Walk in These Shoes

bootsI hate shopping, so it’s important for me to buy products that last. Of course, I wasn’t thinking that my boots would last as long as they have.

When I moved to Colorado for grad school in 2003, my Dr Martens, which I bought in London in 2000, were showing their age–the soles cracked allowing water in, which was temporarily fixed with rubber cement. Unfortunately, there was a serious lack of black boots available at the stores in town. After a week of searching, I found a Red Wing Shoe store.

I paid more than I had hoped for my Red Wings–I think it was $130, but that price could have been lower depending on my memory. I wore those boots most days, especially in winter, for my two years in Colorado. During that time I took them on numerous hikes up Dakota Ridge and Mt. Sanitas. I even wore them on a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, up to a peak at 13,500 feet. That last hike was not a good idea as the boots were a bit heavier than normal hiking boots–live and learn.

During my first summer of grad school, I took the boots on a trip to Alaska, which included a stop in Vancouver. These boots were with me when I traveled to Israel just before my final summer writing program of grad school. I walked through streets of Jerusalem and hiked up Masada to watch the sun rise.

I took these Red Wings along for my three and half years in China. Being waterproof was a great benefit during the rainy season in Shenzhen–at least my feet stayed dry. They outlived a few pairs of shoes I purchased in China–most of which did not last long at all.

red wing boots
These don’t look like I’ve been wearing them for almost 9 years

Two weeks ago I finally brought these boots to a local shoe repair shop to get fixed. A seam along the side opened, and it only cost $7 to fix. For a few dollars more I also got them shined so they look only slightly worn. I was asked if I wanted the heels fixed since they looked slightly worn, but I decided it wasn’t necessary yet.

The best part about this pair of Red Wings is that they were made in the US before some manufacturing was shifted to China (according to their website, some of the shoes and boots are still made in the US). Maybe that’s why I’ve had them almost nine years. In all these years I’ve only had to replace one shoe lace.


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