A good pair of boots become a part of who you are. In ways, they can be like a loyal dog. They are always there for you no matter the situation, providing protection and comfort when needed, and never complaining. Though work boots are often easy to take for granted, you couldn’t imagine living life without them. Maybe that is why it is so hard to let them go.
If you are anything like me you spend probably to much time finding a new pair of boots, trying them on for fit, analyzing every feature to be sure they are up to the tasks you’ll put them through, inspecting every last stitch hoping to catch a flaw while still in the store and not when in the muck. They are an important tool that you’ll use every day and you don’t mind shelling out the money for a good pair as long as they live up to expectations.
The life of a pair of good work boots is often very harsh. You trust these boots to keep your feet dry and protected day and night. You walk, run, and stomp unknown miles in them, in all sorts of terrain and, uh, substances. They get covered in manure, oil, grease, mud, fuel, you name it and it is probably on your boot. They’ve saved you from smashed toes and feet more times than you can count. Then one day it happens, they finally give you a sign that they are ready for retirement.
The first sign came a couple weeks ago, I managed to tear the leather on the heel area of my right boot, not knowing what else to do, and shoe repair places becoming a thing of the past, I glued a rubber tire patch over the hole. Then yesterday as I was out in a corn field I felt a sharp poke in my right foot, upon further inspection a piece of corn stalk actually penetrated the sole of the boot, a definitive sign of what must be done.
Though my other, more beautiful, half tried to tell me a couple months ago it was time to replace them I didn’t listen. I just couldn’t bring myself to get a new pair. These boots are MINE, they’ve conformed to my feet, they’ve been well weathered and worn and have gotten quite comfortable, and until yesterday never let me down or given me any reason to doubt their worthiness. Now, I see she was right, it is time to find a new pair and that leaves me with a decision to make regarding these Georgia boots of mine. Do I hold a funeral for them, sending them to cremation with other farm trash or do I relegate them to light duty? Either way, as the torch gets passed on to the new pair, I will be a little sad to see these old ones go.