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Old Hiking Boots Gone

Old Hiking Boots Gone 

My hiking “boots were made for walking” (you could sing here) and hiking and they have bit the dust. Long ago in 2007 I bought my La Sportiva boots the day before a several day 35 mile hike in the Seven Devils in Idaho. They fit like gloves, but as I sat in a parking lot while fellow campers went in to make sure the trails were open, lots of snow that year, I had the car door open. A guy from Texas sat in his car. His door open too.

I asked him, “Did you just do the trails in Seven Devils?”

“No,” he said, “we just drove up to the top to see the view. “ I, of course, had to show someone my new boots. “Be sure,” he said,” you leave them loose going up and tighter going down. Ah ha, tight in the toe going down, tight in the heel going up.

So I did the 35 miles in several days, up and down, lots of switchbacks, high elevations, crossing streams. No blisters. Perfect. That was the first trip. The shoes became part of my life.

My boots have made history, my history, hiking around Idaho, traveling to Europe, England, tromping around Venice, always near canals, quietly surveying d’Avignon, sitting in St Chappelle in Paris for a concert, standing on the Bart in San Francisco, winding around the Sequoia National Park, hiking in Montana, climbing stairs in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, walking with Russians on May 9 Parade to celebrate the ending of the Great War. Finally, so many years later in January 2021, the boots that even made it through the Pandemic, hiking most weeks in Wood Canyon, O.C. gave out. How could they do that to me? One separated sole, slightly worn heels, a hole in top from one of my hiking poles, yes, they were worn out, but they were supposed to last forever.

So now, after trying La Sportiva which now has changed their shoe lasts, and the fact that my feet have also changed, I can no longer fit their shoes to me. I try on a pair of Oboz, I can’t believe it.

The young woman E. who helps me at our local REI says she wears them hiking. She points to a guy working near by. He has them, wears them every day. I put them on. Fit like gloves. I don’t believe it. How could they? But they do, and the next day, just like in 2007, I hike many miles, through live oak, sycamore, near a stream, up to the ridge and around the circular route and back down. It is great to be with my hiking friends, great to be hiking again, great to be in my brand new boots. My history continues. My boots are keeping me healthy, physically and mentally, I am sure,

3 Replies

A beautiful story. Enjoy your new feet!

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Wow @nsnetnov - Thank you so much for sharing this! It was such a pleasure to read.

While reading through your story I was visualizing a map of where your boots had been. What an incredible time they had! It is made even better knowing that you have new ones that are just as ready to get out and roam around.

If you're keen to share, do you have any photos of your old boots out on any of those ventures? It would be fun to see!

Thanks for taking the time to share this with the community. I am already looking forward to the next story you share with us!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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I had a pair of boots I bought at REI in 2012 that were the most comfortable boots or maybe even pair of shoes I ever wore.  I hiked so many miles in them, largely on very rocky terrain that I wore through the soles before the uppers gave out.  When I needed to replace them I wore them into REI as I wanted a pair just like them.  Unfortunately they were no longer available in stores but I did find them in REI online but, alas, when I got them the manufacturer had changed them so back they went.  I bought another pair of boots that were OK but caused problems with the bottom of my feet, then a pair of Oboz that in so many ways were perfect except once I started putting 10's of miles on them, the toe box was too small, but I had tried and exchanged so many pairs of boots, that I stuck with them and lived with blue toenails post backpacking.  Now the manufacturer of the first boot started making the same boot again the original way and I just got a pair of those (had to order from the manufacturer) but the quality is not there.  The uppers are like cardboard.  It doesn't help that with age my feet have flattened and I am now forced into men's sizes which are too wide (the Oboz where narrow for a man's boot).  So I feel your pain when your first pair of boots were worn out and wish I could feel your joy with your new found boots.

Enjoy your boots!!

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