Kind of a quirky picture, I agree. This is what you’ll get for a while, though, since I don’t have a camera of my own, and my elder daughter offered to do some creative photography for me – we agreed to start with some random shots that I could choose from and see how it went. So this would be her idea of random…
The fact is, though, there’s nothing really random about a porch full of boots on a farm, and here on the “wet” coast, they’re indispensable for about half the year, the half we’re just coming out of. The ones at the left end of the row belong to the girls – and they look comparatively clean because they just got them in March. Those muddy ones off to the other end are my husband’s boots. Maybe he’s setting himself apart from all his women folk, I’m not sure – more likely it’s so he can lean on the porch rail to put them on, which is very sensible, unlike me who usually hops dramatically as one foot usually fails to just slide in like it should.
Mine are the other two sets. As the official farmer around here, I deserve two pairs! Just kidding. They are both mine, but the smaller half hidden pair are work boots – lace up, waterproof, steel shanked work boots. I get troubled by plantar fasciitis occasionally, which usually flares up right after I try wearing my gum boots all day to work in. My gum boots have felt insoles, plus a sheepskin liner for the foot, and I still can’t do it, hence the work boots, which have saved my feet. If you’re thinking boots are a frivolous topic for a farm blog, I have to say this pair is probably the single most important piece of equipment I own for farming related activity. Without the work boots, I would be hobbling by the end of most days spent working outside.
My gum boots are impressive for their kind – passed to me from my elderly neighbour who can’t use them anymore because of a knee brace he has to wear – they’re steel toed, shanked, milk resistant, etc. I love their high sides when I’m hacking thistles and blackberries, as I’m always wondering just what critters are in the undergrowth I can’t really see. With the sheepskin insoles, they are toasty in the winter. In fact, both girls often slip my boots on when they nip out to gather eggs – probably another reason theirs are so clean.
We are all a bit cautious about putting our feet into the boots without shaking them out these days. The cat recently brought one of her trophies to show us, she flipped it in the air (showing off) and it landed right in a boot. I do NOT want to find something like that with a bare foot when I head out for chores first thing in the morning. It’s not fair before coffee.
I’m not sure what I’ll be wearing on my feet through the summer – not flip flops that is for sure – I can’t walk more than 10 feet without walking right out of them, tripping on them or getting cramp in my toes in an effort to keep them on my feet.
How about you? What kind of footwear keeps you going around the farm, winter and summer?