Hanging up my boots

These boots have walked over a hundred miles this year alone. Though I can’t remember every step along the way, it’s a surprise to me when I think of the thousands of miles I’ve walked in these boots over the years. At least a thousand. Around five hundred last year.

This year as, you might guessed, has not been a good year for days out on the hill.

And almost every mile I’ve carried a camera. Usually it’s Vlad, and he’s a big fella, weighing in at over a kilo (or two and a half pounds for those who think in old money) on my back. But though Vlad is strong enough to get to the Moon and back my boots aren’t made of such sturdy stuff.

So that last weekend in the Yorkshire Dales, I took off my boots after a decidedly wet trudge over peat bog and found out why I’d squelched my way down the dales. These boots were made for walking, but the thousand odd miles have taken their toll, and there are holes in the leather wide enough to accommodate a roll of 120 film.

And while Vlad’s holes can be patched by a new set of light trap seals, these boots, only the third pair I’ve owned in my entire life, are retiring.

I’d love to tell you they’ve gone to a good home but let’s not dwell on that.


Suffice to say my new fourth pair are happy enough to carry me and Vlad wherever we care to roam.



  1. I’ve been too long away from your blog. I’m not generally sentimental about footwear, but there’s something very personal about well-used boots. I’ve a pair of old Hanwag hiking boots and some inexpensive Dunlop Wellingtons with steel soles that I used for arson investigations. They’re both in storage in Ohio and as silly as it sounds, I miss them.

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. It’s shoes that have been places that I feel sentimental about, and it sounds like your steel soled Wellingtons have seen some action.

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