Who Dat?

Back in the 80s, long before the X-Games existed, Tom Haig traveled the world as an extreme athlete. He visited more than 50 countries as an international high diver, doing multiple somersault tricks from over 90 feet.

That life came crashing down one Sunday morning in 1996. While training on his mountain bike, he smashed into the grill of a truck and became paralyzed from the waist down. But less than a year later he completed a 100-mile ride on a hand-cycle and traveled by himself to Europe and the Middle East.

Since then he has continued to travel the world as a consultant, writer and video producer. He spent six months launching a Tibetan radio station in the Himalayas and shot documentary shorts on disability in Bangladesh, France, Albania, Ghana and most recently Nepal.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Photo Friday: Monks Rockin' New Kicks

It's time for a new feature on Captain Crip: It's Photo Friday.

Our first installment is dedicated to the Monks of McLeod Ganj and their ever-increasing sense of footwear fashion. When I first came to India in 1991 everybody in the entire country wore flat leather sandals with little or no support - the kind of footwear you would imagine Jesus wearing. I bought a pair in Delhi so I would have something to wear when I stepped into the Hare Krishna Guest House bathroom in the middle of the night. But these torture chambers were so awful, even for the few minutes a day I sported them, that I left them at the bathroom door when I checked out.

In 2000, when I moved up to McLeod Ganj for three months, there were still a few remaining sandal adherents. But most of the locals and nearly all of the monks had slid into hard black business shoes. They had some support and went quite well with the maroon robes, but again, not the best footwear for walking around the world's tallest mountain range.

Come 2010 and the monks have made a cosmic leap; or at least they can now make that leap without hurting their feet. The monks have moved up to some damn fine, high-grade, ass-kickin' footwear. Sure they may clash a bit with the maroon, but every monk I spoke with said they were happy as hell to not have to rub their feet back into shape every night - and sometimes these guys will put more than a couple miles in those dogs.

So here is a former athletic footwear industry worker's tribute to the monks and their comfy kicks!

You have to admit these guys need good shoes in this place.

The Shoe Boot.

The Cross Trainer.

This Korean Nun brought hers from home. Incidentally, she was the only monk/nun I spoke to whose shoes weren't donated.

These puppies added a full inch of height!

I found this monk stopping for a quick polish.


Not quite Chuck Taylors.

But he really wanted to walk the runway in them.


BRONZE: The Soccer Boot (If you haven't see the Australian film, The Cup, go rent it. This will make a lot more sense).

SILVER: The Samba Ripoff (please: no authentic footwear here in Asia)

GOLD: By unanimous vote - THE CROCK!


  1. You spent too much time in the industry. :)

    (This is WZ, I just did anon because I didn't have my openID handy and last time I tried my Google account I don't think it worked and don't care enough to try it)

  2. Love the Crock... No really, they are warm in the winter and cool in summer...
    Hard to run in, LOL

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