A couple weeks ago I noticed the soles were starting to peel away from my boots. I tried to ignore it at first. I was in denial. I didn’t want to admit that the end was near. I spend some time surfing the internet looking at new boots, thinking I should have some on hand when the time comes, but I just can’t commit. I love my boots. They are comfortable, sturdy. We’ve walked a lot of miles together.
Many years ago our old company gave us a clothing allowance. $250 a year. The last year I bought two pairs of boots. So when I ran out of the pair I was wearing, I had an identical pair ready to go. That pair lasted about four years, and when the treads fell off it, I had another pair in my closet. But now my closet is empty — no identical twin ready to step into battle.
Now my boots are so worn, I don’t even know what kind they are – just big comfortable black boots. All the tags and marking are worn off. Then I step in a snow puddle and my socks and feet get wet. I can peel the soles away so my boots look like of one of those cartoon character talking boots. I have to get a new pair.
Yesterday I go out looking. The place I’d bought the other boots at years ago is out of business. I can’t go there. So the first stop I make is to the shoe repair place in hopes I can salvage them with a glue job, but the cobler tells me I have to leave the boots there, which isn’t going to work because I have to work in a couple of hours and I have nothing else to put on. Then I go to Bob’s, where I have a 25% off coupon that has come in the mail. They have only one pair in my size – 13/14 and they just donn’t feel right. I go to another store and then another. Nothing. My last stop has quite a number of uniform boots, including Rockies which I am thinking about getting, but the first couple I ask to see they don’t have in my size and then the models they do, just don’t feel right.
The price range is from $99 to $179. Then I see these Danner Fort Lewis boots $249. Gortex, waterproof, insulated. Top of the line. I try them on. Nice. Walking in them it’s like each foot is wrapped in velvet cushions and I am being lifted up by lush Princesses out of the Arabian nights. Good support too.
$269 with tax.
I figure I am going to be wearing them 60 hours a week every week on the calendar and every calendar year as long as my own soul doesn’t break away. You’ve got to take care of your feet and your ankles.
So last night me and my new boots are on the job trudging through snow banks and puddles, carrying people down flights of stairs, answering calls. No blood or vomit on them yet. But already we feel like old friends.