Skip to main content

Bata Hush Puppies: Made to leak

My pair of Bata Hush Puppies, proudly soaked after a walk
on wet roads
When one buys a pair of shoes for Ksh 6,000 (yes, about 60 US Dollars), their sanity should be called into question. This is especially so if  a shoe that costs anywhere from 6 to 3 times the cost of other respectable pairs of shoes is incapable of keeping water out of it's innards.

I am one such insane person, who was lured into Bata by the promise that the price was a fair cost to pay for the quality. A 10% discount at the newly opened Bata shop at Sarit was even more convincing and that evening, I took home my first pair of Bata shoes since my lower primary school days.

Four months later, I happened to finally get caught up in Nairobi rush-hour rain. This is the type of rain that pounds the city conveniently around 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at about the same time that you also plan to rush home. The rain while quite sensitive of Nairobi's need of a reliable piped water supply  and reliable hydroelectricity, is usually quite insensitive of it's timing. This time round, it did not even matter that East Africa was reportedly in the midst of it's greatest drought in 60 years.


My normal evening commute results in me crossing over from the Limuru Road bus stop over at Khoja near the fire station across the lower edge of the Central Business District to the Bus Station just opposite St. Peters Claver. This is quite a challenging route, not only due to the amount of human traffic, but due to the disorder frequently brought in by hawkers occupying pavements and matatus that will drive on the wrong side of the road, or make illegal turns.

When it is raining, navigating downtown becomes a tricky affair. If you are lucky enough to have an umbrella, you have to squeeze in the roads with the matatus and other vehicles. The pavements are usually huddled sheltering from the rain - it would be an insult to drip rain water off your umbrella onto them while poking them with the umbrella spokes.

In such situations, you would thinks that your pair of expensive Bata shoes would be the least of your worries. However, as I came to find out yesterday, that uncomfortable feeling of wet squishy socks on the heels of your shoes are not a result of matatus splashing water on your shoes.

Bata Hush Puppies are intentionally manufactured to allow rain water, and any other form of water including sewage to seep through what they call "comfort gel" right into your shoes. The comfort gel is a badly placed piece of clear plastic that will soon fall of the rest of the rubber sole, providing an unobstructed means for water to seep into your shoes.

I was quite sceptical of the the contraption on the Kshs 6,000 shoes that consisted of what looked like a mixture of clear and blue plastic. However, I was fooled by the price tag, that Bata must have put some work into making sure that it was a solid structure.

So there you have it, the imported pair of expensive Bata Hush Puppies are not worth the price tag they come in.

Previously, I had bought my last pair of shoes from an Ethiopian trader at Amco Plaza in Nairobi's Eastleigh Business District. While the shoe's sole might have been a bit hard for my liking, it costs a third of what Hush Puppies do, and I feel safer walking with them in rainy weather.


Before that, my last pair of shoes were a second hand well worn pair rubber soled leather shoes that I bought for Ksh. 1,000 form a couple of miraa chewing Meru's in Githurai. This pair lasted for 3 years, and was only replaced because of a tear in one shoe , but still, they were quite comfortable and rarely leaked despite the tear.

My next pair of shoes will probably be from Servis, the retailer who has been cunny enough to set shop next to a few Bata outlets in Nairobi. They are probably more affordable and have skills in importing leak proof shoes.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here .  Peroni - One of the best beers in Kenya. Did a taste of canned and bottled Italian, and bottled Tanzanian I like the tangy flavour and body in Tanzanian Peroni. The can is close. Heineken drinkers will like the Italian one.  I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

A spoonful of sugar, but for who? ( Image: Carol Wallis on Flickr ) Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar? Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen. Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji". The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave. But what ails Kenya's sugar industry? The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here. Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly decline

Best and Most Durable Highway SUV Tyres

Buying tyres is a dilemma - how do you get the best tyres without spending much more than is necessary?  If that's your dillema, well, you have come to the right place. We will look at tyres that are at the sweetspot of durability, performance and affordability especially for SUVs.  You'll find that most of my top picks are Asian brands. These tend to last longer and are more affordable. European brands are engineered more for comfort and ride quality. So if comfort is your top concern when buying tyres, I would recommend Pirelli and Michelin.  1. Otani   Otani is a little known tyre brand made in Dubai. It however rates quite highly for durability and hardiness, with most of its tyres coming in 'Extra Load' specification. Extra Load tyres are designed if you carry a lot of weight or if you do a lot of towing. Even if you don't, it means you end up with more hardy tyres than your manufacturer recommends. Propelling Otani to the top of my ranking is th

A to Z of Girl Pick-up Lines

Girl,  You are like a breath of fresh air , like an outstanding piece of Art in an art gallery  There are many things you and me can be, but it puts a smile of satisfaction on my face and a smile of envy on my buddies faces that you both beautiful and bootyfull  E ither your creator must have taken the greatest care creating you or your cheated your way around heaven, 'coz you clearly the prettiest girl on earth  D on't ask why my breathing quickens every time I see you; setting my eyes on you makes me feel like I am drowning in your beauty, I have to catch my breath   Exciting, Exotic, Elegant, Electrifying ; so many definitions in english , but when it comes to the human race, girl, you are the one and only definition of all the above  W hen I say you are fly , it may be due to the sensation of flying off the ground that I get when I am around you. Some girls are beautiful, a few are decent, even fewer got class; I didn't know I could find all this qualities in one gir

Kenyan products: The art of punishing your consumer

This post was written in 2011. Facts may have and indeed have changed - but the conclusion has not.  Dormans instant coffee tastes better than Sasini instant coffee. Ramtons electronics are manufactured for Kenya's Hypermart Limited, yet maintain a high product quality Peanut butter used to taste so good, but you could not afford it on the pocket money that you got back in school. A few years later, you have your first real job and your first "disposable" income. You buy your first real tub of peanut butter, probably the first in your life. You feel proud that Dominion peanut butter is manufactured in Ruiru, a town that you visited in your campus days to withdraw your pocket money, it was the nearest bank ATM to your campus.  This was before Equity bank became a mainstream bank and decided to open an ATM in your campus, and before M-Pesa meant that you