Shoes Doctor by Cemedine gives my sneakers new life.

For a guy blogging as Hoofin, you can imagine that I walk a lot. And the tough thing for me is that those New Balance sneakers you see above tend to wear out much faster than I would like.

You’d think it would be easy to get a pair of Size 30 (metric) shoes in Japan. Well, you’d be wrong. Most stores only carry up to size 29. When there are 30’s (this is Size 12 in normal American sizes), they are usually the oddball pair or something not fashionable.

So I end up having to import whatever I need. Or on the trip home, buy them as I can and stuff them in the suitcase along with everything else I can’t easily find in the stores here.

Ironically—and this shows you why Japan suffers economically—there was a New Balance store right in Harajuku up until some months ago. But they didn’t carry the walker I buy (which is now up to number 927—I think those are 925’s in the photo). I even asked if they would order them for me, but I got some reason back that had to do with the franchise agreement and what they were “allowed” to sell in Japan. Some excuse that, when you think about it, just sounded pretty dumb for a business.

“See, we can’t sell them to you here, because we agreed not to sell certain styles in this territory even though the company makes them and would get the sale. This is because it protects the rights of other franchisees (who won’t ship to you since you’re out of their franchise area by the way) to make a sale.” Oh, I see.

So needless to say, it’s frustrating to get a pair of sneakers in Tokyo when you need them.

Podiatrists talk about insufficient pronation and hyper pronation, which has nothing to do with how much you love your country, but rather how your foot comes down as you walk. I am definitely in the hyper pronation category, so I have to be careful when my foot wears out that diagonal on the sole. Basically, I screwed it up pretty bad a few years back not being careful. And even though it hurts less nowadays, it still hurts from time to time.

So if I am short a pair of sneakers waiting for DHL to send to me from overseas, I am in a bind. But thanks to a friend of mine, along comes “Shoes Doctor”, which is a liquid rubber gel that you can apply to the sole of sneakers when they wear out. (Especially, when they wear out along that diagonal like mine have done since the earliest I can remember. It’s something about my feet, and probably the high arches, which also present their problems.)

“Shoes Doctor”, [by Cemedine] which you can get at the Tokyu Hands, can be applied right to sole of the sneaker to recreate the sole that was worn away. The stuff might give you a little headache so don’t breathe it, but it dries in about a day.

And it works.

I tested an old pair yesterday, in the rain, and nothing was wrong. I expected the stuff to fall off at the first sign of a puddle, or to abrade really quickly, or to get squished into a flat piece of rubber hanging off the back of my shoe from the constant pressure of a 230 lbs. guy pressing down on it. But no. The appendage looks to be pretty much in the exact same condition it dried into earlier this week.

Although I’m half-expecting an incident where I trip and screw up my spine because of this sudden good fortune, it looks like my friend has saved me from the immediate problem of ordering the next pair a little too late.

The problem back in Bridgewater had been that the Bridgewater Commons mall dealer never carried the Size 12 when I needed it. Here, like I said, the shoes have been made into this prized import. This stuff would have come in handy.