Cory and his lovely family stayed with my family for a couple of weeks over the summer. The highlight of the visit was Cory and Alice's daughter Poesy, who is cute, smart, curious, and funny (just as you'd expect given her DNA). A dimmer, but still wonderful, highlight of their visit was a pair of shoes that Cory ordered online. They were too big for him so he told me I could keep them if they fit. I didn't know what they shoes looked like and for about two weeks the box sat unopened. When I did open the box, it was like the scene from Pulp Fiction when they lifted the lid on the box that contained the shining treasure.
Made out of Crocs-like rubber, the Native Unisex Jefferson Slip-On Sneakers are an obnoxious orange-red (they come in a less aggressive colors, too). Each shoe is molded from a single piece of rubber. The off-white sole is painted on. I put the shoes on, and have hardly taken them off since. They are supremely comfortable, waterproof, and unlike my Tom's shoes, they don't get stinky when I wear them without socks. I'd say they are the perfect airport shoe because they slip off and on so easily, but for me they are the perfect everything shoe. Also, they are easy to clean using one of my favorite cleaning products ever, the Magic Eraser!
Since I've been wearing them almost every day for the last six months, they are starting to show signs of wear -- the paint is rubbing off, and the rubber around the heel is wearing away. They are still perfectly serviceable, but I decided to go online and order another pair. To my delight, I found that Amazon is selling the Olympian Blue model for $11.96 a pair. Other colors are about $45 a pair, which is still a good price.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.