Shoes for Work – and Time Travel!

The Shoes have it.

(Or: They don’t have their shoes)

Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - towels and (spaceship) shoes
Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – towels and (spaceship) shoes

Douglas Adams’ The Hitch Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy proclaims that there’s a lot to be said about a hitch hiker who still has his towel with him. I suggest that the time traveler’s equivalent is their pair of shoes.

Contract: Termination

Naked Terminator arrival
Naked Terminator arrival. Image credit:

Many time travelers can only travel in time without their clothing (or have their existing clothing remain behind). The Terminator T-800 is an example, and although it’s arguable that he doesn’t need clothes anyway, the locals had more conventional clothing thoughts about the cyborg’s (non)dress-sense. In their own way, they convinced the Terminator to take some clothing – which he did in his own special way.

Given the same line of reasoning that Barbie dolls wear clothes, I’m inclined to agree with Arnie’s pro-clothing choice. (There, a comparison between Arnie and Barbie..! I’ll call it Barnie 😉

Married to Work

Time Traveler's Wife Shoes
The Time Traveler’s Wife book cover – with shoes

The other example is the main character in Audrey Niffeneger’s excellent The Time traveler’s Wife (which I must get round to reviewing, but headsup – 5 stars!). The front cover says it all – the empty pair of shoes which are left behind every time the title time traveler (Henry) goes to another time.

And it’s the shoes that leaves me wondering how my colleagues may not be as – or when – they appear.

Time Traveller’s Prime Directive

(Shhhh…don’t tell anyone you’re a time traveler!)

Shoes left behind
Left: Shoes left behind like Henry in “The Time Traveler’s Wife”. Right: Leaving in more of a rush, more clothing is left behind, and the shoes aren’t as neat.

The above is a shot of my colleague’s desk. Note his absence – and a pair of shoes tucked nicely away under his desk. I can’t help but notice the similarity with the time traveler’s wife’s husband, Henry. (I think I could have just called him “the time traveler”…)

I asked him about it.

“So am I a time traveler or his wife?”

Clearly he’s no wife…

On this occasion, note the high visibility vest; time travel can be dangerous. On another trip the 180 degree unphasing of the left and right shoes indicates a hasty departure (as far as speed can be measured without respect to time) and hence the forgotten safety precaution. Shirt remains on chair. Time travel backpack is also forgotten.

Bootstrap Paradox

Bootstrap paradox
Boots (not) in the field

As an oceanographic consultancy, sometimes we go on site where it’s wet and boots are needed. But not when we time travel. Note no laces: Bootstrap paradox?

Perfect time traveler – with shoes

No shoes
No shoes – taken on time travel excursion?

This colleague found a way to keep his shoes with him on his time travels.

Paul Wandason

Paul Wandason's shoes
My shoes. Not much more to say about it, really…

Me present in the office. On lunch break – complete with shoes (and other clothes!)

Having my shoes attached to my feet suggests that I’m not a time traveler, and in which case I’m not sure if I feel left out or left behind. But whenever I leave the office I always seem to be back here soon enough, spending my time and clocking my hours. I assume that counts for something…

Corona Time Flies
Corona Time flies from Winter to Summer

That said, the last time I was at the office was before Corona time when this tree had no leaves. Where’s the time gone?


If you enjoyed this post why not sign up to receive future posts sent direct to your email!

You might also like to visit or like time2timetravel on Facebook.


  1. 🙂 And sometimes you have to travel with the ‘appropriate’ shoes for the time, which can be very uncomfortable, and you end up donating them to the nearest temple – Ashley of the Sacred Sandals.

What do you think? Leave a Reply! :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.