Shopping for: Sneakers

A couple of years ago I purchased the Nike Juvenate grey trainers because I liked the “sock trainer” look. I wore them for about a year but I would say I hated them after about one month. The fabric meant it would get get absolutely soaked if the tiniest drop of water touched it – they would get soaked through even if I was walking on wet pavement for a few minutes and it wasn’t even raining. The soles also wore down really quickly (around a month), making them slippery too. They were a real nightmare.

After that bad experience, I wanted a pair of (sturdier) sneakers – something that would be less casual than runners/trainers for walking in, and preferably leather so that it could withstand normal rain without my feet getting wet. I discovered Spring Court, which made simple sneakers in canvas and leather, and were frequently reviewed as having the most impressive insoles amongst sneakers. I actually tried on several pairs and ended up purchasing the Spring Court G2 black leather sneakers and G2 navy canvas sneakers. I agree that the insoles are incredible and trumps pretty much every sneaker I’ve seen available. As pricey as they are, they are really well made and the leather is good quality. Unfortunately I found both quite stiff in the back heel and they rubbed. The canvas pair routinely cut my skin and left me bleeding. After only 3-4 wears, I decided to sell the canvas pair because there was no way I could break into them if they cut me up so badly. The fabric at the heel was too “sharp”. The leather pair is not as bad and was quite handy to take on my travels last year (they also withstood quite a lot of rain). As long as I wear appropriate socks, they’re mostly fine and I think the leather is definitely softening up.

Around the time of ordering and trying on all the Spring Court shoes, I also tried on the Adidas Gazelle leather trainers (but in grey) as they were on sale. I found them really bulky, the leather quality quite poor and overall construction really stiff.

Recently I’ve started a new hunt for sneakers because the Spring Courts are black and fairly heavy, so I wanted something slightly lighter in weight and colour that would be more appropriate in warmer seasons. I also wish the Spring Court sneakers’ heel was softer or had some padding. I ended up discovering Veja, who made supposedly high quality leather sneakers as well. I ordered and tried on the Veja Esplar white leather pair. I was so disappointed in them. The leather was incredibly stiff, but the deal breaker was that the sole was so thin and stiff my feet hurt just walking a few steps at home. Back they went and I would definitely recommend against the Esplar line.

Finally I’ve decided to purchase a keep the Lacoste Straightset Lace white leather sneakers. They have “Ortholite performance insoles”, giving them some padding although nowhere near as much as Spring Courts. Hopefully I will get on well with them!

Melbourne Food: Haagen-Dazs Pop-up

I mentioned in my previous post that I love Haagen-Dazs. Actually when I visit Japan, most nights I would get a single serve tub from the conbini, and green tea is my favourite. It was actually in Japan many years ago that I first tasted Haagen-Dazs. We don’t get Haagen-Dazs here in Australia, hence I associate the brand of ice cream with my visits to Japan. Although I now eat it when I’m in other parts of Asia, I still associate it specifically with Japan, haha. Strange, but HD ice cream is linked to my travelling experiences in Japan.

So guess who was ridiculously excited when Haagen-Dazs set up a pop-up store in Melbourne (and moving on to Sydney next)? They have been at Federation Square since March 11 and will run to April 15 (closed Mondays).

melbourne haagen dazs

melbourne haagen dazs

It’s a little pop-up store, with some tables inside, and a fenced off seating area outdoors. There is table service upon entering, and we chose to sit outside.

melbourne haagen dazs

melbourne haagen dazs

melbourne haagen dazs

melbourne haagen dazs

melbourne haagen dazs

(Click to enlarge)

There is no way of actually seeing the ice cream, so there’s also no tasting unfortunately. For dining there, there are 12 flavours available. For pints to take away, there are 6 flavours available (although green tea pints have now sold out). Fortunately I’d already tried all the flavours I wanted to buy and did buy them, so for eating in that day, I decided to go for some other flavours. I went with macadamia nut brittle and salted caramel. T went with mint leaves & chocolate and coffee.

melbourne haagen dazs

Two scoops may have been a bad decision. The weather was mild and we weren’t in strong sunlight, but the ice cream was melting everywhere too fast for us to eat. Perhaps it had something to do with sitting on a plate rather than in a cup…? Or perhaps I was just too greedy.

melbourne haagen dazs

Of course we picked up several pints. In fact, three each!

melbourne haagen dazs

melbourne haagen dazs

We both got (previously tried) green tea and caramel biscuit & cream (these two are phenomenal and so sooo delicious!). Then I got raspberry & mango while T opted for belgian chocolate. I’m sure I will steal some of his in the future! He also joked that I would probably hoard my ice cream until eventually they were easily available in Melbourne…

See: Haagen-Dazs Australia
PS: They said they would be available for purchase in Australia by the end of the year!