Rocky Design Flaw!

May 31, 2012 | 4 comments

Click!  Click! Click!  Every time I was in the kitchen or dining room I heard the sound.  Eventually (duh!) it occurred to me that it was I who was generating the noise.  With each step there was a click.  If I stopped, it stopped.

“What now?” thought I.  My only other pair of shoes (loafers) have recently developed a squeak.  Now these new walking shoes have a click.  What’s with my shoes, anyway?

Later as I was sitting at the computer, I glanced down and noticed a big rock on the carpet.  For a moment I couldn’t imagine how it had found its way into the house.  And then the penny dropped or the rock splashed or something.  I looked at the bottoms of my spiffy month-old New Balance walking shoes and noticed the deep grooves in the soles.

I’m sure I had looked at them before – probably when I was buying them at Gimres (my favorite-ever shoe store) over in Astoria.  They are unusual looking for shoe bottoms – colorful and groovy (literally).  With all the hype about how these shoes “beat foot fatigue” and “discourage joint pain” I’m sure my mind didn’t leap to “and pick up rocks along the way.”  I probably thought the grooves had something to do with comfort.  Maybe an innovative engineering miracle?  Not!

Talk about a design flaw!  My first thought was for the finish of our newly installed hardwood floors in the dining room.  Sure enough!  There were a dozen little scratches from all that click-click-clicking.  Not too bad yet, but eventually the floor would be ruined.

As I see, it I have several options.  I can take my shoes off every time I come into the house but I know that’s not going to happen.  I’ll never remember.  Or I can just toss the shoes.  That’s like throwing away a hundred bucks.  My very-pissed-off druthers would be to appeal to Gimres and have them appeal to New Balance.  But my more clear-thinking husband says to chalk it up under that old Buyer Beware heading.

So I guess I’ll be spreading the word.   BUYER BEWARE OF NEW BALANCE ROCK-CATCHERS!  And if anyone wears size 7½ N, I’ll make you such a deal…


  1. Jan

    Put a pretty “basket” by the door to collect ALL shoes. Your hardwood floors will thank you. (PS, I’m liking your block paragraph style just fine!)

  2. Marion

    I have had the same experience with my New Balance shoes too. I just check them whenever I return from a walk to make sure I don’t have a rock stuck in the sole as it certainly can leave dents in a wood floor. It does seem like a flaw but I guess the deep grooves must be for comfort.

  3. Jenny

    The same thing happened to me! I keep a pair of “House Birkenstocks” by the door to slip into when removing my outside shoes…

  4. sydney

    Thanks everybody for all the suggestions! But, no, I’m not changing shoes ten times a day because of a design flaw in my shoes-of-choice! I did go into Gimre’s and they were very nice, though they claimed they had never heard the complaint before! (Hard to believe.) They gave me a number to call at New Balance but it all seems more trouble than it’s worth. I’m throwing out the shoes and looking for another brand. And, for sure, I’ll be looking at the soles from now on!


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