Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Shoes Revisited

posted by xscot mcknight

I wrote last week about my new shoes, Born Blast. I got a pair of black ones, and they are like walking on air — comfortable and an easy fit. So, I suggested to Kris that I buy a pair of brown ones – just like the black ones. Then I’d be covered for all my wardrobe — which really isn’t well thought out at all. Kris’ response of what she saw as l’ style d’ faux pas was a decisive “bad idea” kind of thing, and I’m curious about what you think. Is it OK to have two of something?
Who notices my feet?, I say to myself. I wore them several times last week and no one said a stinkin’ word and not only that, no one seemed even to look. So, I’m thinking that my comfort is far more important than my appearance.
Is this a male-weakness on my part?
First, here’s what I’m talking about:
born-black.jpg born-brown.jpg
Second, my tendency is this: if I like something a lot, why not have more than one? I don’t buy one golf ball at a time and I don’t buy different kinds of golf balls; I like Titleist so I have boxes of them. Once I bought four identical Oxford shirts in four different colors — I was done shirt-shopping for two years or more. We’ve got two Toyotas — not one Toyota and one Dodge.
So, my contention is this: since I’ve found a pair of shoes that I really like, why not have two? I wear either black or brown shoes. Is there something wrong — style-wise — in having more than one of the same item — different color, of course?

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Rob G

posted January 30, 2007 at 2:42 am

Hi Scott,
Your logic is impeccable, but on such matters….experience has taught me to go with my wife’s instincts, even if I don’t understand them.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 3:09 am

For the ultimate and comfort and variety of style, I think you should get a pair of “Crocs”. Surgeons swear by them, and a friend of mine recently climbed all but the snowy peak of 17,000 ft. Mt. Kenya in them because his hiking books were less comfortable. Your students would love them – not to mention notice.

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Tim Gombis

posted January 30, 2007 at 4:32 am

I do the same. If I find the perfect pair of jeans, I buy two. Or khakis, same deal. One thing, however; just make certain that your shoes match your belt!

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Ted Gossard

posted January 30, 2007 at 4:37 am

haha. Good one, Rob!
I like the looks of those shoes. I ought to mark this post. Because for me comfort is what matters, the rest doesn’t count (as far as what I can get away with, anyhow).
I like the two idea. Especially if it gives you a little variety. But most of the time my wife is right.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 5:23 am

Logic is impeccable (as are the shoes). The rule for clothes is practical, professional, showing respect for your audience. Then spend brain power and time worrying about other more important things.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 5:46 am

Go for it but also, be the sort of husband who gets forgiven for (perceived) lack of style :)

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posted January 30, 2007 at 6:48 am

You truly are a genius

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Royal - DFW Texas

posted January 30, 2007 at 7:35 am

It is sad…but after 27 years of marriage I have decided that I can focus on things more important and let my wife pick out my clothes…

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posted January 30, 2007 at 7:38 am

if it’s good enough for my wife… lol
seriously if you want some good sneakers i can’t help but recomend you get yourself some blackspot ones – extremely ethically friendly and pretty cool too. Mine are wearing out after 2 yrs of almost daily wear so i’ll soon have another pair of em as well… [one for the office, one for gardening :)]

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Andrew C

posted January 30, 2007 at 7:46 am

Scot – I would commend two pairs in different colors to you. I purchased two pairs of the same shoe – one black and one brown about 9 months ago. I have been pleased, because it simplifies things for me. I believe that we are called to a simple way of life.
Grace and Peace,

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Lukas McKnight

posted January 30, 2007 at 7:56 am

Please don’t. You can go with another pair of Born’s if you please, but just find a model that doesn’t look exactly alike.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 8:01 am

Ever heard of surrounding yourself with yes men and women. That is your blog! Listen to your son! People NOTICE. Probably a lot of your students, while sitting in your class were thinking about “why Dr. McKnight wears the same shoes all the time?”

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Beyond Words

posted January 30, 2007 at 8:04 am

I think the style is versatile and…stylish…in both colors. But, when two family members suggest otherwise, maybe that’s a chance to practice mutual submission. :)

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Tim Gombis

posted January 30, 2007 at 8:08 am

Jason (#12), one has to weigh the risks/rewards of style (or its lack). I often hear from students that a shirt that I’ll wear doesn’t match my trousers, to which I reply that I have attained a level of stylishness and sartorial cool of which they’ve only heard echoes… It’s good for a laugh, anyway.

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tony jones

posted January 30, 2007 at 8:12 am

I have those exact shoes, but they slip so much at the heel that the leather wore out in just three months and I had to put pads in the back to avoid bloody socks.

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Scot McKnight

posted January 30, 2007 at 8:13 am

Truth be told: I’ve got some Crocs. Kris bought me some for Christmas. I’m hip. But, I’ll put them away until the weather warms up.

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John Frye

posted January 30, 2007 at 8:52 am

Style versus “comfort” and “simplicity.” It’s a no brainer: what Kris said :)

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Milton Friesen

posted January 30, 2007 at 8:53 am

Well, I’ll just enjoy the moment while I am still single and wear my multiple colors of the same shoe styles. And only when I get married does anyone have the right to weigh in on that matter.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 9:07 am

Personally I think you should get them and then mismatch them and trade off every day. One day the right black and left brown and then the next the right brown and left black.
By the way Born shoes are the most comfortable in the world. I love those things.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 9:28 am

They are your shoes for crying out loud, you have to wear them. If I could I would wear the same style of shirt and slacks each day. I would boat shoes even on Sunday in the pulpit. Just go and buy them on the way home from the college. Forgiveness is easier than permission.

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Eric Wakeling

posted January 30, 2007 at 9:46 am

Here’s the deal. Two same shoes is boring. Don’t be boring. Be fun!
Plus, I’m sorry to say that Crocs should only be worn in the privacy of your own home. They might be comfortable. I’m sure a mumu is comfortable too, but I don’t wear one.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 10:11 am

I have 4 colors of one style of blouse cuz I like the blouse style, have 2 colors of another blouse and am now looking for another color to buy in another blouse I have that I wear alot. If I don’t wear the same styles in the same week, who notices. We are old enough to dress in what we like on us. Remember that ad from years ago? – we’ve earned it the old fashioned way. Those shoes are comfortable. Just so the belt matches the shoe and the shirt matches the pant, and, well, the whole ensemble goes with the shoe.
Hey! Are we having conversation about body apparel?

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Justin Buzzard

posted January 30, 2007 at 10:39 am

Go for the 2nd pair. I’m wearing my brown Born Blast shoes right now. I love these shoes. I’ve been wearing them for 6 months. I’ve got the opposite desire–to get a black pair.

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Julie Clawson

posted January 30, 2007 at 10:49 am

My vote is that if you’re thinking about at least coordinating with two different colors, style is taken care of. So go for the comfort and get two pairs. I’m just wondering where are the intentional community folks saying that having two pairs of shoes is wrong to begin with?…

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Bob Smallman

posted January 30, 2007 at 11:08 am

“Ugly! Ugly!” says Qoheleth. “Utterly ugly.”

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posted January 30, 2007 at 11:10 am

Get the second pair. You like them, they look good, they feel good. Why reinvent the wheel?

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Scott Wagoner

posted January 30, 2007 at 11:41 am

Some missed opportunities go on to haunt us for decades. This morning I slipped on the 26 year-old pair of brown Rockport chukkas with Gore-Tex lining and (the 2nd) Vibram soles. I still wear these to the office, shovel snow or around the house….the same ones I wore to Exegesis class in the fall of 1983. You liked them then, you’d love em today. Find a pair that will be your friend in 2033.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 12:03 pm

“Is it OK” to have two of something is an interesting question all right, and one I’ve been giving a lot of thought. Picking up on your post below, we’re quick to make all kinds of things the litmus test for being a “real” Christian and faithfull, obdiently following Jesus. I’ve been thinking that if we are going to have those kinds of measures as to what makes a “true Christian”, maybe this is as good as anyone–when we have two of something and our brother or sister has none.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Well, if someone needs them you will have a second pair to give away. So if you need them for style/colour co-ordination, and the buying of them is within your budget, get two pairs but hold on to them lightly. And I think that principle goes for more than shoes.
As for variety in the style – if there is a second comfortable choice, go for it. Otherwise, sore feet do not make for a happy professor. Put comfort before style. If keeping your wife’s tastes satisfied is important to your comfort – take that into consideration.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 1:08 pm

We have friends who were laughing about one of their disagreements. The wife does all of the shopping, including for her husband. These are people of significant means and although money is not an issue, they shop at a typical middle class department store. Since he is color blind, she lays out all of his clothes in the morning.
In this particular disagreement, she said, “I was so angry at him I let him dress himself and stay in those clothes all day!” My wife and I roared with laughter.
The point is this. No married man should be totally responsible for dressing himself! Go with Kris, man, go with Kris. Why? Because she’s Kris. No other reason.

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Rick B.

posted January 30, 2007 at 1:16 pm

Don’t give in to the Croc fad, they’re downright ugly! :)

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alice shirey

posted January 30, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Wasn’t it Einstein who had multiple suits that were exactly the same? He simply claimed he didn’t want to use up “brain space” (for lack of a better phrase) thinking about what to wear on any given day. Not trying to make a direct comparison here … but the more brain space we save for higher order thinking, the better.
However, I would always defer to your wife.

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Sean Cannon

posted January 30, 2007 at 4:01 pm

It’s one thing to have multiple pairs of jeans, or multiple styles of shirts. that’s because you will more than likely have other pants and shirts that aren’t the same to wear. With the shoes, however, that’s not the case. Remember, you are judged by your shoes. That is a scientific fact. Defer to your wife.

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Sean Cannon

posted January 30, 2007 at 4:01 pm

It’s one thing to have multiple pairs of jeans, or multiple of one style of shirts. that’s because you will more than likely have other pants and shirts that aren’t the same to wear. With the shoes, however, that’s not the case. Remember, you are judged by your shoes. That is a scientific fact. Defer to your wife.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 4:27 pm

You can rock both a brown and a black pair of the same kicks, no problem. If they’re comfortable, why not? :]

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Mike Cheek

posted January 30, 2007 at 4:36 pm

There is nothing wrong in having more than one of an item. But … there is clearly something seriously, disastrously wrong if some of your wardrobe goes with brown shoes and the other part with black shoes!!! (Check out the book, “Color For Men”) Black and brown no more belong in the same wardrobe than Calvinists and Arminians could co-exist in the same blog. Black shoes goes with more primary and more solid colors. Brown shoes goes with more golden and autumn tones. Otherwise, knowledgable people will think you’re just some kind of academic or theologian or something.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 5:04 pm

I have two pair of nearly identical Merrell casual/work shoes … one pair is brown leather, the other brown suede. I didn’t even vary the color! So, I respectfully hold a different opinion than your wife on an issue of preference.

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Bryan Riley

posted January 30, 2007 at 6:50 pm

I have both, not that that settles it, because perhaps I’m not that fashionable, although most people accuse me of being too much so for a guy! I say go for it. Shoes, more so than any other part of our wardrobe, must be about comfort first. No matter how thin we are or aren’t, they are protecting our feet (and thus our legs and back) from a lot of pounding.

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Bryan Riley

posted January 30, 2007 at 7:13 pm

By the way, isn’t it a little bit noteworthy that a blog about Jesus produces 40 or so comments about SHOES? And here we are all unworthy to stoop and untie Jesus’ sandals. :)

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posted January 30, 2007 at 8:23 pm

Go with Alice (#31) and don’t waste brain power on it. There are many more fun and important things to think about. In answer to your question – Is this a male-weakness on my part? I would say no – its a Professor-weakness. And now you probably can guess my practice.

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posted January 30, 2007 at 10:59 pm

Bryan Riley (#39),
Thank you for that dose of the word. :) As long as we continue to exceed this number with Christ-centered entries, we’re still thinking in perspective. :)
Remember that the fashion world changes quickly. Kris probably doesn’t want you to become one of those eccentric people who, as soon as they hear their favorite _______ is discontinued, MUST buy up the rest of the stock and end up extremely upset when their supply runs out. I speak in worst-case scenario, of course, but the shoe industry IS fickle. It’s probably better to defer to Kris’ advice and be flexible enough to go shoe shopping with her in the future. Remember, she went through the trouble of finding a store that has what you like (and she knows you very well). Besides, I think you’ll have her around a lot longer than any pair of shoes will last & I know she means a lot more to you, too. :)

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Jon Bartlett

posted January 30, 2007 at 11:51 pm

I’d buy two pairs of each colour, in case one breaks down. This thread sure beats any theology and attacking/defending the emerging church….

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posted January 31, 2007 at 10:24 am

I’d ask my buddy over at for her advice. She rocks!
And I’d also go wih simplicity. Oddly enough, my husband (The Architect) has the same shoes and has one brown pair and one black pair. He wears them for work. Then, he has a couple of ‘casual’ shoes that aren’t so matchy-matchy.

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posted January 31, 2007 at 10:26 am

misspelled the website.

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posted January 31, 2007 at 11:43 am

Crocs. Ugh. Ugliest dad-blame thing known to man. (Sorry, had to get that out of my system).
As for your wife’s advice, Scot, I’m not so sure she’s right, and I’m a woman! I think your shoes are your thing, and as long as they fit you well, and serve their purpose, what else should matter? I have a pair of black Skechers that I wear with everything, even on “dressier” occasions. People tell me all the time that I shouldn’t be rocking the same kind of shoes with everything, but I don’t care. Comfort and purpose are king, not style. Style be hanged.

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Bryan Riley

posted January 31, 2007 at 11:46 am

All right, Allie, how do you start with Crocs being ugly and end with “[s]tyle be hanged”? Perhaps I noticed it because crocs and Borns are awesome in my opinion. Scot, you can always do the crocs in the winter with a great pair of woolen socks, silks and jeans!

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posted January 31, 2007 at 3:27 pm

Be practical. Having the same shoes which you think are comfortable in two different colors so that they can compliment whatever wardrobe choice you make… is a good idea.
Something tells me you are not particularly concerned about being super-hip, on the edge of fashion anyway (and that’s probably a good thing). : )

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posted January 31, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Hmm…I usually aim for transparency between my wife and I in matters regarding the spending of money, both amounts large and small, and for that matter: I usually aim for transparency between my wife and I: period! So, bravo for your openness with your wife!
Having jammed that wedge in the crack, I now want to “crowbar” it out: it’s just a pair of shoes for you. But, for your wife, the “decisive” nature of her comment means you would do well to find another pair of brown shoes…sorry. Maybe she’ll read this comment and grant you the grace of similar shoes…

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posted January 31, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Listen to this Guy with Shoes! (Daniel) « Pilgrim Ramblings

[…] Listen to this Guy with Shoes! (Daniel)  So, the other day I went to put on my trusty shoes, my gray New Balance 574’s, and realized that there were taking on sandal like qualities, which is a really sarcastic way of saying that they have a couple of holes and cracks in them. I can’t tell you how much I like these shoes, they are so comfortable and lovely to wear that I have purchases them two times in a row now. If that is fashionally questionable, I shall redirect you to Scot McKnight’s blog and the dialogue that is taking place on this very issue. Now, let me return to the situation at hand and state that I do believe it is high time for me venture into new shoe territory. I might buy a couple of pairs, one for running and work, and the other for more casual wear. My initial thoughts are the New Balance zip 8505’s, here is picture: […]

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posted February 1, 2007 at 10:04 am

The fashion experts on What Not to Wear say that when you find a good item, that fits and is stylish and comfortable and just all around a good thing, it can be a very good thing to buy it in multiple colors.
I feel confident that this is the first time “What Not to Wear” has been mentioned on your usually oh-so-erudite blog. :)

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posted February 1, 2007 at 5:44 pm

I got from “Crocs are ugly” to “style be hanged” in something of a progression. The first comment was the uninhibited expression of a long-held personal opinion. If that’s so wrong, mea culpa. I apologize to anyone who likes them.
As for everything else I said, that’s where “style be hanged” comes from. I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who works on her feet all day, and in a place where Crocs aren’t allowed. What I was attempting to do (and obviously didn’t do very well) was to lay out my philosophy, that comfort, safety and functionality are far more important than “style”.

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posted February 3, 2007 at 1:50 pm

I have those exact shoes. They’re incredible – the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned.
Someday they’ll run out. Maybe I should buy ten.

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