Wet and wild in Shang­hai

Wear­ing a pair of Con­verse through rough-and-tum­ble Shang­hai should be a walk in the park, right?

Esquire (Singapore) - - Style -

The

thing about Shang­hai, or most places in China, is that the pedes­trian sig­nals are just guide­lines. The green man doesn’t cloak you in the in­vul­ner­a­bil­ity of the law; it pro­vides the fool’s no­tion of safety. Green does not indicate go. It means: “Look both ways when you cross… OMIGODWATCHOUTFORTHATCAR.” The ve­hi­cles in China care not one whit about your safety or pres­ence. When they spy a hu­man be­ing travers­ing the seem­ingly wide ex­panse of tar­mac be­tween side­walks, they see a chal­lenge.

So you do that half-run, half-walk. You am­ble like a con­fused deer as a Jaguar hur­tles dan­ger­ously to­wards you, so close that you can see its hood or­na­ment glower men­ac­ingly. You want to avoid be­ing hit, the im­pact of steel on soft flesh. You want to keep the in­sides and the blood in, where they be­long, in­stead of pour­ing out onto your pris­tine shoes.

I needn’t worry though. If I should hap­pen to bleed out, the wa­ter-re­pel­lent footwear that I’m wear­ing will see that O pos­i­tive slide right off.

At least, that’s what I’m bank­ing on dur­ing my stay in Shang­hai to test out Con­verse’s Counter Cli­mate Col­lec­tion. My feet are clad in a white Chuck All Star II model with black ver­ti­cal trim on the back of the high-top quar­ter; the lin­ing within is a bright orange, the sort of colour you’d see on warn­ing signs or a hunter’s jacket. The same colour ap­pears on the laces’ aglets as well.

The up­per is coated with a wa­ter­re­pel­lent 18oz Shield Can­vas. That’s the star of the show, touted to be

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