up book and map on white

Wasn’t sure whether people would be more interested in the Pop-Up Guide To Westeros or the trainers today, so I’ve given you photos foregrounding each!

Fantasy and maps go together like Joffrey and bad parenting. But as ever, Game Of Thrones make things a little more extravagant than other fantasy sagas…

Part book, part map, all magnificent paper engineering: look in awe upon Game Of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide To Westeros.

At first it’s a book. A pop-up book. And even on that level it’s a card and paper marvel with towers and castles and the Wall unfurling in front of your eyes, and loads of extra bits and pieces to pull open to reveal  spell-binding corrugated surprises.

But break the magnetic seal on the spine and you can open the entire thing out into a pop-up map of Westeros around three feet long. It’s like recreating the opening titles on your living room floor.

It’s £40, and it’s available from Bantam Press from 24 April. And no, you can’t have ours because there’s currently a Game Of Thrones style power-play going on in the office to prove who is worthy to own it.

As for the trainers, that man Steve Gotobed (he’s loaned me a number of pairs of Nikes already) has come up trumps again. Never thought I’d ever wear a pair of Air Jordans because a) I only really know them fro their later, really hideously over-the-top-designs and b) they’re are a style so beloved their fans I assumed they would be be too precious to ever be loaned to me for this charity challenge.

Feb 27 d

However, Steve’s pair, although manufactured in 2003, are a reissue of the classic 1985-look Air Jordans, and back at the start (line was launched in 1984) the Air Jordan was a lot less ostentatious than the bizarre creations branded with that name since the mid ’90s…

air jordans

Gotta admit… I wore the wrong jeans for the Game Of Thrones photoshoot though! Air Jordans look much better with narrower jeans (even if my arse doesn’t). Hence the quick reshoot in the office this morning… and to prove I’m actually wearing them today (because I only quickly slipped them on for the photoshoot yesterday).

Anyway, it’s Thursday – Comic Review day. Must get on!

See you here tomorrow!

And don’t forget, this is all for charity. If you haven’t donated yet, help me get to £500 by the end of February!

Usual sign-off:

Current total: £490 (so nearly at the £500!)  

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so we can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

Cheers
Dave G

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Day 57: Greys’ Anatomy

Some alien grey Converse are spotted in Roswell in today’s instalment o the 365-day charity trainers challenge…

Feb 26 main

Close encounters of the Convsere kind as some suspiciously familiar-looking grey aliens crash-land near the Roswell branch of SFX. Below are the shocking pictures of the alien autopsy that we’ve uncovered despite the Government’s best efforts to deny everything. (Well, we rung our local MP and he said, “What the f**k are you going on about?” We’d call that denial, wouldn’t you?”)

Feb 25 autopsy

Will the mystery ever be solved? Will Richard Edwards ever get his grey Converse back? Why are the laces always so long on Converse All-Stars these days (you can’t see, but under those turn-ups I’ve got the laces looped round my ankles so many time it looks like I”m wearing ballet shoes)? And why is K9 in the picture below? Not to mention a penguin in a bubble? All these questions will be completely ignored in tomorrow’s The Sole Of Sci-Fi.

Feb 26 a

Usual sign-off:

Current total: £490 (so nearly at the £500!)  

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so we can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

Cheers
Dave G

 

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Day 56: Helly Boy: The Golder Arm(y)

The Right Hand Of Doom makes a guest appearance in today’s charity trainers challenge, mainly to distract from the Helly Hansen trainers…

Feb 25 b

Hell is… other people’s trainers. Actually, that’s not true. I thought when I started this challenge that it would be, assuming that the people who were loaning me their trainers would delight in giving me crappy, clapped out footwear, embarrassing girly sneakers or other crimes against sartorial elegance. And I still fear the day I have to wear a pair of Reebok Classics (I will get randomly arrested, I know I will). But generally that has been the case and I’ve been loaned some fantastic trainers (so far) that I’ve been loath to give back.

But these ones? Sorry Mr Simon Withers; I’m thankful for the loan, but you can have ’em back first thing tomorrow.

These are true Frankentrainers. I mean… what are they? Glorified bowling shoes with a Spider-Man webbing theme going on? Perhaps. But the soles (which look part pinball machine, part Speed Racer) announce that they’re made from “Ultra Storm Grip Rubber”.

Feb 25 sole

Well you don’t get too many storms in bowling alleys, so I presume they’re intended for outdoors use. But running? They don’t look or feel like they’re designed for that; they’re actually really stiff and unyielding. Withers is a very keen cyclist so maybe they’re cycling shoes, but there’s no sign of cletes. And if the soles are made for storms, the tops certainly aren’t. I had a 60-second walk from the bus station to the office this morning in not particularly heavy rain, and my feet got soaked. Not from water seeping in through wear and tear (there isn’t any) but by a cunning design flaw that seems to collect water on the lower tongue and then deposit it on your toes.

Feb25 Lace thingThey also have a bizarre lace-tightening system that’s so useless you end up tying knots in laces anyway to stop the toggle device from slipping. How uselessly pointless is that?

They’re made by Helly Hansen, a brand I associate with sunglasses rather than trainers, and as far as I can tell, the only thing they’re good for is a bad Hellboy pun. If I didn’t have to give them back, I’d crush them with my right hand of doom.

Thanks Simon, but, no thanks!

(There are three more loan pairs to come from Simon, though, and two of them are blinders).

Usual sign-off:

Current total: £490 (so nearly at the £500!)  

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so we can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

Cheers
Dave G

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Day 55: Nike Of The Living Dead

An X-rated instalment of the 365-day charity challenge in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK…

Feb 24 b

The dead are walking! They eat “TRAINERZZZZZZZZZZ!!!” Arm yourselves and prepare for Fright Nike. Because zombies…? They got no SOLE man! (A least, not when their feet drop off.)

Helping me survive the zombie apocalypse today are a pair of Nike Air Assaults I picked up in a charity shop for a fiver! Bargain. Never heard of Air Assaults before, but two things come to mind. One, it sounds vaguely like they’re called Nike Aerosols if you say it quickly. Two, they appear to be the camp, showy cousins of the classic Nike Air Force. Put it this way: f M*A*S*H were a TV show about trainers instead of a military medical unit (bear with me), then these guys are the Klinger of the team, trying to get discharged by wearing women’s clothing. That animal hide effect is pure Bet Lynch.

Feb 24 d

If, unlike me (which is very probable indeed) you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say Nike Air Force, then they are the trainers worn by George throughout his entire time on the UK version of Being Human. In the real world, though, you rarely see a grubby pair of Nike Air Forces. Fans of this particular shoe seem obsessed with keeping them Hollywood teeth-style white and pristine. Not entirely sure what this says about them. Or George.

George

But thinking of werewolves (which, of course, is what George was) there’s a thing that bugs me about TV shows and films featuring werewolves (or indeed any shapeshifters) who can change at will, like in True Blood. Why do they always wear really clompy lace-up boots? Surely if you need to change into lupine form quickly, a pair of Vans slip-ons would be easier to kick off than a pair of working boots? Do they walk around with them unlaced all the time, just in case?  Still, maybe they have special “unstable molecule” boots like the Fantastic Four (that can be the only explanation for the wolves in Wolf Blood who change back fully clothed… well, that and because it’s on CBBC, so teenage nudity would be really, really dodgy…).

Don’t forget, The Sole Of Sci-Fi is a year-long charity challenge, in which I aim to wear a different pair of trainers every day throughout 2014 (by means or begging and borrowing and buying them really cheap because my collection has virtually run out). It’s all in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is a seriously underfunded charity, and every £5 you donate helps them to look for ways to combat this debilitating illness.

And I’d like to get to £500 by the end of February (but I’m not guilt tripping people who have donated already; this blog gets far more hots than the number of donations I’ve received already).

Rant over.

Usual sign-off:

Current total: £475  

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so we can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

Cheers
Dave G

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Day 54: A Brief Visual History Of The Sci-Fi Con (…verse)

Today’s Cons might look like any old black hi-tops, but look closely, and you’ll see, these truly are classics. With a guest appearance by Mini-Me cons

Feb 23 a

Feb 23 b

These are special trainers. They may not look it to you. They may look like any old Converse All-Star black hi-tops. But there’s one important difference. And no, I don’t mean they  come with their own Mini-Me Chucks.

You look at the “MADE IN” label in your Cons, and I’m 99.9% sure it’ll say China, Vietnam or Indonesia. If you look very closely at the label in this pair, you’ll see – although very faded – it says “MADE IN USA”.

Feb 23 made in USA

feb 23 gYes, these are a pair of original, American-made Cons before Converse moved production of its famous footwear to the Far East around 2001. Many people assume that happened as a result of Nike buying Converse, but that actually happened later, in 2003. The sad fact is that by the arse end of the 20th century Converse was a struggling company, its ownership and management swapping several times. In 2001 Converse filed for bankruptcy, another new management took over and that’s when all the North American factories were closed and Asian factories took over.

I knew none of this at the time. I just slowly became aware that other people’s Cons were looking a bit different. A bit rubbish, in fact. The rubber looked really shiny and plasticky; the toe caps were the wrong shape; the stitching was really prominent; worst of all, the sole at the front seemed to curl up making everyone who wore them look they they has deformed toes. (People in the know say they even smelled differently when you opened the box.)

That’s when I went online. That’s when I found out the truth. Oh God! A classic design was going down the tubes.

Feb 23 labelSo in fact, we should be thankful to Nike (even though all the sweatshop accusations remain) because when the Disney of leisurewear bought Converse in ’03, it actually improved the design and quality of the All-Star again. The Nike All-Star still isn’t quite the same as the original All-Star, but it’s near enough (I’d love to know whether you think you can see a difference to today’s Cons from these photos). And in some ways – he says, somewhat sacrilegiously – even an improvement. With original Cons my the toe caps invariably had holes in them within weeks, and the tabs on the heels rarely stayed in place long; both problems you no longer find with current Cons.

And since we’re talking Cons, here’s another Sunday treat feature for you…

Sci-Fi & Fantasy’s Most

Prominent Converse All-Stars Wearers

I did try to find  a few more female examples, but though Clare (Heroes), Rose and Amy (both Doctor Who) wore Chucks on occasion, they weren’t exactly a defining sartorial statement for them. Let me know if I’ve missed somebody obvious. And sorry, Doctor Who fans, I couldn’t honestly place “Sand Shoes” above Chuck; hell even the name of the show had an All-Stars connection!

• starman• 14-13• MisfitsAll Tomorrow's PartiesTHE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES• 7 I robot20120225Continuum4 Sin City• 3-2 doctor bill ted• 1 Chuck

Usual sign-off:

Current total: £475  

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so we can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

Cheers
Dave G

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Day 53: Tread Or Alive You’re Coming With Me

Would you buy today’s trainers for a dollar? The 365-day charity challenge continues with some Rip Curls…

feb 22 e2

“You have been found guilty of being over 40 and wearing trainers. You have 20 seconds to buy some brogues.”

Yeah, it’s in the newspapers again today. Men over 40 wearing trainers are committing sartorial crimes against fashion. We should all be wearing sensible brown slip-ons.

Urgh.

It’s typical of newspapers to make sweeping statements like this. It seems to ignore the mindbogglingly vast variety of trainers there are available now. Of course, some look stupid on the – ahem – more mature male. Others are fine. The same can be said of shoes. After all, would these fashion “experts” think it’s okay for men to wear their jeans stuffed inside leather ankle boots in that look that boy bands currently favour, just because those boots count as shoes?

Also, trainers allow you to express personality more. Are we supposed to become homogenously black-shoed as we get older? Act a certain way? Have an “old person’s” look? Bollox to that. Vive la difference.

Anyway, all the bands I’ve ever liked have gone seriously crap when they stopped wearing trainers and started wearing shoes. SHOES KILL CREATIVITY! That’s my new mantra. T-shirts available soon.

Feb 11 c

Having said all that, I am wearing brown trainers today. Which is also odd because they’re Rip Curls – a surf brand – and I don’t really associate surfers with brown. They look great on though, and they’re very comfy, so thanks to Simon Withers for loaning them to me. You’ll be seeing a lot more or Simon’s eclectic collection of trainers over the next few weeks (he’s loaned me one pair by a brand I didn’t even know made trainers… I only know them for sunglasses!)

Feb 22 badge 2The RoboCop action figure is pretty damned cool, even if he does have a very nasally voice (push a button on his chest for “Natter Mode”). He also comes with what looks like an OmniCorp antique drawer handle, but I’m reliably informed is a badge. I did try getting Robo out of the box carefully so that I could sell him off for the charity, but that proved impossible, and the box now looks like a cat has decided to pick a fight with it. Still, if anybody wants to make me an offer, I’ll still let him and the antique drawer handle go for the greater good.

Just email me on dave.golder@futurenet.com and let me know.

Oh yeah, and thanks to Dom Carter for inspiration for today’s headline.

Usual sign-off:

Current total: £455  

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so we can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

Cheers
Dave G

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