My step-dad Peter often used to state “where there’s no sense there’s no feeling”. At the weekend this saying was particularly apt. After a loving nine-year relationship with my walking boots, I dumped them. It was a hard decision made a little easier by my dog chewing up one boot. Duck tape and glue are only temporary fixes when there’s been an endless downpour of rain and soggy surfaces to tread.
And so I entered the outdoor shop. I was met by an enthusiast assistant with a shoe fetish. He wore specially imported Nike boots. For the first time since adolescence, my feet were measured and boots were put on my feet and correctly laced. I felt like a novice as I was shown how to get the perfect tightness whilst reducing the chances of the laces becoming undone. I was even given advice about how to walk up and down the ramp to test the boots!
Several pairs later, my feet were complaining. They didn’t like being crammed into a perfectly fitted space and my heels started rubbing me up the wrong way. I bought the most comfortable pair and took them home. Alas the pains continued as did my mourning for my old boots. When it was time to walk the dog, I grabbed my wellies.
My welly purchasing experience earlier this year could not have been more different. It was love at first sight in the gardening centre. I put on a pair of Hunter wellies and my feet sighed and went to heaven.
I ended up buying two pairs. One adult-sized light blue ones and then a pair of lime green children’s wellies. The children’s wellies are slightly shorter, have reflective tabs on them and are almost 66% cheaper. Both live up to the legendary claims of comfort and fit. Prior to this moment I had always been anti-expensive wellies in the mistaken belief that it was snobbery and status that made people wear them.
My Hunter wellies have withstood dog walks in all weathers and seasons. The sole is thicker, more insulated and orthopedically shaped for a better fit. It’s possible to walk for miles without getting a blister or other foot complaint.
So going back to my new relationship. I think it might just be a speed date. Tomorrow I’ll return the walking boots and reconsider my options. Perhaps I’m being a goody two shoes but I think I need to wait until the right pair comes along before committing myself to such a long term investment.