Most sneakers I wear don’t last the punishing rigor of my usage, and often the soles come out, or the shoes tear in different places, or the heels wear out – and I go through several pairs a year. So it was with some trepidation and much hope that I made the switch.
I bought my Neeman’s some time in June 2019, after coming across their stall at the Indian Luxury Expo at Taj Krishna, Hyderabad. Since then it has been my go-to shoes for all occasions, but especially for what I like to call ‘temple runs’, trips across multiple cities, covering 4 to 5 temples a day. The fact that I don’t need socks and can easily slip on the shoes, and that they are perfect for all weathers, and could take the tough conditions made it ideal.
In the interest of transparency, a few points:
I am pro environment and always try to select products that are sustainable and long lasting.
I share a surname with one of the founders, but am in no way connected to the company, having met them only once, at the India Luxury Expo, when I think they launched.
I have worn my dark red (Ruby Burgundy) wool walkers, for almost a solid year, taking it on all my trips, and literally every time I go out, till mid March 2020, when the country went for a lockdown. Since then, I have used it sparingly, having not had much opportunity to do so.
No I am not getting paid to write this glowing review – just have become a die-hard fan of Neeman’s. No amount of money can pay for such writeups, because they come from the heart.
Having got that out of the way, let me share a glimpse of one of my early days, with the shoes – it will give you an idea why I use the hashtag, #neemansadventures.
First Look – took my Neemans for a spin, literally.
Got my classics. Very comfy fit. Took it for a spin at the Thur Salsa Social. The textured wooden floor created too much friction so no go on the spins. Got much better results at the Saturday social with the smooth tile floor. Danced three hours straight without any problems. The real test though was yet to come.
10 day Char Dham Trip
First off these shoes are not trekking shoes but the comfort and no-sock option made it perfect for Temple runs.
A smooth flight from Hyderabad and a full day journey on Monday morning took us to our destination – Yamunotri. After an overnight rest we were ready for the climb on Tuesday morning. The entire hike up and down was a total of some 14 km. Tough climb up as we had to navigate a path constantly dumped with horse shit from the non-stop pony trains. The beyond beautiful scenery and the majesty of nature compensated for it. The shoes held its own throughout the climb up. At some places, the manure cleared and piled up on the sides gave new meaning to the term “a pile of horse shit”.
At the top, a quick dip in the hot spring bath and after paying homage to the goddess, we started our climb down. The weather had taken a turn for the worse and now with the rains, a slow moving river of horse dung competed starkly with the beautiful crystal clear roaring Yamuna running parallel to it. The glacial melts ensured a constant running supply of fresh water. Many clear springs along the path were clean enough to drink. The path was really slippery but the diamond patterns on the soles of the shoes held and provided sufficient grip and I was able to descend at a good pace.
This was also where we got to test the washable feature of the shoes. By the time we reached back in the evening, the shoes were completely covered with horse dung. A quick wash made it presentable for the ride back to the hotel. Took a bath and hand washed the shoes as per the instructions provided. Since the weather was cold, and there was no opportunity to sun dry it, I had to make do with keeping it propped up overnight inside the hotel room and later in the car. It did dry by afternoon, none the worse for the wear. That was just the first destination. The next day we were slated to go for an even longer climb.
For Context: Neeman’s is an Indian Shoe Brand – making some of the most comfortable sneakers out of sustainable materials. Their first flagship sneakers used wool. Recently they have come out with a cotton range as well. For more check out their site: https://neemans.com/