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

The Bible. Why you should read your Bible.

After reading what The Candid Tin man had to say about the Bible on his blog, I felt a disappointed man. In my opinion, the candid Tin man had committed the same errors of omission and commission that have plagued the Bible for centuries.

In the beginning, the Roman Catholic church was the dominant church worldwide, and the bible existed in Latin language which common folk like me and you did not understand. Latin was a dead language used by the priests of the roman Catholic church and perhaps a few scholars.

The Roman Catholic church aimed at controlling the public's opinion , as the church still does today, and especially their opinion of what was God's word. Therefore, back then, if you needed to understand God's word, you had to consult the Roman Catholic Priests to read the Bible for youa nd then tell you what it said. How well they did this and their intentions remained questionable, with accusations directed at the Roman Catholic Church for mistranslating The Bible…

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

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 declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

The Idle Life of a Regular Kenyatta University Student.

My education life was quite an active one, till I completed the 8.4. part of 8.4.4. I went to good primary schools, with tuition in class 6-8 and boarding in class 7 & 8. My life in primary was quite full, esp with tuition in class 7 & 8.I passed KCPE and was admitted to a good National School in Nairobi. My High School life was divided into 3 months holiday and 9 months schooling per year, except for 4th form where i spend I had a 1 month holiday between January and November. I was therefore well occupied for the first 12 years of my education.

After sitting for my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education(KCSE) in November 2004, I had to wait for results till March 2005. I was well above the B+ university cut off. Previously in early 2004, we had chosen universities and courses we would like to attend by filling the Joint Admissions Board forms. After the results were out in early 2005, we had to wait till August 2005 for the 2004 KCSE lot to change their university and cours…

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

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 from it.
For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes, happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voi…

Why I plan to Enroll in a School that teaches me how to spend money

So yesterday it was raining, and rain it did. Matter of fact, it rained so hard that some people believed that the rain was more than just a matter of cats and dogs. Even cats and dogs were scared of venturing out in this rain that reportedly led to the loss of many shoes (and those sandals that girls in Nairobi call shoes)

As it happens in Nairobi, rain is one of the few things that outdoes the presidential motorcade when it comes to bringing Nairobi traffic to a stand still. Despite having universities in every province and every city and soon in every top 10 community, we are yet to conduct research on what drops of water have to do with vehicles moving on a road.

As such, with traffic coming to a stand still, matatus are caught up and therefore the matatu stages become void of matatus and full of passenegers wanting to get home away from the rain. some of them even take the initiative to walk out of town and meet the matatus. At the same time, matatus increase the fare for reasons…