One of my most popular posts is this one, wherein I lament the demise of my favorite cobblers, Knapp. The short version is that I have invested an awful lot of time and hope trying to secure a pair of shoes that does not make my feet bleed, with or without the introduction of heavy objects accelerating at 9.8ms². After 4 attempts in 10 years I gave up and bid my farewell, nostalgia and personal attachment notwithstanding. In the stages of grief I was well past acceptance, though I spent a lot of time bargaining over the past decade.
But then I received this:
I sat on this e-mail for weeks. I was torn; fool me once is one thing, I thought, but this is run around the bush number five for me. In the end I decided the worst thing that could happen was more fodder for this oddly popular blog post. Many of the comments lately have been questioning my conclusion (that Knapp really is dead) and I reasoned this experience could put the discussion down for good. Perhaps, I hoped, someone would come to me with a reasonable substitute for my beloved Plain Toe Rocker Bottom Oxfords after seeing the exchange. So my reply was simple:
And then I kept a lid on it. I met with one of the aforementioned uncles and spoke offhandedly so as not to raise hopes but I did not utter a peep on the blog lest the hope start snowballing and lead to missed expectations on a grand scale. I kept quiet until now because I received this late last week:
This message was sent to you at the request of KB FOOTWEAR to notify you that the electronic shipment information below has been transmitted to UPS. The physical package(s) may or may not have actually been tendered to UPS for shipment. To verify the actual transit status of your shipment, click on the tracking link below or contact KB FOOTWEAR directly.
Important Delivery Information
Scheduled Delivery: 07-August-2012
Holy. Freaking. Crap.
So not only have I not been handed another delay excuse, I am going to be the proud owner of new Knapps again, tomorrow, for the first time in over 10 years.
And this is my promise: I will be quite candid about the experience. If you were ever a Knapp fan you know there is a rhythm to the new shoe process. From lacing them up to the first 7 days of sweet, sweet pain and, finally: the experience of wearing bulletproof slippers for the remainder of their lifespan. THAT is the Knapp experience. If this package delivers the real McCoy, you will know about it. I plan on posting everything from the unboxing to the (again, hopefully) 8th day of permanent satisfaction settling in.
If KB Footwear can deliver I will sing their praises from the mountaintop and can guarantee at least 3 more shoe orders from my immediate family alone. If the package is a sub par hot mess, well, you will know that, too. Frankly, I am rooting for KB. I want them to succeed because I and thousands like me are sick and tired of buying “nice” shoes on what seems like a quarterly basis. To paraphrase my uncle John:
When is the last time you had to replace your shoelaces? Could we please have a pair of shoes that outlasts the laces?
Amen, John. Lace up; it is go time.