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
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
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
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
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
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