Re-soled Hiking

The Autumnal Equinox is still standing off in the corner waiting to be asked to dance but I can still feel the chill on the dance floor of the hiking trails. So lately, Angie and I have been going to the half mountain that overlooks our city and walking…well hiking. It’s pretty steep and the roads and trails are rugged enough to give me a heavy breathing work out and it is high enough to give us a breath taking view of the sunset over the valley and the mountains on the other side. My knees are coming around and I am hiking enough and pulling my out of shape body along with me to wear out the soles on my boots.

Speaking of that…what ever happened to those soles on boots and shoes that would stand the test of time and would wear the ground out from under you sooner than the ground would wear out the boots? Those boots which were so durable you would out grow them before they were worn out and you could pass them on to the next small foot hiker. Or the ones you bought when you  were old enough your feet stopped at size 11 and you purchased a boot that you would tend to misplace in the closet and find still ready to use after the years you had already used them and only replaced them because they took a trip to Narnia.

I can remember…oh boy, here he goes again…no no listen…I remember when I was young and my parents had five boys to feed, clothe and shoe, that everything except the food would become hand-me downs until they were worn out…like my favorite cowboy boots. And if the soles or heels of the shoes wore out, well off the cobblers I would ride to get them re-healed, soled or half soled and they would be ready to pick up two weeks after the cobbler said they would be.

On one trip home from the cobbler I had three or four pair of shoes hanging from my bike handle- bars and was pedaling like the wind. I speed past a yard and caught sight of the giant dog that lived there leaving the porch at a ferocious clip to take a chunk out of my leg. Never would I be caught, my speed would increase and I would outdistance the dog…only I didn’t count on my pedaling faster causing the shoes to slide on the handle bars, begin to swing and end up falling into the spokes of the front wheel and getting wedged against the front fork. Yes that immediate braking action sent me propelling over the handle bars leading me into a head first (long before bike helmets were required or even invented) encounter with the pavement…and I still had the dog to contend with.

Chunk! The hound of Baskerville reached the end of it’s chain and let out a howl of dismay and I was spared the indignity of a dog bite to accompany the knot forming on my forehead.

But back to the boots and the question of, have we become such a soft, wasteful society that we need cushioned soles that only last one season on our hiking boots that we just toss them and replace them or are there still truly sturdy and re-sole able hiking boots still available? I’ll keep looking and if you know of a durable pair let me know.

But rest assured, when I go to get them re-soled, I will hang them by the boot lace from my shoulders instead of my handlebars…and yes mom I will wear my bike helmet.


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