It’s a question that has dogged footwear enthusiasts for decades:
“Yeah, Blundstone boots may look cool and are built for rugged terrain – but how fast can you run in them?”
I have your answer: Pretty darn fast.
The event, or “test”, happened about 15 years ago. I had then recently decided to indulge in a pair of Blundstones after deciding that I needed more Australian representation in my wardrobe. I thought Blundstones looked great, loved the slip-on convenience, and they had the “rugged” reputation that I thought might convince people that I didn’t define “hiking outdoors” at the time with the more true “getting up to flip the record over to side 2”.
A couple of weeks later, I was taking my Saturday afternoon stroll down Queen St., stopping at an ATM at Queen and Spadina when a man appeared around the corner, sprinting past your hero (that would be me), carrying what looked like 3 or 4 coats. Umm…ok. Then a young woman, clearly not dressed for pursuit, appeared around the same corner in a frantic state.
“Stop that man! He just stole 3 coasts from my store! Help! Someone – help!”
I have to confess, my first reaction was “Oh man, I’m not going to be able to catch that guy. He’s fast! And I’m just here in my Blundstone boots. What’s the point?”
What’s the point?! The point is that there was a damsel in distress, and yours truly had to commit to “doing the right thing” and give chase. Beware, villian!
“Beware” indeed. I gave chase – zig-zagging through the ever-thickening side-walk traffic as Snidely Whiplash headed north on Spadina towards Toronto’s Chinatown with Dudley Do-Right closing in. Throughout my huffing and puffing, I managed to focus on a singular thought that, quite frankly, astounded me:
“Hey! I’m really MOVING here! When did I get to be so fast on my diet of nachos from Tortilla Flats and chicken rotis? It might be these Blundstones!”
First test passed: Speed
Ok, but how does it handle a change in direction? Our thief may have been a bad man, but he was as clever as they come – he changed direction and crossed the street! Ok, Blundstones – show me. I leaped and planted my right foot at a hard 90-degree angle and changed direction to continue pursuit. Thank goodness it was autumn, otherwise I would’ve drowned in my own sweat and stopped for a cold bubble tea.
Second test passed: Pivot-And -Turn
Ok, I’ve got to be getting closer by now, right? Right! Our thief looked back, saw me, and realized he had no choice but to drop his swag in order to increase his speed. In all honesty, he was clearly younger than me and seemed more fit. His carrying those coats helped me far greater than they were helping him. He started pulling away. And then it happened. Yours truly was shut down by an indecisive delivery man that was in that awkward position of simply “mirroring” my panther-like moves in his effort to get out of my way. BOOM!
Third test passed: The Sudden Stop
So the bad man got away….but not with his treasure! A kind shopkeeper figured out what was going on and came up to me to give me the coats, thinking that I was the owner. I took them and, very leisurely, strolled back to our damsel in distress to return them.
Fourth test passed: The “I’m Tired And Don’t Want To Run Anymore And I Don’t Think My Heart Is Supposed To Beat This Fast.” Leisure Stroll
Some people gave me a round of applause, patted my back, said things like, “Way to go!”, and I was on my way – contemplating my new crimefighter career. Did the victim/store give me proper thanks? Something free? A discount at least? Alas, no – but heroes don’t risk their new boots by running through side-walk fruit stands and dodging streetcars so that they could get a reward!
So says Captain Blundstone!