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I have a dilemma. I must make a choice that is proving to be difficult. I must make a decision whether to part with one of my friends—-my boots! I love these boots! They have been a faithful friend of mine for a long time now. If you look at them it seems obvious. Clearly they are at the end of their useful life but nonetheless I am having a difficult time letting go.

these are my boots


Let me tell you more about my relationship with my boots. I purchased them in about 2004 or 2005. They were not cheap. I think they cost me close to $200 which at the time concerned me –should I pay that much for shoes when I already had so many pairs of shoes in my closet? Again this was previous to my current concern with moderation. I decided to buy them and drove home along with my guilt.

They seemed to fit well when I had tried them on in the store so I was some upset and surprised when they tortured my feet on the first wearing. I attributed it to the need to break them in but underneath that justification I was worried about my purchase. They continued to bother me for the next few times I wore them so I put them aside thinking that I had made a bad and expensive purchase.

They spent a spring and summer season buried in my closet only to be discovered when I was looking for something else. The blisters on my feet had long since healed so I was up for trying them once again. I was expecting trouble but much to my astonishment my feet felt just fine and I actually forgot that I was wearing my yet-to-be-broken-in boots.

That was the beginning of a very long relationship. These boots have taken me to many places in all kinds of weather. For at least one winter in Edmonton, in the snow, they were my winter boots, even though they are not winter boots at all. I wore them as we wandered around Europe on more than one occasion. They kept my feet safe and warm in an extra chilly early fall in Quebec. I wore these boots as my everyday shoes for countless days. I wore them riding my bike, walking in the valley and while I was doing my grocery shopping. Once moving to Vancouver the amount of walking I did increased tenfold and these boots kept me walking comfortably and they kept my feet happy. They did not complain in the rain and my feet stayed fairly dry.

patterns along our path


On my most recent trip to London and Eastern Europe my boots were the only shoes I wore for all 24 days. Unfortunately that was also when I realized that our time together was drawing to a close.  These boots have kept me happy but not without a cost. They have been re-healed at least four times and re-soled at least twice. The cobblestones of the beautiful cities we visited were a delight to walk on but I noticed the telltale sound of my left heal losing its integrity. Sure enough the heel was not doing well. A bare slippery metal exposed heel was only a few steps away or so it seemed. I almost got to the point of buying a new pair of shoes in Prague. There were tons of shoe stores with beautiful shoes in the city and I had a good reason for buying a pair.

not so good...

For whatever reason, not to buy a new pair of shoes and stay with my trusty boots had become a game, a challenge.  How long could I wear the boots before they fell apart? Could I make it through the trip with my boots? Every once in a while I would pause pick up my left foot and glance at the heel to check on its condition. Still hanging in there…


I made it home after the 24 days thinking that these boots would go in the trash. But is has not be so easy. I have been home for more than a month and here they still sit. I think it is time to let them go or is it?

 Irene McDermott © 2011