Dec 14, 2022

My Favorite Boots

Way back in 1995, when I lived in Colorado and was just getting into watching national observed trials I bought a pair of expensive motorcycling touring boots from Ryan Young’s booth at a US National event near Colorado Springs. I’ve written about these boots before; Gaerne Goretex Boots. I’m not going to rehash the fantastic quality of Gaerne footwear. I’ve done that before. Nothing the company makes today is anything like my boots. When I finally got around to reviewing these boots in 2017, they were already long out of production.

Not long before we moved to Red Wing, I bought a pair of Merrill winter boots. Warm, insulated, waterproof with a rubber outer shell, and sort of fragile. They lasted a half-dozen winters, with occasional use mostly when I was shoveling the driveway. But they pretty much self-destructed in the closet and came to pieces when they finally died.

I’d forgotten that I was winter-bootless until the first snow storm of the season. We got about 6” of heavy wet snow in early December and I needed to clear the driveway that evening so I could get my wife to a doctor’s appointment early the next morning. It was about 10oF outside and still blowing snow. Everything in my closet is moderate-to-warm weather footwear, except my old Gaerne boots. They still fit, they’re still waterproof and relatively warm, and the Vibram soles grip the frozen ground just fine.

These boots are almost 30-years-old and in many ways as good as new. They fit me like an old, well-broken-in glove. I suspect they will be in my closet until my kids clear out our estate.


Steve Williams said...

Favorite boots. I understand the feeling. Mine are a pair of my dad's Wolverine work boots that became my riding boots after he died 15 years ago. I've had them re-soled twice and restitched once. The Amish harness shop seems willing to repair anything involving leather.

And besides boots, there is a favorite shirt, jack, and gloves.

I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.

T.W. Day said...

Steve, I think I have at least one more set of soles worth of leather to work with and the Vibrams I last had installed before I left for Nova Scotia in 2009 are close to flat track skids. Weird as it seems, in Red Wing (the home of Red Wing Boots) our local one-and-only cobbler retired a couple of years ago and a tattoo parlor took over his shop. I'm going to have to take them into the Cities for this next repair job. But they're worth it and I will.

Have a great holiday season and put on some big miles for me (and you) in the coming year. You never know when the ride you're on will be the last one.