When I scheduled a trip to Mt. Pinatubo January of this year, I went on a mission to find the best trekking footwear. I read online that I need to have the proper footwear to hike Mt. Pinatubo’s terrain. And after discovering that the Columbia store here in SM City Cebu offered a buy-one-take-one promo for their selected items as a promo offering for the upcoming Sinulog Festival, I convinced my friend, Ed, to get the Columbia trekking shoes. Originally priced at P2,790, I only had to shell out half of the amount if we buy one. It was not hard convincing my friend since he was also looking for a functional trekking sandals. Owning a COLUMBIA for a footwear was really something since we know that it’s one of the best brands in the market that sells outdoor products. And getting a footwear at a discounted rate added more to our excitement and eagerness to buy a Columbia even if it was quite steep for our budget.
We both bought the Columbia Techsun 2 footwear. And it proved useful during my trek to Mt. Pinatubo. I’d have to say that it received a great deal of beating from me. I basically tortured the Columbia trekking sandals. I hiked, ran, climbed, sprinted and jogged with it. I carelessly submerged it on any river we passed by just to test its durability. At the end of the day, I was satisfied with its performance. It’s a great trekking footwear!
When I went on a 5-month backpacking trip in SEA, it was the only footwear I brought with me aside from my flip-flops. After Mt. Pinatubo, I wore it on my connecting trips from Cebu to Manila, Clark, Bangkok and Siem Reap since it would be bulky if I stashed it in my backpack. Then I never wore it again as I preferred the slippers above anything else. Honestly, the unusual large protruding bones on my 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint on both of my feet hurts after wearing the sandals for too long, which is also why I only preferred wearing it on special outdoor occasions.
One day, when I was cleaning my rented
vacation house room in Siem Reap, I discovered that both of it’s soles opened. It looked like it was about to peel off. That sight broke my heart. I didn’t know what to think. I was disappointed because I thought that we’d have more adventures together, the sandals and I. I only used it at the Mt. Pinatubo trek and during my overland border crossing trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap and then I found out that that it easily fell apart. Depressing… 🙁
I thought of throwing it away to lighten my load. But my prudent ways told me to just drag it wherever my feet took me. I also thought of shipping it back home but the shipping fees stopped me.
I’m a cheapskate. I know the sandals could still be mended. I just didn’t know of a reputable place in Bangkok or Siem Reap where I could get it fixed. So, for 3 more months, I unwillingly dragged the useless footwear, holding on to it like crazy instead of throwing it away for good and just buy new ones instead. There were times where I almost gave up and thought of dumping it in the garbage or giving it to charity but my mind reasoned with me.
When I came home last July, I thought of bringing it back to Columbia to ask if the pair of sandals has any warranty coverage. In my opinion, it has to have one [warranty] since I hardly used it after the Mt. Pinatubo trek. The soles of the trekking footwear can also vouch for its mint condition.
The first time I visited the store, I didn’t bring the sandals with me. My intention was to inquire with them if there’s anything they can do to help me fix the footwear. At the same time I also wanted to inquire if they have a recommended shoe repair center in case they can’t do anything for me.
They recommended Mantaring, a famous store in Cebu that specializes in fixing shoes and bags. They also said that it might be impossible for them to shoulder the repair since it has been 6 months since I bought it. I told them I went out of the country and that I rarely used it after the Pinatubo trek. I also told them that the footwear was still in perfect shape, except for the flapping soles. Then they advised me to bring the sandals. They said they’ll see what they can do.
When I came back with the Columbia footwear, they said that they’ll send it to Mantaring. They asked for my number and told me they’ll contact me when it’s repaired. They mentioned that they will take care of the cost. Yey! 😀
After two days, I got a call from them saying my trekking sandals was waiting for me. When I went to the store, I was reunited with my footwear. I saw that it was sewn carefully from the straps, soles glued back. It was good as new. On top, you won’t suspect anything but turning over the trekking sandals would reveal the mended footwear. The staff also told me that I had to be careful when using it since there’s a huge tendency for the soles to open again if I submerge it in water. bummer!
Anyway, what’s important is that it got fixed and I didn’t have to buy another one again. 😉 I would personally like to thank the staff of Columbia SM City Cebu for helping me with my concern. Kudos to you Rose and Kate for the help! Thank you so much guys! Nakahilak jud kog popcorn sa inyo effort 😀
P.S. On my trip to Biri Island this month, I used the sandals for the 1st time after it’s major operation. As usual, the trekking footwear proved to be useful while treading the sea waters at the rock formations in Biri Island and while climbing some of those magnificent rocks. However, the soles cracked again. The only thing that’s keeping it from completely ripping apart were the sewn portion of the footwear and I didn’t mind. hehehe.