These boots were made for walking

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?

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7 thoughts on “These boots were made for walking

  1. Jasmine says:

    Hi! I found you via CAF and firecracker farm… Boots are SO not a frivolous topic on a farm blog! Rather vital, actually! I’ve found crocs to be a great summer shoe for gardening and yardworking… Spring and fall I wear extratuffs. Winters at forty below zero (I live in AK) both Sorrel snow bits and Steger muklucks keep my feet warm!

    • Hi! Yes, I have an old pair of crocs that I dust off for gardening – I don’t walk much better in them than I do in flip flops though, and I need something with more support for my heel if I’m standing or walking for for most of the day. I’ve never heard of extratuffs, I’ll have to google. Sorels, now there’s a boot. Not a useful boot around here, as we only get abotu 2 snowfalls per year, but much of the rest of Canada lives in them through the winter. I’ve been to Alaska in the summer (Ketchikan), I remember a lot of rain, the most amazing crop of foxgloves around a ball diamond and mosquitos.

  2. Oh, golly. Topic of much discussion around here. The kids wipe out boots in no time flat. We splurged on the wife this winter, since she’s home working all day while I hold a chair down, and bought her a pair of insulated rubber boots. Best thing I bought her since the puppy. I finally broke down and bought a new pair this year. Mine had cracked on the front of the ankle. I just cut them off at that point and now I have waterproof shoes…you know, cause I just can’t bear to throw something away that’s only 10 years old…

    We brooded turkeys in the back room where we keep our boots. I found a turkey in a boot one day when I went to put them on. Sometimes a toad finds his way in…don’t know how. Spiders are much more common though. We take a moment to look now.

    • Well, considering the age span of your kids, I’m not suprised. When mine were that age, I was buying footwear at least twice a year because they grew so much, not because the shoes/boots wore out. They were always loathe to get rid of them, I and I still find odd sneakers stashed under trees in the wilder parts of the garden, from when they snuck them out of the donation bag. Yeah, that place on the front of the ankle on gum boots is definitely their achilles heel, if you know what I mean. There comes that point in a marriage, doesn’t there…the sheepskin liners in my gum boots are a gift from my husband!

  3. We are boot poor around here. We have more than in your picture and there are only two of us, lol. I keep all my old ones so when city slickers come to visit, they can wear them to go see the animals without messing up their pretty little sandals. Tell me more about your work boots. I wear rubber ones from Tractor Supply. Great for short durations, but if I’m in them all day my feet let me know it.

    • Yup, that’s my problem with gum boots too. My work boots are described as “Dakota TARANTULA ANTISLIP™ Womens Metal Free Work Boot”, and I bought them at Mark’s Work Wearhouse, I’m not sure if you have the chain in the US, we don’t have Tractor Supply. When I shopped for these boots, I knew I wanted them to feel relatively light, I wanted a strong toe, though it didn’t have to be steel, I wanted waterproof, or an easy way to keep them that way, they needed to have good arch support, and I wanted ankle support. These boots tick all those boxes. They are currently being sold for $179, definitely not the price I paid 1 1/2 years ago, though I thought they were bad enough then. The fact is, though, if you want good quality footwear you do have to shell out for it. These boots are rated for contstruction use – the material used to make the toe hard is described as “composite”, which does make the boot lighter. I used to hike in a previous life, when hiking boots weighted about 10 lbs each, and I also wore leather boots in the Navy (also another life), so I did have some idea of what they should feel like to be comfortable all day. I’m really happy with these, the only improvement might be a gel insole for the heel (which the clerk in the store in fact suggested and I turned down).

  4. Thanks! I will look for them.

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