Merle Haggard may feel that “Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear” but Sitkans know better. For Sitka manly, womanly and kidly footwear is the chevron soled non-slip neoprene fish oil resistant Xtra Tuff, “Sitka Sneakers.” Sitkans wear them everywhere, ‘sensible shoes.” We had quite a job convincing one of our sons that he would run faster when playing softball if he wore some other type of footwear but he persisted, although sliding into second in Sitka Sneakers is a skill. However, running in Xtra Tuffs comes naturally to Sitkans. Saturday, we had the 23 annuals “Running of the Boots,” a celebration of the end of tourist season and a fundraiser for the Sitka Local Foods Network. It was inspired by the “Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona, Spain, but it is safer. Anchorage has the “Running of the Reindeer.” They bill it as “Alaska’s wackiest race” but Sitkans beg to differ. The “Running” has been twinned with the Chamber of Commerce’s “End of Season Celebration” with food tents along Lincoln Street. It may be raining but, heck that’s what fall means here. Here is a gallery of Sitka’s “Fleet Footwear.” This is a companion post to “Sooo Sitka” which has pics of the whole costume.
Full disclosure, I don’t own a pair of Xtra Tuffs. My feet sweat.