Saturday, March 18, 2023


I'm supposed to visit my buddy Charles next week, so the practical issue of how not to bleed on Charles's apartment's floor has arisen. A possible solution is to wear gomushin, or rubber shoes, a Korean tradition dating back to forever. Unfortunately, Coupang's selection doesn't carry anything bigger than a size 280 (Korean shoes are measured in millimeters), so I ordered a pair of black 280s that arrived today. They're heavier and sturdier than the gomushin I remember from years ago.* Of course, the shoes proved to be too tight, so I had to perform some surgery. 

Devil horns!

By Korean reckoning, I am technically a 285 (285 mm = 11.22 in.), so a 280 is inevitably smaller than what I need. When I order my New Balance walking shoes, however, I get size 13s (Korean size 330) so I can minimize friction, especially in the toe-box area.

Having surgeried up my new shoes (well, shoe, really, as I need to wear only one), I think I am now ready to hit Charles's place without worrying about bleeding on his floor. I'll pack this gomushin with me for when I hit his place.


*The tire symbol inside the shoe leads me to think these gomushin come from recycled tire rubber. The word 타이야표 (taiya-pyo, with taiya being the English "tire") does, too.


Charles said...

I'll make sure to explain to my wife in advance why you want to wear a single 고무신 in our apartment (고무신 are still 신, after all, and traditionally not worn indoors).

Kevin Kim said...

I was planning to explain when I got to the door, but whatever works.

Charles said...

No worries. I think if I give her the heads up in advance, there's no need for any conversation at the door. We will welcome you in complete, stony silence.

Kevin Kim said...

I look forward to that.