I walked 1,200 miles in these shoes

July 30th, 2021 - Trail mementos - Appalachian Trail

Written By: Flip-Flop

I have a confession to make…

I still have my Katahdin shoes from my AT 2018 thru-hike.

While these are clearly overworn and nowhere near the original color, these shoes are truly special. I purchased these shoes at a REI garage sale while on trail (when we took a side trip to DC for my birthday: Mile 970), and the last mountain they climbed was Katahdin in Maine. That’s +1,200 miles, and 11 different states on the Appalachian Trail.

Crazy right?!?

I know I’ve touched on it before, but when I reflect back on my thru-hikes I can sometimes feel disconnected from the experience. Like an alternate universe; where my inner Flip-Flop runs free in the mountains. These shoes are kinda like looking through a window into that universe. Holding these and remembering all the places they took me, reminds me that the adventure was real which is something I never want to lose touch of. This is why I have daily reminders (photos, maps, rock collection) scattered throughout our home, and the reason why I still haven’t had the heart to throw these darn shoes out yet.

They really serve no purpose now, but to bring a smile to my face when I stumble upon them in the closet. As I inspect the worn out soles, I remember the countless times I said, “I feel like I’m going to slip on these rocks” and “I think I could use more tread on my shoes”, which makes me laugh inside because I mean look at these things, there isn’t any texture or tread left, I even sewed them with thread towards the end.

Anyway, I had to share because I’m sure I’m not the only one… What do you have hiding in your closet that you’re too sentimental to throw out quite yet??

Comment below, bonus points for photos & stories! 🙂

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