“The time has come,” the walrus said, “to talk of many things: of shoes and ships and sealing wax; of cabbages and kings.” Here we shall stick to shoes.

Here’s a question seldom asked at job interviews. What do you do with sneakers that have been destroyed by time and use? Had I been asked that, I would have answered – like most people – that I gave them away, threw them away, lost them or contributed to a land fill with them. It’s not a question I have given a lot of thought to. Until now, that is.

Now a Paris luxury house has announced it is launching the ‘Paris Sneaker’ collection. These are fully destroyed sneakers – destroyed beyond anything I have managed to do in all these years. The price ranges from $495 dollars to $1,850 dollars. I don’t know about you, but I have to read that sentence again. Just to make sure.

What a lovely comment on our times: destroyed shoes are more expensive than some brand new ones. Apparently this is a limited edition of 100, so I don’t think my shoes are in that lot.

In any case none of mine was destroyed to this extent. The greater the destruction of the Paris Sneakers, we are told, the higher the price.

This opens up many new lines of thought. Perhaps I should have taken the trouble to thoroughly destroy my sneakers, set fire to them, drop them in acid or something rather than give them away. As the man nearly said, “there’s gold in them thar sneakers.”

I have a new pair now (bought for a reasonable double-digit dollar price), and will have to wait for a while before they are fully destroyed. I then plan to put them on sale as an NFT, so only billionaires need apply. As Cinderella demonstrated long ago, a pair of shoes can change your life.

Artists have offered torn canvases as works of art – with hands coming through the gash or a head of Salvador Dali painted on the tear and any number of other permutations and combinations. Architects have sometimes tried to make a virtue of having a house with a prominent crack on the side (to give it a lived-in look), but this is a first for shoes.

The singer Rihanna once said that for her every song is like a new pair of shoes. One presumes that it will take a throat-destroying song sung off key to match the Paris Sneakers.

I never put on a pair of shoes until I’ve worn them at least five years, said  Sam Goldwyn. I shall now never take off a pair till I am paid a fortune for them.

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