Monday, March 28, 2011

Boots - Random Stuff Monday

So last Monday I talked about how important coffee is to a farmer, at least this farmer. This weeks installments of Random Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Farming But Nobody Did is about BOOTS!

As a child my experience with boots was almost solely confined to two types. Children's Snow Boots and my Father's Army Boots. Being an Army Brat and ,as a result, a City Girl, I really did not have much need for any other types. My mother used to help my father off with his boots when he came home, and like us with our snow boots, they were worn ONLY when we had to! Boots were a nasty thing.

In High School I started hiking, and with my bad ankles, needed something more then $10 sneakers. I got a pair of Lady Lite Hiking Boots. This was a big deal, because on the salary of an Army Sargent in the late 80s there was little money for things like expensive shoes, and these were that. At $100, they were probably the most my mother would EVER spend on shoes. But they hiked hundreds of miles with me, and I had those boots for years, I loved those boots.

Now unfortunately, boots don't last that long because I wear them a lot more, but are just as important. So this week's list about boots:

  1. You will need multiple pairs of boots. In our household our boot list includes our everyday work boot, comfortable and utilitarian, these will be on your feet for most of the summer. So be sure you get a pair that is really comfortable. In addition to your main boot you will need a summer Muck boot,and a winter insulated&waterproof boot. (Muck boot note: because the tops are elastic, be sure the calves fit right. I have very Robust (read fat) calves. I needed to get a lower style, or else the higher ones wanted to hold my heel a little off the shoe, which gave me horrible foot cramps, as always FIT is essential.)

  2. Do not buy cheap boots, this is false economy. You are a grown up so your feet are done growing. Cheap boots may last for months, (or weeks in our experience). Good boots are worth every penny. For me my main boots are Airait, my Muck boots are Muck, and my winter/insulated boots are Sorrels. So you can see, you will probably have a couple hundred dollars in your boots.

  3. Take care of your boots. If they require oiling be sure to keep up on this, it is amazing how quickly July dust will crack leather...

  4. When you pick out your boots get ones WITHOUT flared tops. This may seem a strange thing to say but look, many boots have padded tops. These create a perfect place for dust, small stones, and dirt to rest and fall down into your boot. A fitted top is your friend. These boots, for instance, I would not buy...

  5. SOCKS, SOCKS, SOCKS... Good socks to match good boots. Especially in the winter. We love our WigWam socks. Be sure you bring the socks you plan on wearing when you buy your boots. Winter Socks with Winter Boots and lighter socks for your main boots.

  6. Did you know that boots can pull right off your feet in the mud. If the field is muddy enough and you stop moving, it becomes like quick sand, sloppy sticky quick sand. The first year hubby and I were farming together we were out looking at the field on the wetest, most disgusting day ever! Our old farm had drainage problems, so we were walking through the mud. I had overboots on, I got stuck. Pulled my foot right out of the boot (and my shoe) and ended up on my butt covered in mud. Nice! So here is a free tip for you - If your shoe gets stuck in the mud rotate it from side to side, and up and down (like a teeter totter) don't try to pull straight up... Also, do not take your foot out of the boot, stand on one foot, and try to pick up the boot stuck in the mud while balancing (I ended up in the mud that day too.)

Now that I have shared enough embarrassing stories, I will go! Feel free to share your own random boot stories...

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