Monday, January 03, 2005

The Bad Boots Battle

About a month ago I grabbed my favourite laceup hiking boot style snowboots out of the trunk of my car only to discover that one had a slash across the leather upper. At first I thought I'd left my skate blades uncovered (they ride around in my car with me in case I find an opportunity) but they were covered, so maybe it was spontaneous destruction, who knows? I wear out a pair of boots every couple of years because I use them in the rain and snow and mud, when I'm camping, when I walk the dog etc. So I headed to Zellers to get another pair.

Only problem, they changed the style on me. So I got the ones that looked something like my old ones, similar price (not expensive!) and bought them. I should have been suspicious that they are now made of "man made materials" - in this case that tough nylon boot weave stuff. But they felt good when I clumped around the shoes racks inside the store with them on, so I got them.

I wore them to walk the dog the next day and YOWCH!!! One fifteen minute walk and my heels were hamburger. It took almost two weeks to undo the damage, using those "fast healing" superbandaids with silver nitrate in them. They are good stuff, but these were bad blisters.

While I waited I pondered what to do with the boots. I'd worn them in the rain and mud, so they weren't returnable. I know I have triangle shaped feet, but most regular shoes fit me okay, and even when there's a bit of heel slip, it doesn't do damage like that. By the beginning of Christmas holidays my heels were good as new, so I started experimenting:

#1 Insoles
I took the super-boingy insoles out of my workout shoes and stuffed them into the boots. I walked around the block. YOOOWWWWCH! Now I had to wait four more days for the hot spots to cool before trying again.

# Heel Lifts
Too cheap to spend on something that might not work, I cut a triple thickness of corrugated cardboard into a heel shape and put these inside my boots. Wore them around the block. Somewhat better, but I could still make a grilled cheese sandwich on the back of my foot after only a short walk.

# (Really, I am not lying) Duct Tape
I looked inside the boots that were so bad, then into all of my other shoes and boots that do not cause damage. The difference with the bad boots is that they have a seam running up the middle of the heel that is not covered by another piece of fabric or leather. Eureka! It's not so much the fit, as the surface. So I cut a couple of squares of duct tape and stuck one in each boot, covering the seam where the boot meets my the tender part at the back of my heel. I walked the dog. Hmmmmm, feels like....nothing! YES!

So I can keep the darn things. I suspect I will have to replace the duct tape from time to time. I know I will never again buy a pair of boots of similar construction.

Question: Why can't they just do it right?

mompoet - housewife, footwear tamer, super-hero

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