all this talk of getting older

Nike soccer shoes

I have been drawing all of my sons shoes since he started wearing shoes, and I have been drawing them in two little books, one of them was a tiny Moleskine Cahier in which I drew entirely in black pen, no colour, and then when that was finished I started Volume 2, in a ‘Handmade’ brand square sketchbook in which I started adding some colour to the drawings. As the shoes have grown in size, the drawings have become smaller as I have tried to fit them onto the small square page. Now I have finally started to just let them cross over onto the other page, so I can draw them longer. The lad’s feet are only getting bigger. The shoes above are his latest soccer cleats (football boots), fairly lightweight Nike shoes, not like the sort of thing you’d get in my day. He plays soccer a lot better than I did in my day though. He’s been injured for a lot of the past six months, so has not had as much opportunity to play, but we got these a few months ago as his feet are of course growing. He’s at the age now where growth will come rapidly; when I was his age I did all of my growing all at once, and I’m not much taller now then when I was 13. (Although my shoe size has gone up in the past couple of years, for some reason, I didn’t know that was a thing but it is). Watching him grow up, especially during this pandemic year, definitely emotional for me as a parent, and especially looking back at the growing shoes over all these years. You spend a lot of your life in your shoes, they literally take the weight of your world.

Merrell hiking shoes

These three I have drawn recently are quite functional in nature. The blue and white Nike shoe is for soccer; this next one, the very comfortable looking Merrell shoe, that one is for hiking. We recently went on a hiking trip to Utah, and we plan to do more hiking in the future, so we all got hiking shoes / boots at REI before the trip. These were the ones we got for my son, though I don’t think we got these at REI but they were bought online with many others that got returned until we found the right ones. Shoes are annoying like that. When I got mine I tried them on, yep these are nice, I’ll take them. It’s because I hate trying on shoes. When I was his age, my mum would take me to so many shoe shops and make me try on so many shoes and I hated, it wasn’t like traumatic or anything, I just really disliked the whole trying on shoes process, and the smell of shoe shops, I just wanted in and out as soon as possible. I’m still the same. These days ordering shoes online is harder because you have to order several to see which ones fit ok, they are all a bit different, and you have to send them back. Still it’s good to get the right ones. Hiking boots / shoes are really padded and comfortable, and I love the design of these ones. Hopefully we get a lot more hiking in before these ones are outgrown.

New Balance running shoe

And finally, these are his New Balance running shoes. I got running shoes myself a few months ago and definitely notice the difference than what I was running in before (though I’ve not run much in the past month, whoops). Unfortunately due to an ongoing injury he’s not been able to run much since we got them, but they are so comfy he wears them as his regular shoes and they are at least nice to walk in. They look cool as well. That’s a very curved heel, that gives a lot of support down there. And these are the latest shoes in the series. Them feet are growing fast…

keep on steppin’

Nike size 5.5Y

Right, it’s been a while since I posted my son’s footwear. These feet keep growing, and I keep drawing them. I’ve drawn every single one of his shoes in his life, though I’m still only halfway through ‘volume 2’ (the first volume having been very small black and white drawings in a tiny moleskine cahier sketchbook, a decision I made when the shoes themselves were tiny and I wasn’t really drawing shoes much; I did a few in colour on larger paper for a show, and when we got to volume 2 I started just drawing them properly in colour, at which point he started wearing almost exclusively black or dark blue shoes. Thankfully, these ones have a little bit of colour, though not as much as the old Lightning McQueen or Captain America shoes from the very young days. Actually looking back at the Flickr album, I realize there are quite a lot of shoes I have previously scanned which aren’t uploaded there. To be a completist I should put them in. Anyway, this was a fun way of showing his growth and journaling something of his during his life. When they are toddlers this is such a nice family record, as he turns into a teenager this will become something I do maybe before he starts wearing the shoes (or wear a peg on my nose) (I was a teenager with very stinky shoes) (let’s not talk about my adult shoes), and if I’m still doing this when he’s like 45 then maybe it’ll be time to stop. But anyway, the ones above are the newest, barely worn, mostly because we’ve barely left the house. In go-to-school times shoes wore down much more quickly. He likes Nike shoes, like I love wearing Adidas shoes.

Under Armour shoes size 5Y

These ones are a bit older, as you can see from the dates, although he only just stopped wearing the ones above, and will probably need to replace the ones below. The grey Under Armour ones above are nice, but I have to tell you, in real life they look longer. I’ve definitely drawn them too compressed. This is as a result of using a square shaped book for the drawings, which was another mistake, going back to when the shoes were small enough to fit easily on a small square page. I need to start drawing them diagonally, or start going over two pages. These feet are getting bigger. I have the real shoes right next to me here (much cleaner than they would be in a non-pandemic leave-the-house year). We like our Under Armour gear, they made some good Tottenham shirts (16/17 home kit is a classic), and I have this one UA hoodie which is my favourite piece of clothing, so comfortable. Below, his latest football boots, silver Nikes, worn during the 2020 Select season which was cut short a month after this by the Pandemic. This was drawn shortly after we came third in a tournament in San Jose, he scored a number of goals there in these shoes, everyone played really well, and I thought we could go on to win more medals, until the COVID came along and stopped all that. These days we are still playing as AYSO Alliance but it’s training only, no games and certainly no tournaments, not even scrimmages, and all practices are socially-distanced with strict COVID protocols, wearing masks, six feet apart, lots of shooting and passing, zero tackling or man-marking. So we’ll be brilliant at free kicks after all this, but not so great at defending. It’ll be like Kevin Keegan and Marcelo Bielsa mixed in with Ossie Ardiles circa 1994. I like how this shoe (cleat, they are called cleats here) turned out, I’m happy with this drawing. One of the last ones before the world went all topsy-turvy.

Nike football boots size 5Y

the dark nike returns

Nike cleats
Still doing this. Drawing each of my son’s shoes / footwear in chronological order. These are the current Nikes, his football boots (aka ‘soccer cleats’ over here), which he wore throughout the AYSO Select Soccer Season (I was the coach, we were the Davis Spurs, he got a bunch of goals. Sadly we lost more games than we won, but we won quite a few, and it was fun). Those feet are getting bigger and bigger. I am on Volume 2 now of my project to draw my son’s shoes as he grows up. Volume 1 was all in black and white, which was a shame as they were more colourful. I decided that volume 2 would be in colour and, well, they have generally been less so.
Nike shoes