Monday, February 12, 2018

The Changing Of The Guard

There comes a time when even the most < frugal, cheap, persistent, thrifty, stubborn > (choose your adjective of choice) of us must admit it’s time to let go.

On the left are my shop boots, the ones I wear around the property and – well, shop.
In the middle are my combination hiking/Sunday-go-to-meeting/out-in-public/dress boots.
And on the right are the boots I just bought today. A little more expensive than I usually go for but they're wider in the toe, have a little more toe-protection, and are American made. Ask me in a couple years if they were worth it.

The new boots will become my hiking/Sunday-go-to-meeting/out-in-public/dress boots, after I remove the 54” laces that came with them and move the 72” laces from the middle pair of boots over to them. There's a little bit of fraying where these laces have sawed against the metal eyelets, but they're perfectly serviceable for now. (Just don't tell The Wife!)

The reason I use the longer laces on my hiking boots is because I wrap the extra length around behind my ankle and back to the front again before tying them off. This not only gives a little extra security and support at the ankle, but I also find that when done like this they are much less likely to need retying before the day is over.

But not to worry. Those brand new 54” laces don’t go to waste. I use them to lace up the eyelets of my former hiking/Sunday-go-to-meeting/out-in-public/dress boots, (On the right above) which will now become my shop boots. Having laced the eyelets up I tie them off securely securely, ensuring they stay that way with a little heat from a lighter, then cut the excess off.

Now these boots have been converted to slip-ons

As for my original shop boots, (On the left) alas there’s not much left to do with those faithful old dogs other than to toss them into the trash, laces and all.

I don’t know if it was coincidence or not, but the same day I got the new boots and permanently retired my original shop boots, I was compelled (By The Wife)  to retire one of my shop-shirts too.

The Wife tells me this particular shirt is at least 10 years old. I don’t know for sure, but I do know that it was originally one of my work shirts – you know, back when I had a real job. After years of serving me in the office I cut the arms off and used it in the shop. That was at least 5 years ago and I have to admit that the fabric is getting a little thin lately.

Clearly shop-work has been hard on the shirt, adding permanent stains from paints and glues, and wearing it through where I lean against my workbench, (Shop-shirts are never tucked in!) but if it was left up to me, I figure that shirt has a good 12 to 18 months left in it. But if The Wife catches me wearing it again she will stick her fingers through those worn spots and rip the shirt to shreds right off my back. (I know this because she’s done it before. . .)


  1. I resisted the cost of Merrell foot wear way too long. Once I spent the extra 25% and could feel extreme more comfort for my mis-shapen feet, I knew they would be my brand no matter the cost unless they change the toe box. I have a 5E forefoot in a 9.5 size foot. Keens are also a great boot but their last is just a bit different than Merrell and does not fit my stupid feet as well. Comfortable feet are critical to me.

    1. Fortunately I have pretty tough feet and have been able to get by on cheep boots, but on my semi-annual trip to Cabelas they didn't have my usual boot in stock so, since my feet are getting older and according to my Mom will be the first part of me that starts breaking down, I thought I'd try out the larger toe-box of the Keen.

      We'll see in a couple years if I stick with them or go back to my cheep boot.

  2. It's about time you coughed up a little of that cash you hide all over the place.

  3. I've worn Danner boots to hike for the last 20 years. I have weak ankles, and they do have good ankle support. I just recently bought a Salomon trail running shoe, but I haven't switched over yet. It's hard to strike the right balance between lightweight and good support.