Yesterday I wrote about the demise of my favourite black boots that had taken me everywhere. It was like the end of a relationship and looking for new boots I realized I wasn’t really ready to move on. None that I looked at seemed right. Too shiny, didn’t like the buckle, the sole didn’t look sturdy enough, the heel was wrong, the leather wasn’t right, they weren’t lined, they had too much lining. Plowing through the stores I dismissed one pair after another to the chagrin of the sales lady. Who kept looking at me like I was a looney, after all I was the one who had declared that I NEEDED a pair of boots NOW.
This was true, I did need a pair but I needed the right pair. Boots are not cheap and didn’t want to replace a pair of “I guess they’ll do” boots.
She pointed out one lovely pair after another but many knee high black boots are not made for walking long distances, they are made for show. To look nice, to get you from car to office or for strolling through the mall or whatever people do in pretty black boots. Or you can get the really beautifully made ones like Frye but they aren’t lined and the soles are terrible on ice. I wanted a really pretty pair of functional boots, they are hard to find.
Then I saw the new ones, at first I wasn’t sure. Did I want the zipper up the side? Would they go with everything? They were lined. The sole looked like it could handle walking. The leather was soft and not too shiny (shiny dies quickly with the salt on the roads and shows scuffs way more than a matt black pair) and as I kept looking at the others the I knew weren’t right I warmed up to them. Okay I’ll give them a try.
The wonderfully patient sales lady at Arnold Churgin’s went to get my size but they didn’t have my size which is 7.5, they don’t come in half sizes. Okay so she brought me a 7 and an 8, it was worth a shot.
I tried the 8 on first, I could only try the right one on because with the zipper broken on my old boots if I took that boot off I would HAVE to buy a pair of boots because I wouldn’t be able to get the zipper done up again. The sales lady was really nice and understanding. I liked her. The 8 fit perfectly. I was wearing thin socks and they were comfortable but there was easily room for a thicker sock for colder days. If wearing boots in the cold you must be able to wiggle your toes or they will freeze. The calf fit no problem, zipped right up! I once had a problem with boots that when zipped up were so tight my feet would fall asleep, they looked really good but I couldn’t wear them for long periods of time and they never broke in as the sales person had promised. I tried, oh boy how I tried to break those boots in. Now my boots or shoes must fit from the moment I buy them, I’m not falling for the “they’ll stretch” or “they’ll soften up and give” arguments. In my experience this is generally not true.
Although I do have some beautiful bottle green penny loafers that while comfortable with socks took a while to break in enough to wear them without socks but they were still comfortable with socks when I bought them and they were BOTTLE GREEN PENNY LOAFERS!!!!!!!!!!
I still love those shoes so much and the leather did soften, conform to my feet and now I can wear them with or without socks. The girl who sold me those had a pair on and told me it took her a month of wearing them with socks before she could wear them without and I would say that was about right.
Anyway back to the boots, they fit they had a bit of bounce when walking, didn’t slip at the heel and looked pretty great. The zipper blended in, instead of standing out.
I said I thought they were the ones and asked if I could return them for a different size if when I got home the other one didn’t fit but I was pretty sure they would be fine. The sales lady made me try the 7 on just to see how it fit.
Terrible, it was tight across my foot, the arch hit at the wrong place and the calf was so tight I didn’t think I would be able to get a pair of jeans tucked into them. I’d been down that road before so they were a definite no.
When trying on shoes or boots in my experience you know right away if they are right. Trust your instincts and don’t listen to the sales person trying to make a sale. They may look great but if they aren’t comfortable you won’t wear them, it’s not worth it.
When I got my new boots home I tried both on, after cutting the zipper on my old ones so I could take the left boot off. So sad, good-bye old boots.
I tried the new ones on with the dress I had worn to work, perfect. I tried them with jeans and they zipped up no problem! They even had enough room so that I didn’t get the balloon effect where the jeans bunch out over the boot, again perfect. I put the jeans over the boot and liked the way that looked, although knowing me I’ll always tuck them in. I tried them on with thick socks and again, perfect. Then I sprayed them with protector and put boot wax on, a clear wax that protects them way better than the spray against the salty, snowy roads and keeps the leather soft.
While I am still sad that I had to say good-bye to my old favourite stomping boots, I am warming up to the new pair.
Tomorrow morning I will head off to work to try them out for the long haul for the first time, 5km at seven in the morning.
It is what I hope will be the start of another beautiful relationship and I wonder where these ones will take me.