Thursday, 9 June 2011

These boots......

Nancy Sinatra in cricket whites
Fantasy Bob's incisive analysis of the second test yesterday meant he couldn't mark the day's real cultural significance.  8 June was the 71st birthday of Nancy Sinatra the lyrics of whose definitive cricket song, 'These boots are made for bowling' were disgracefully changed to please the American market unfamiliar as it was, and still is, with cricket.  Something stupid, or what?

Nowadays, cricketers do not wear boots.  They wear cricket footwear, scientifically designed and developed.  The bamboozling variety of these articles that is on the market drips with unique features and advertising puff that verges on the poetic.  Here is a typical example:
Asics Gel Advance
SOLYTE MIDSOLE MATERIAL - A lighter weight midsole compound than ASICS' standard EVA and SpEVA. Also features enhanced cushioning and durability. REARFOOT GEL CUSHIONING SYSTEM - Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance. TRUSSTIC SYSTEM - Reduces the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural integrity of the shoe. SOLYTE 55 - Employs 55 degree Solyte lasting material for a soft but stable platform feel. REMOVABLE EVA SOCKLINER - A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic. DUOMAX SUPPORT SYSTEM - A dual density midsole system positioned to enhance support and stability positioned sport specifically. Injection PU OUTSOLE - Lighter than traditional rubber outsoles and gives a more supportive base. EX-GRIP SOCKLINER - A special tacky PU print on the top of the the sockliner which prevents the foot from slipping inside the shoe. TRIPLE OPTION - Flexibility for varied spike configuration. P-GUARD - An abrasion and tear resistant synthetic material for increased upper durability.
This is a description of an Asics Gel Advance shoe - and FB thinks Asics products are pretty good but even his gullibility comes to wonder at the concept of a dual density midsole system described in CAPITAL LETTERS.  Maybe all this design stuff has gone a bit too far and all this BRAINPOWER might be better deployed working out how to save the planet or feed the growing population.

Real men's cricket boots
Inevitably things were simpler before dual density midsole systems.  Cricket boots used at one time to be just that - cobblered leather boots with leather soles.  They had to be blanco'd to make them even at all respectable.  FB recalls such a pair languishing in a cupboard during his childhood looking splendidly innocent.  But they could be killers - Frank Tyson got serious foot damage from ill fitting boots - he would have longed for a sock liner with a special tacky PU print.  Would a Trusstic System have saved Harold Larwood's feet on the hard Australian pitches?

Shoes are so customised now that the quaint fashion of the 70s and 80s of fast bowlers cutting the front out of their left boot to save the pressure on their toes in the delivery stride is thankfully a thing of the past.  The open toed look never convinced FB although he once had a pair of boots which developed a similar feature naturally over the years.  He could not bear to replace them, stuck together with sellotape and glue as they became, until they finally imploded mid over.    Is that what Nancy Sinatra meant when she said One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you..........'? Oh, for an injection PU outsole.

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