BOOTS, BOOTS, AND MORE BOOTS

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Dadoose
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:13 pm
Call Sign: KD6JDM

BOOTS, BOOTS, AND MORE BOOTS

#1

Post by Dadoose » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:58 pm

I confess to liking good boots. I must have been all of 10 or 11 when I received my first pair of Red Wings. That was in the 1950's. It was SO nice not to have rocks and stickers irritating my feet when out helping my dad survey the family land around McMullen Flats south of Banning. Another pair of boots, this time from Sears, survived being chewed by a coyote one night while camping at Bahia de Los Angeles in 1963 when on a trip with my dad, my brother, a HS school friend and his father. We had gone to LA Bay via the only road available back then, that wonderful and rough dirt road the locals said ensured only good people coming to Baja. They'd say. "bad road, good people; good road, all kinds of people." From that came my slogan, "Dirt roads are good; paved roads are.....paved."

My next pair of boots I still have, moc-toe Fin and Feather bought from Jim Cain Sporting Goods in Banning in about 1965. They had natural gum Vibram® Montagna soles, and did they ever squeak when walking on slick floors! Uncle Sam gave me a pair when I graduated from college and joined the USAF in 1970. I still have those beat-up boots. Since then several pair of boots have adopted me, ranging from light-weight trail boots, GI and work boots, classic engineer's boots, to Vasque telemark boots and heavy Raichle mountaineering boots (AKA leather gunboats). The Raichle once had three midsoles and full-length steel shanks. Heh-veee. About 15 years ago, I had a midsole removed and the full-length shank changed for a 3/4-length. Made a big difference. I keep a pair of all-leather GI boots in my emergency kit in my pickup, and a pair of ankle-high Rockport steel toes at my small business. The rest are either in my closet or hanging in the garage. A pair of 30-year-old Italy-made light-weight Asolos are on my feet as I write. I retrieved them from the shoe repair only today. ( I recommend College Shoe Repair in Redlands for boot repair. It's on 6th Street right south of I-10. Good people, good work.)

I hear the net discussion on ensuring a good fit. To that I add: If you are buying a pair that you expect to use for 25-30 years, be aware that your feet will flatten and become wider as you age. Those Fin and Feather boots mentioned above? They fit me at age 18, but no longer, because my foot has flattened and become a bit longer. I know it's obvious, but be sure to try the fit when wearing the socks you expect to use when wearing the boots; for example, you might try light-weight wool or wicking polyester socks as liners under a pair of heavier woolies. Remember, too, that if your boots are too tight–and you are in cold temps–circulation will suffer and your feet may get quite cold, regardless of your wearing warm socks.

My feet are fairly narrow, a B to C width, and are hard to fit. Military issue boots are sized for width, but most boots are not, making it difficult to get boots that are long enough but not so wide ones feet slip and blister. That's when custom boots (White's, for example), are the ticket.

Insoles can improve fit, especially for us with narrow feet, and an arch support may lift and shorten your foot sufficiently to give a bit more toe room.

Dave, OUJ, brought up foot powder. Yup. I also recall that the military encouraged alternating footwear so that ones boots could air out. Dream on.

For a kick, try a Google search for boots with Norwegian, Goodyear, or Littleway welts. All three types are alive and well.

Aaron, thanks for a good net topic and discussion!

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