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FOOTWEAR FOCUS ROAD TEST


Charles Haringtonwalks on air in his Sollu Sensation I shoes T


hey arrived just in time. For the last three years I have been a slob. I have fallen out of bed with no time to choose what I wear so I generally


pull on yesterday’s pair of jeans and sneakers, reaching campus just as lectures start. There is a lot to be said for Mark Zuckerberg’s sartorial consistency: the founder of Facebook has a wardrobe of identical grey T-shirts and black trousers so he doesn’t have to think what he is going to wear every day.


My university career is drawing to a close and I guess I have to start


conforming. Or as my friends who are continuing to take honours degrees, masters degrees and doctorates would say, “sell out”. But when you are loaded, not like Mr. Zuckerberg, “loaded” to me means loaded with student debt, you have to sell something and I have to get a job.


But, before I finished my degree I had an oral exam. It was a bit like


the BBC’s Mastermind, but instead of sitting in the comfy black leather chair and answering questions from John Humphreys, I had to stand in the middle of a carpet in a lofty, wood panelled room answering questions on the content of my degree course, from a group of grizzled and crusty lecturers and professors.


Regardless of my learning and intellectual capacity I realised however


de rigueur on campus, the unshorn, unshaven, old jeans and last season's sneakers look wouldn’t enhance to the impression I wanted to make.


As I said,


That’s just when my Sollu Sensation I shoes arrived to be road tested. just in time.


Talking about making an impression, my first impression was, “those are


cool and smart”. They are a pair of dark chocolate brown suede shoes that would go well with a pair of (ironed) chinos and an (ironed) shirt. Perfect for the smart, but not trying-too-hard image I wanted for the oral exam.


I normally catch a bus to campus or, if I am not hung over, ride my bike.


But on the day of the oral exam I thought I would walk to clear my head. What a walk!


Bear with me for a moment: do you remember the song from the cartoon,


“The Snowman”? It goes. “We're walking in the air, we're floating in the midnight sky and everyone who sees us...”. Well walking to campus was like walking in the air. What I learned later when I read the bumf that came with the shoes was that Sollu include in their designs “Active Air” that they describe as air technology” that incorporates air bubbles in cavities in the


14 • FOOTWEAR TODAY • JUNE/JULY 2016


Contact: Eber Guerrero Tel: 0208 287 1018 Mob: 07889 458457 Email: sales@ohpairfootwear.com Website: www.sollufootwear.com


Sollu Sensation I Trade Price: £33.95 RRP: £84.95


soles that cushion and absorb the impact whilst walking. For me it was perfect, while I walked up to campus my mind was totally focussed on the questions I was likely to be asked as I sort of “floated” along.


But that wasn’t all. Sollu are big on technology in their shoes. Another


technology in my Sensation I shoes is Massage that Sollu describe as a massage system that embodies embossed points the insole. Massage incorporates pressure points that massage your foot as you go along.


For me, facing a battery of questions in a stressed and highly charged


atmosphere in my oral exam they did more than that: in their literature they show points on the embossed insole labelled, “spleen and pancreas, liver, stomach, backbone, bladder, solar plexus, nerves.” I checked later and found that the stress relieving therapy reflexology or reiki also identifies pressure points on the foot. Sollu don’t make any claims other than that their pressure points help your feet relax, but I can tell you facing the grilling from my examiners I gently massaged my feet in my Sensation I shoes, as I framed my answers. I am in the university officers training corps and when we are on parade, if we think we are going to pass out, the advice is to rock gently, in a sense massaging your feet. Well, the Sensation I shoes, let me do that so I didn’t pass out in front of the examiners!


You will have to wait, as will I, to find out if I have passed the exam but I


have a job interview next week and I will be wearing my Sensation I shoes again. The interview is a long way away so I can’t walk there, but I might walk from the station to get those air bubbles and massage points working so I am cool as a cucumber when the questioning starts again.


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