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Dunlop Volley's now rule me Downunder as did the indestructable KT-26

When I  was  bitten by the jogging bug in the late seventies my preferred means of transport was the Dunlop KT-26 (pictured right in blue).Within  my circle of harriers these inexpensive sports shoes were the preferred vehicle for running activity on mixed surfaces.

I always held out until they were discounted in Target and in principle paid no more than $AUD29.99 for them.

I wore them all the time and owned no other shoe except one pair of leathers for 'best'. I'd run in them, work in them, hike in them and as one wore down I moved its preference usage down the scale.
Today, "Dunlop KT-26's have become ubiquitous fashion items within rugged countries such as Papua New Guinea, where they are prized for their low cost, sturdy construction and superior tread pattern. The shoe's tread pattern is particularly useful in muddy conditions, which has helped it to become the footwear of choice for competitors in the Kokoda Challenge, a race over the length of the Kokoda Track."(ref)

A great shoe. It carried me up most of the Victorian alpine mountains, (including when snowed upon), jogged me across Melbourne, walked me to and from work -- if I could get one a little dressier (and black) I would have done my nursing shifts in them.

But a few years back when I was having foot problems a podiatrist who was a friend(!)  convinced me to go up market and for the first time in my life I was putting big bucks on my feet. Brooks no less! All very fine and foot dandy except that when I started using the kickbike the broad lip sole on these shoes had a nasty habit of tucking under the back wheel and paring itself.

Then when I started to box, dancing around the ring  in such shoes as these up market stylish ones only encouraged me to trip over my own feet. So I went looking for a simpler more self contained shoe with a snug fit sole -- something I hadn't worn for activity since I wore martial arts slippers.By chance I got a pair of Dunlop Volley's (pictured left). In this age of bare foot running the Volley is as close as I can come to being naked while mobile.

So after two pairs of Brooks I'm back stepping out in  Dunlop.

This is a  shoe that moves as you move and is so popular  (& so tested) by successive generations here in Australia that after being introduced in 1939 has had only minor changes to its design in over sixty years. For kickbiking (& I guess scateboarding) this shoe really fills the jump on jump off need. It's all you with a coating of canvas and a sole of rubber. No frills. Just function.

Volleys are also made with steel toes for work use and industrial safety. How cradle to grave can one shoe get?

The provenance for this shoe is extraordinary as both a work shoe and sports show. In fact the Dunlop Volley is a design original backed by a massive legion of loyalists. Among these is now I. And with such a groovy range of colours, I can wear the Volley with anything including as I prefer, au naturel -- without the 'civilisation' artifact, the sock.

But there's more...

After being tickled pink with my new shoe preference I still suffered from the annoying complication that while kickbiking now and then my laces would unravel.Annoying in normal circumstances, but on a kickbike when you hop change from foot to foot it is easy to land on any loose lace and sort of tie yourself up.

I went looking for some sort of shoelace tie and came home with a pair of Yankz. These replace the shoe lace with an elasticated locking system (see image right). Yankz also offer the Crossbow which i haven't tried. The advantage with the Crossbow seemingly is that it is much cheaper. A pair of Yangtz 'laces' retails at around  $AUD17.00 and the Crossbow at $AUD9.95. With the prospect of  never having to tie a shoe lace again and  never having to deal with loose laces, I reckon the money saved by purchasing the Dunlop Volley -- $AUD34-55.00 (you can even get a slip-on for house slipper wear-- maybe a couple of pairs of smart shoelaces is worth it in way of comfort and convenience.

Although I usually exist with one pair of running shoes, a pair of sandals ,thongs  for odd jobs and a best pair -- I can see my wardrobe generating a store of Volleys in various shades and with a couple of sets of Yankz jumping from shoe to show.


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