Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Saga Of The Footwear

Mine, for once.

I have two recent additions to my (small) footwear collection: toe shoes and tall boots.

The toe shoes were something of an accident. My friend Fran Latane has worn Vibram Five Fingers shoes for a while, and has told me to try them more than once. I was both skeptical and short of cash. But I have a bum foot that was broken a long time ago and still feels odd every once and a while. I also want to take up running and the concept of barefoot running intrigued me. So, I went to REI to try them on and walked out with a pair of Komodo Sports.

So far, I really like them. I haven't tried running in them yet, but wearing them all day on campus has been comfortable. Will try running in them and see what happens.

The other new piece of footwear is a lot newer than it should be. I bought a pair of Mountain Horse Supreme Field Boots and got them at the beginning of March. The zipper broke on the first day. No problem, I figured. Just a defective pair; send them back and get a new pair. Well, two months of frustrating e-mails later, Victory Canter finally sent me new boots, which arrived last Monday. I tried to break them in the slow way, but figured they would not be okay by the Carriage House Schooling Show. I turned to the fountain of wisdom that is the Chronicle of the Horse Forum for suggestions and learned of what I lovingly referred to as the Tub O'Water Dunking Method. It's simple: you get the boots soaked completely through, and wear them until they dry. People have used everything from hot wet towels to dowsing with a hose in a wash stall. I went with warm water in a bathtub for 20 seconds, put the boots on, and wore them for three hours.

And it worked. They're more comfortable, although the ankles still poke into mine. I've ordered a pair of gel ankle bands and see if that helps. I'll probably be able to ride in them tomorrow or Friday after my final. We'll see how it goes.

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