New Boots

You may recall my old hunting boots. I slapped a picture of them in the magazine last October and wrote an editor’s note around them. They were coming apart, as was the economy.

To make do in a time of want, I got out my 65-pound braid and sewed frayed seams back together. It worked.

THE EDITOR'S FIRST REPAIR JOB ON HIS BOOTS. THE 65-POUND BRAID HELD, BUT THE SOLES CAME APART. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

But after two years or so of nearly daily wear, they’re now beyond my shoe repair skills.

At some point during this past spring and summer’s rains, they developed reverse osmosis, somehow sucking water up off the ground, even when there weren’t puddles. This puzzled me until one day when I turned them over and discovered large patches of the rubber sole had separated from the boot.

Hmmm.

Despite that, I actually thought I could limp them through another hunting season. After all, the Okanogan can be bone dry in mid-October.

It can also be pretty wet, as has happened several years since 2003’s statewide rainfest that swamped our camp. And the forecast calls for a fair chance of rain or snow Friday.

So I broke down yesterday afternoon and went over to Outdoor Emporium and bought new boots, giving myself about, oh, 85 hours or so to break them in before deer season begins.

It wasn’t just me. There were a couple other guys giving the Seattle outfitter’s footwear a going over.

Admitting to myself that most of my walking is done on pavement — as is most driving done by 4×4 trucks — I put on some less expensive shoes, but they didn’t have the ankle support or the toe room. Then, reconsidering my economic reasoning, I went for a pair of $150 boots in the next size up and started wandering around the store.

They felt good on the trip back to the scent-free laundry detergent, which was good, but I could swear they stumbled slightly when I came around a corner and found about two dozen pink ice fishing rods.

Ice fishing rods?!?! In Seattle?

And pink?

I don’t know, maybe Paul M., Tim B. and the boys hope to corner the lucrative Capitol Hill tip-up market or something.

Anyways, after slapping down a whole lot more money than I’d anticipated, I hoofed it the mile or so to my bus stop in my new boots and noted some hot spots on the sides of my feet. Then, walking around the house, there were some traction issues with the Vibram soles — or maybe that was just the peas Kiran tossed off his high chair onto the floor.

Got them on again today and they feel all right, though I don’t think nervously tapping legs as deadline and hunting season (now just 69 hours away) approach will do much to help stretch out the leather.

Emails a friend just now, “Yeah, I would make it a priority in getting those boots broken in pronto!  I don’t need to see you in tears at the saddle because your feet hurt.”

But if that does happen, he can give me a ride back to camp in his deer cart. He won’t need it otherwise because he used up all his luck last year.

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3 Responses to “New Boots”

  1. Sense And Scent-sibility « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] two nights I’d washed all my hunting, camp and sleeping clothes in special scent-free detergent I’d just bought. And when her dad stayed with us for awhile last month, I refused to let him use my sleeping bag […]

  2. Waiting On Weekend No. 2 « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] new boots are breaking in, my cold is breaking up and my hunting beard has — so far — stood up to […]

  3. Backstraps For Dinner (Just Not For Me) « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] guess all those lead-up blogs on my hunting beard, buying new boots, the ton of hunting clothes I laundered twice, the cold I caught and the bee sting I got over the […]

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