Few things ground you as well as wearing an excellent pair of boots. No matter what their purpose, from steel toe construction to high-heeled fashion, if the boots are made well and fit just right, wearing them makes you feel capable of anything.
On the other hand, there are few things so irritating as cheap or ill-fitting boots. When it comes to foot gear, you get what you pay for. It’s not always true that the more you pay for something, the better the quality, but when it comes to shoes, it is a fact. Cheap boots are the pits. Not only do they rarely fit well, but they have other drawbacks, like interior fabric that chafes, or lace openings that bind. It’s the little things where manufacturers cut corners and you pay the price in discomfort.
My collection of boots is small and superb. From my knee- high black leather fashion boots to my felt-lined Sorel snow-boots, rather than having several moderately good pairs for each purpose, I find the perfect boot with the perfect fit, qualities, and look. It saves time and hogs up less closet space.
Have you had a pair of boots that just didn’t fit? Maybe you paid a fair sum for them, or they looked really good, and you just were determined to break them in. I’ve done that, too. The fact is that if they don’t feel pretty good from day one, they never will. So, the first boot-buying rule is forget about ‘breaking them in.’ That little bump in the heel, that squeeze over your left pinky toe, isn’t
going to go away. You’ll end up not wearing the boots because they’re uncomfortable, and feeling guilty about how much you paid for them.
Next boot-buying rule… Know what the boots are supposed to do for you, so you have a list of criteria they must meet. Let’s take hiking boots for example. There’s a great range in purposes and conditions for use. If you’re a day hiker you’ll want a lighter-weight and more flexible boot than a trekking back-packer.
Any good hiking boot should have these features:
a. A minimum of two sets of lace-hooks (rather than lace holes) at the top so that you can readily adjust the tightness for uphill and downhill stretches.
b. Waterproof and very durable exterior material and with the tongue pleated – attached all the way up to prevent leaking.
c. Smooth liner fabric that doesn’t attract seeds and is easy to clear.
d. Stiff sole with good traction designs. And the harder the material the sole is made from, the longer they will last.
e. The fit. Hiking boots will ‘pack-down’ a little and form to your foot. But if they rub or bind anywhere, get a different pair – sometimes another pair in the exact same size and style will fit better. Make sure that your toes don’t touch the front the least little bit, or all your downhills will be miserable. And, of course, shop for hiking boots wearing the thickness of the hiking socks you’ll use.
Now, instead of hiking boots, if you’re buying work boots, dress boots, or whatever, make a similar list of criteria. Do the work boots need to be water-proof, steel-toed, ankle high or mid-calf? Do the dress boots need to have low heels or high, what color is most versatile with your wardrobe, will a zipper be better for your needs than a pull-on? With the particulars in mind, you’ve invoked the law of attraction. You have an expectation of features you’ll find, and the exact right boots are much more likely