top of page

Socks and Tevas - a Short Parable

Barnaby "Sockrates" Bartholomew III wasn't your average hiker. While the mountains trails buzzed with the rhythmic crunch of hiking boots, Socrates ambled along in his signature attire: Livsn shorts that stopped just above the knee, and a Roark T-shirt with rainbow lettering, mushrooms and other forest critters stating "My Mind is in the Mountains". His signature statement piece however – color blocked Teva sandals… with equally color blocked, knee-high socks peeking out defiantly.

Heads turned. Whispers fluttered like startled butterflies. "Socks with sandals?" a particularly judgmental woman in full unscathed Patagonia attire huffed to her companion. Socrates, oblivious, simply winked at a passing chipmunk, earning a surprised chirp in return.

He'd embraced the sock-and-sandal combo in his youth, a rebellion against conformity that morphed into a personal statement. Sure, practical hikers scoffed (though some secretly admired his commitment), but Socrates reveled in the absurdity, practicality and speed at which he could go either over creeks and streams or straight through them.

One sunny afternoon, the trail led him to a scenic overlook. He settled on a rock, pulled out his well-worn copy of "Dharma Bums" and dipped his toes into a cool stream to give his socks a break. A gruff voice startled him. "You Socrates?"

Socrates looked up to see a weathered man with a bushy beard and a backpack that looked like it had summited Everest several times after attending Woodstock in ‘69. "The one and only," he replied, offering a goofy grin.

The man, who introduced himself as Weathered Rob, squinted at the socks. "Interesting choice, son. You wouldn't happen to know where the best blackberry patch is around here, would you?"

Socrates, a self-proclaimed "Berry Whisperer," beamed. "Like a map tattooed on my soul, my friend!" And so began an unlikely friendship. Rob, a seasoned outdoorsman who valued practicality above all else, found himself strangely charmed by Socrates' whimsical nature. While Rob navigated the terrain, Socrates, with his uncanny ability to sniff out the juiciest berries, kept them well-supplied with a delicious, purple snack.

One day, disaster struck. They stumbled upon a group of hikers stranded on a narrow ledge, terrified of a steep drop-off. Rob, with his bad knees, couldn't reach them. "Looks like a job for the nimble one," he said, looking at Socrates' Teva-clad feet.

Socrates, his heart pounding, inched his way across the treacherous ledge, socks clinging heroically to his calves. He helped the stranded hikers one by one, his fear replaced by a newfound sense of purpose.

News of the "Sock Savior" spread like wildfire. The once-judged hiker became a local legend. Socrates, however, remained unchanged. Sure, he now sported a rescue badge on his trusty Kelty pack, but his spirit remained playful. He learned that day that adventure wasn't about fancy gear, but about embracing the absurd, trusting your instincts, and sometimes, maybe, wearing socks with sandals.

One crisp autumn morning, Socrates found himself on the trail again. Beside him walked Weathered Rob, a new pair of bright yellow socks peeking out from his hiking boots. They shared a knowing smile, a silent promise to conquer the mountains, one berry, one whimsical adventure at a time. After all, in the grand tapestry of the outdoors, there was room for all kinds of hikers, even the ones with questionable fashion choices.


bottom of page