June 2, 2010

Make It Last - Item #3: Leather Hiking Boots

Oh, if these boots could talk. They are a pair of leather hiking boots that I bought in 1988, initially for a week-long trek on the West Coast Trail. I needed sturdy, comfortable, water-proof footwear, and preferably something that would give years of service. These boots were made for walking, and that's just what they do, even after 22 years.

I hiked the WCT two more times over the years in these boots. They have gone the distance over kilometers of rocky beaches, and have summited a few peaks in the Rocky Mountains. They wore me out many a time.

I have worn out lesser boots over the years, but my old faithful pair just keep on going. These are the go-to boots for wet weather, and the fit can not be beat. They feel like walking with an old, familiar friend.

10 years ago a friend laughed with disbelief when he saw I was still wearing my old boots. He might be surprised to hear that I am still using them. Finally, though, the soles are wearing thin.

I wonder if there are any shoemakers left? Perhaps in a cramped shop that smells like polish and leather in an alleyway downtown. If such an old-world business still survives, I can give my deserving boots new soles... or souls. Then, together we can continue our hike on the trail to living better with less.

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