The boots are dead. Long live the boots!

**Jay takes a deep breath…* It is with a heavy heart (:-)) that I must report: my boots are dead, folks.

After carrying my not-insignificant mass across the landscapes of a continent or two for the past couple of years, my trusty boots have finally given up the ghost. I didn’t want to face the truth, having again grown almost as attached to ’em as the hairy tootsies they kept warm, so I’d been turning a blind eye to the fact the right one was in a bad way. Despite the fact the sole was gradually detaching peeling itself free of its lengthy burden, and there’s been a hole-a-lettin’-in-water for the past few weeks/months, I’ve been clinging to them like life rafts as Ju’s circled, shark-like, ready to fling ’em in the bin, willynilly, as soon as my back was turned!

The right boot. OK, I admit it, it's had it.
The right boot. OK, I admit it, it’s had it.

But the fact, was they were dead, very dead. “What!!!”, I hear you say, “you could have glued the sole back on, and slapped a patch across that hole, ya frivolous swine!”. Sigh. Yes, you’re right, but while I’ve acquired a reputation for being, ah, careful with money, these things keep my feet warm and dry and winter’s currently lashing itself down on the roof, so budget be damned, new boots were needed!

Why the right one holed while the left one stayed intact is anyone's guess.
Why the right one holed while the left one stayed intact is anyone’s guess.

I can’t say I’ve been hard done by. Ju found a 2 for 1 (two pairs for the price of one pair) offer when we bought them, so I only paid £30. The laces were rubbish and wore out within a mere year, requiring the purchase of some flimsy spares from a Moroccan market, which lasted surprisingly well but eventually also wore through, before getting a tough-ass pair from our local hardware shop which have outlasted the boots (yes, I have saved the laces). The soles lasted well, despite feeling like they were really thin even when new, although the longest walk I ever did in them was about 3 or 4 hours.

Vibram soles had me nervous at first, as they felt thin but last really well
Vibram soles had me nervous at first, as they felt thin, but lasted really well

The passing of boots has come to mark a point in time for me, and makes me reflect as I peer at the sorry-looking things sat in the bin waiting to be carried off to landfill. These old Hi-Techs have been to a few places with me (sorry, with us, I didn’t go alone), so before they pass entirely from the daylight of this world, a few pictures of where we went together.

Looking out over the magnificent Anti Atlas Mountains in Morocco
Looking out over the magnificent Anti Atlas Mountains in Morocco
The poor boots having a tough time of it in the Norwegian Arctic Lofoten Islands
The poor boots having a tough time of it in the Norwegian Arctic Lofoten Islands!
Escaping the Spanish heat in the Sierra Nevada
Escaping the Spanish heat in the Sierra Nevada this summer
Paying homage to a bit or marble the mini's drove over in the Italian Job, Turin
Paying homage to a bit of marble the minis drove over in the Italian Job, Turin
Failing to be a Sami in Arctic Finland
Failing to be a Sami in Arctic Finland

Ah, yeah, well, this could go on for a while, and I’d better spare you the holiday slideshow eh?

So, new boots have been purchased (a nifty pair of Berghaus Hillwalker GTX IIs – not the cheapest but tons of great reviews), and they feel beautiful. Light and comfortable. I’ve only yomped the 6m across the Cooler so far, as I’m still officially employed (well, self-employed) for the next 3 days. After that, well, long live the boots folks, let’s see where they take me next year!

Berghaus Hillwalker GTX IIs
Brand spankin’ new Berghaus boots, and they feel beautiful. Where will those soles tread before I get ’em to fall off?

Right, I’m off to test the boots with a 3 minute walk to the travel section of the local library. Catch you later!

Cheers, Jay

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Don’t throw ’em away!, one day they could be the star attraction at the ‘OurTour museum’, along with a disengaged roof-lite recovered from the A1, a jar full of sand swept out of a Zagan from Morocco, a scribbled-on collection of European maps and a sheep sized ball of Charlie fluff entitled ‘This is what a year of dog fur looks like’ :-)
    Kindest…Wayne

    • Ha! And us two fashioned in wax perhaps, with authentic camper vanner’s niff after 3 days without a shower, hair unkempt from being blasted by Med sunshine after wallowing in the sea all afternoon? Hmmm, and a few faded information signs with stuff like “This vehicle’s ancient engine ran by burning the fossilised remains of sealife, coughing out the blacked gases from this pipe in the side, and actually required someone to be sat in the cab doing what was called ‘driving'”? You could be onto something there Wayne, I’m getting the boots back out from under than tin of baked beans and stashing ’em next to my 1995 Rough Guide to Spain. Thanks for the smiles big man! Jay

  2. I’ve spent a lot of money over the years trying to find the perfect boot. 2 weeks ago I spent £40 in Millets’ half-price sale on a pair of Hi-Tec boots (the fabric but waterproof type) and they are instantly the comfiest boots I’ve ever had. Super light.

    I’ve started replacing my “normal” shoes with Gore-tex equivalents from Clarks. This means I can look reasonably smart in Pubs & Restaurants despite having trekked some muddy Tow-path and fields to get there. Not cheap but comfy and practical (How old do I sound?)

    Lee at http://www.gohumberto.com

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