Day 365: The End… But The Moment Has Been Prepared For

Ha… ha… ha… ha… ha… happy new year for tomorrow!

December 31 main

There were doubters. There were cynics. There were multidimensional imps with pointy sticks (have I mentioned them?). But here we are. The last day. The 365th pair of trainers and over a grand and half raised for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Jan-1-riddler-ConverseThe Sole Of Sci-Fi ends as it began, back on January 1st 2014, with a pair of Batman villain Converse All-Stars. Then it was the Riddler (right) today it’s the Joker. There’s a definite feeling of having come full circle.

Donations from Clown Asylum and Lisa Wood propelled the total over the £1,500 barrier yesterday. Originally I set the total at £1,000, but when we crossed that before six months were up, I ambitiously re-set it to £2,000. Though donations have slowed down in the second half of the year, I still think £1,500 is a damned impressive result. But as I said, that’s no reason to stop donating! (Actually, halfway through writing this blog I got an email from the site saying my account had been closed; I thought when I put an end date of December 31st it’d stay open until the end of December 31st but apparently not. So I’m setting up a new page here for any stragglers…)

I’d like to thank everyone who has donated this year, and also everyone who has loaned me trainers. I would never have done it without you! I know if I name names I’ll insult someone by forgetting them, but I think I’m going to risk it, as the following people have been fundamental in their support (some people have retweeted or shared my social media posts nearly every day):

December 31 main 2Simon Withers, Richard Edwards, Steve Gotobed, Nicky Gotobed, Dom Carter, Pete Bayly, Ian Hepburn, Lisa Wood, Steven Ellis, Paula Miller, David Bradley, Emmaryal, Boo, Stacey Whittle, Dan Grenfell, Sarah Montrose, Zoë Gold, Deborah Bradley, Jayne Nelson, Fraser James, Mum, Dad, Rhian Drinkwater, Michael Molcher, John Edwards, Mrs Hirez, NurseDarry (the pun-master), Misty Lister, Toria, Rob Spedding, Nick Setchfield, Sarah Fones, Martin Fahey, Narin Flanders, Will Guyatt, Jodan Farley.

(There’s the possibility that I may have mentioned the same people twice as I don’t always connect Twitter handles with real names, as Dom Carter knows all to well – I was talking to him early this year about a Twitter follower for about five minutes before he went, “Yeah, that’s me.”)

I’m also painfully aware that I have seven pairs of trainers in the house that need to go back to their original owners. Don’t panic. This will happen soon.

Hmm, that’s a lot of words. Here are those Joker Cons again from another angle to break up the text.

December 31 inside joker

March 8 mainSo, at the end of the year, what are my main memories? Clambering over filing cabinets in the SFX office in the early days chiefly. I still love my Inception photo from Day 67 because it was done without any Photoshop, just me lying on my back on some shelves in the office stretching my legs to the ceiling.

July 7 mainIn those early days I had the naive ambition to try to do all the photos without using Photoshop trickery, but I’m glad I relented, as the blog began to much about five time the traffic when I started doing the movie and TV skits which eventually became the site’s defining MO. It’s now impossible to think back on Sole Of Sci-F without images like this Trasformers poster one coming to mind (actually one of my faves of the year in terms of getting the trainers – which belonged to Steven Ellis – to integrate convincingly with the image: somehow the colours and lighting just worked).

Finally, then, a few Sole Of Sci-Fi awards,  a few of them neither trainer nor sci-fi related, but things I just wanted to mention from 2014:

Favourite New Brand Of Trainers of 2014: Pearl Izumi

May 26 close-up

Trainers That Raised Most Money on ebay: These limited edition Nikes donated by Steve Goteobed

Jan 30 6

Sole Of Sci-Fi Blog With The Most Hits: Day 289: A Sneaker Peek At The Extended Desolation Of Smaug (I doubt this had much to do with the trainers/image)

October 16 b

Trainers I Really Didn’t Want To Give Back: Dan Grenfell’s Nike Lunarswift’s – loved the colours

June 23 main

My Favourite Sole Of Sci-Fi shot of the year: Loved the combination of quirky trainers, moody photo and subdued colours.

October 4 main 2

Unexpected TV Gem Of The Year: The Detectorists

TV Highlight Of The Year: Line Of Duty/Black Mirror “White Christmas” – a tie

TV Nadir Of The Year: Mark Wright winning The Apprentice – the world seriously needs NO MORE self-appointed SEO gurus

Film Of The Year: Guardians Of The Galaxy

Best Film I Watched This Year (but It Actually Came Out In 2o13): Only Lovers Left Alive

Stupid SF Online Furore Of The Year: A black stormtrooper

Best New Show Of The Year: The Flash

Worst Character Of The Year: Another tie – Rebecca Pine in Under The Dome/Barbara Gordon in Gotham. I’m not being misogynistic. One for being a walking plot device whose character changed every week the other for being so wimpy and whiny it’s impossible to believe she’ll ever be Batwoman/Batgirl/Battokenfemale. Good grief, surely TV evolved beyond creating such thin female characters years ago.

Graphic Novel Of The Year: Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds

seconds bryan lee o'malley

Comic Of The Year: Moon Knight

Most Amazing Ability Of The Year: Either Halle Berry’s ability to scale elevator shafts wearing high heels shoes or the Flash’s ability to know exactly where to stand to be backlit when taking to Iris.

The Flash 105 Plastique new power copy

Villains Of The Year: The production designing and lighting team on Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD for making the show (which in terms of writing and characters is getting better an better) look so drab and uninteresting. They should be forced to watch Gotham with looks gorgeous even when the scripts are little iffy.

Freakiest Trainers I Had To Wear This Year: Crepe-soled running shoes? No thanks.

December 5

And that’s your lot. I’ll update the blog irregularly in the coming weeks with total updates (if there are any). I’ll be looking forward to getting an hour and a half of my life back every day. And I’ll try to work out what I should blog about next. By necessity, I need a new angle. But one thing’s for sure – it won’t be daily.

Thanks everybody. Keep in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

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• Current total: £1,525 

• Remember this is all for charity, so  PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE (this is now the extra donation site for latecomers)


Day 277: Why So Serious?

Let’s put a smile on those trainers… Oh, someone’s beaten the Joker to it.

October 4 main

Happy Cons or sad Cons? These new Converse Con X Polar Skate high tops seem to have a multiple personality disorder, which is probably why the Joker can see the potential in them.

They’ve been designed for Converse by a Swedish company called Polar Skate Co, and you don’t know how close you came to a Polar Express-themed image today, but thankfully I realised that was a crap idea. They also come with a life affirming message on the heel: “Inspire others to inspire themselves.” Right on, daddio. And there are more smiley/frowny faces on the inside, as well as a removeable, patterned inner sole, which must be a first for Converse All-Stars.

Ocober 4 Converse Polar smiley tongues

They’re well padded and unlike most other Cons I’ve worn when cycling, they keep your feet very toasty! Usually, when it’s a bit chilly (and it was very wet, chilly and autumnal this morning when I went out to take the main photo), Cons seem make your feet feel even more like blocks of ice, as if they’re sucking all the cold out of the atmosphere and concentrating it on your toes (maybe they were the basis of Mr Freeze’s research). These, though, made a pleasant change. Shame they’ll have to be put in the cupboard until 2015.

Interesting moment on Pointless yesterday, when the survey question was, “Name a Natalie Portman film.” V For Vendetta scored higher than any of the Star Wars prequels. What does that say about George’s prequel trilogy’s impact on the zeitgeist? Revenge Of The Sith was only named by three out of a hundred people!

Really looking forward to Doctor Who tonight, which apparently has a Hinchcliffe era vibe for the first half before something really major happens that will shock us all. Poor old writer Peter Harness seems to be preparing himself for a backlash, saying in an interview, “I still don’t know how people will take it. I’m in this kind of limbo now waiting for people to see it, and I’ve no idea, really I do not know how it is going to go down.” Well, he can’t face a worse reaction than John Fey did when he was handed to poisoned chalice of having to kill off Ianto in Torchwood.

kill the moon spiderThe spider monsters in the trailers look brilliant too. The only real problem I’m having is trying to wipe that awful zero gravity, bouncing-on-the-moon scene from “Nightmare In Silver” from my mind. Hopefully the moonwalking scenes in “Kill The Moon” won’t look as naff. They won’t feature two irritating kids, which is a good start.

See you tomorrow.

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• Current total: £1,215 

• 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 so I 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!


Day 164: Why Shoe Serious?

The joke’s on shoe, as the Sole Of Sci-Fi world tour visits Gotham to say hello to the residents of Arkham A-sole-lem…

june 13 main

There were two ways to go with this pair of Vans slip-ons. As they’re covered in Vans’ patented “Skate Monkey” design (which would have been cool if Jamie Hewlett had designed it but instead looks likeMickey Mouse circa Steamboat Willy trying to look cool and failing) this is what first came to mind…


He did after all “skateboard” on a cloud. Kinda. Sorta. (And no, if you don’t know what that picture’s from, I’m not telling you. Use Google image search and prepare for a major cultural revelation.)

But I couldn’t find a decent image from that legendary show, so short of dangling out of a ballon on a bungee rope so I could pretend I was standing on a cloud (or nicking all the candy floss from the nearest fairground, which is what the Japanese TV producers seem to have done) it was time to come up with another idea.

June 13 close-up

Heath_Ledger_as_the_JokerAnd since these trainers are very purple and very green, it seemed only fitting to pay tribute to the Clown Prince Of Crime, since those are his colours of sartorial choice. Hell, even the oh so serious Heath Ledger version went for a purple and green combo though it would appear he was going for the “first thing off the rack at Oxfam” look.

So, Friday 13th. No disasters yet, but there’s plenty of time left for things to go worng (see what I did there? It’s a Westworld reference by the way, not a typo).

And I saw a hot air balloon taking taking off on the way into work this fine morning. So here’s a photo of it, because it’s about a zillion times more interesting than football.

photo (15)

Usual Sign-Off

• Current total: £905 

• 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 so I 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!