Awww Ya Big Lug Boots

Last winter, I justified buying two new pairs of boots by telling myself several things about my existing, beloved pair—that I was tired of wearing them; that given their age, replacing worn soles didn’t make financial sense; that their once-plush cushioning was MIA.

That last bit was true, but the other points…well, it turns out the other points had merit but not meat.

Which meant that instead of running about devil-may-caring with my fresh boots, I couldn’t stop longing for my more battered pair. Maddening!

Every time I slogged gingerly through wet leaves, I recalled my former boots’ hearty tread; the second my toes shivered or registered a bump in the pavement, I pined for their well-insulated chamber. Not 10 months ago I’d seen a verdant shimmering in the distance and purchased accordingly, so why was the grass looking so very, very chestnut here on my chosen side of the fence?

Turns out I missed my old boots, and I missed them bad.

It’s not that my newer footwear was a complete loss, of course; as we entered our second season together, I was wearing each pair of my Millennial Generation boots several times a week. But as my discarded pals sat in an out-of-the-way closet, awaiting their (belated) disposal, I became more and more sentimental.

Because as someone who’d started paying attention to my visual presentation quite late in the game, the boots—my first well-constructed knee-high coverings—had been a gauntlet thrown down against a long-time friend’s sadly accurate assessment of my style as “black, baggy, and covered in cat hair.” Compared to what I’d been wearing on my feet, they were chock full of swashbuckling sass.

And up until I’d banished them to the closet last winter, the boots had kept me company on pedestrian commutes, weekend wanderings, and not-frequent-enough vacations where I trod up, down, and all around. To think I’d almost sent them back because the frivolity of their left side/right side zippers initially made me nervous!

[Fortunately, I’m a Gemini: since it makes me uneasy to shun multiplicity, the boots stayed. The duplicate, half-size up pair I’d ordered to help assess fit arrived with 2 left feet; as a clutzy person I suppose I should’ve taken that as a sign and hesitated to shun them, too, but shun I did.]

When it came right down to it, I still loved my “mature” boots—and still beholded them as gorgeous even if their supple leather was a bit worn in spots. Granted their interior’s plushness had deteriorated over time, but I could and WOULD try harder to cozy them up.

So a few weeks ago I sheepishly hauled them in for their 4th annual re-heeling…and a more elaborate surgical intervention. I’m almost embarrassed to admit how excited I was to see the soles I’d wore down with activities mundane and invigorating completely renewed and grippy:

I wavered for a year, but how could I fail to put new soles on the double-zippered boots that have gone through so much with me?

ALMOST

I celebrated the footlift by shoving better-than-last-year’s aftermarket gel pads into them and breaking a bottle of champagne over their arches. Only the best for my buddies!

Don’t get me wrong: just because the Vibram soles are the same brand as the ones on my hiking boots, sometimes I have to pick the hiking boots.

Yes, technically my hiking boots have MORE of a lug sole than my beloved boots (but they are both Vibram)

But when I’m traveling, I find my old standbys allow me to cover almost any kind of terrain where walking plays a big role.

The boots were a key part of my walking-centric 40th birthday trip...

...and have trod miles in cities and small towns...

...happily taking me over grass and dirt

Though when things move from “just plain walking” to “walking without killing oneself,” it’s back to the hiking boots. And crossing my fingers.

Though I have to admit my black boots aren't magical: in certain situations, I'm back in sturdier footwear

Since I’m prone to restlessness and dissatisfaction and boredom, but also someone who enjoys many of the ties to my past, I guess I need to be less cavalier about old favorites when searching for something new. By the time my boots’ tread wears out again I’m hoping that perhaps—just perhaps—I’ll have mastered the art of escaping the ruts, but rejoicing in the grooves.

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6 Responses

  1. This is an absolutely wonderful post. Embodies all of why we engage, and emote, with our clothing.

  2. I think Geminis need several boots to express their many wonderful moods. This Pisces needs waterproof boots that will be sensitive to our tender toes( we fish weren’t meant to have feet). Love this exploration of your relationship with your boots.

  3. Lisa —

    Glad you think so! I try to be ruthless about going through my closet because I do seem to get very attached to certain items (some for no apparent reason)….

    LBR —

    You enabler, you. But yet it resonates, hmmmm/ha! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. This is so you! And what SASS those vibram sole packed black skinnies have!!

    Merry Christmas dear one!!

  5. Dear Vix, I wish you a happy Christmas! Mr Paula is at his parent’s home, I just returned from my familly’s Christmas reunion. Before going to bed, no matter HOW late is already is (01.15am), I will pay Brenda Lee Johnson and her Fritzi a visit. And enjoy a cup of tea, the prosecco-antidote 🙂

  6. Belated thanks, Ms Linda and Paula! Happy 2011.

    My Big Lugs and I have been off having holiday adventures (for Paula: including traveling in the steps of The Closer’s “Brenda” and “Fritz”…).

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