posted on Nov, 12 2020 @ 06:55 PM
A boy and his boots
Despite my “writer” status being stripped from me due to a very mean troll (here), I still contribute stuff to this forum. Perhaps it is for my
release, and your enjoyment, I don’t know. But I have these stories, stories which need to be told. This brings me to a story about a young boy
and a pair of boots.
I guess the year was about 1973-4 or so. Boots then were just boots. When people went out, they wore fine shoes, and boots were for working and
outdoor things. About that time along came a fad known as “waffle stompers”. They were essentially hiking boots with Vibram soles, but no one
knew what “Vibram” soles were back then. In fact, no one really knew anything at all about soles on shoes or boots. Back then, the common wisdom
for cobblers was to resole a boot with a leather sole, and those soles were fabulous (they really were), but they weren’t a Vibram sole, and they
weren’t a “waffle stomper”
So mountaineering boots and look alikes became a fad. Everyone wanted “waffle stompers”. Why? Because when you stomped in the snow, or mud,
with a waffle stomper it left the print of a “waffle”, the signature of the Vibram sole. Even to this day.
Yours truly wanted to be part of the “cool kids” and I wanted a pair of waffle stompers. So I asked my ever practical father for a pair for
Christmas. It wasn’t to be. He got me the exact opposite of waffle stompers; a pair of unlined leather boots with a moccasin toe. Worse, they
were green, when everyone else’s boots were brown. I was a laughing stock with my boots.
I wore my boots (secretly) for years. I wore them hunting, and fishing and working. Over time I realized they were my favorite boots, and they fit
me like a glove. I no longer cared what color they were.
In time I grew out of them. My favorite boots became too short for my big feet. By then I was hiking big time in the Wyoming mountains and a serious
outdoorsman. Then, my father bought me another set of boots, this time far heavier. They were Fabiano, Italian mountaineering boots. It was the las
thing he ever bought me really. Finally, a pair of “waffle stompers”!!
But by then waffle stompers were no longer cool, so I looked like I great big duck with giant boots. I was doomed (socially) again. I didn’t care
really, at the time, because I could walk down a horse then, and I was pretty proud of that (note: a horse can walk about 25 miles in a day). And my
boots would take me there.
Fast forward to today. I’ve been looking for a pair of unlined leather boots in my size (Size 15). I wanted moc-toe boots, just like those first
boots I had as a kid. I did manage to find some, but they weren’t cheap (any size 15 boot isn’t). When I found them I oiled them up how I always
do and they’ve become the best friends of my feet…just like those old green boots were as a kid. I don’t intend to wear them to the “club”
(I don’t do clubs), and I don’t intend to wear them to the art museum (I rarely do that, though I should). I intend to wear them every day, all
day, just like I did with my then shameful (to me) green boots.
Funny how things come back full circle in your life. If I could have found my current boots in a green color, this would have been my first choice.
I must have worn (200) pairs of boots out in my lifetime, always searching for that one perfect boot. The trick was an unlined leather boot. I’ve
blown out Chippewa’s, Redwings, Danners, you name it…and finally I found the perfect fit, the perfect leather and the perfect boot!