For a new instalment of our blog, we would like to introduce a new category - Products We Love. Here we talk about and give a shoutout to products we use and love.
*Note: These posts are not sponsored or paid. **Note: We are not morally or ethically opposed to changing the first note.
For the first product, I would like to talk about footwear. If there is a piece of clothing/fashion/equipment more important to me, I’m not sure what it is. My shoes and boots must be comfortable, strong, durable, and able to take neglect. I am one of the most punishing consumers out there because I live in the concrete jungle of a busy city but spend a lot of time on farms and in the country. On any given day, I could be walking down a crowded sidewalk in the morning and slugging through mud and all sorts of organic matter in a field full of livestock by the afternoon.
Every time I get a new pair of shoes or boots, I promise I will take care of them. Who has vowed, when you take a pair of shiny shoes out of the box, that you will never wear them in the rain or take them off by stepping on the back of one with the other one or forget to use the expensive waterproof spray you got talked into buying or that you will absolutely never, ever throw them in a pile in the closet? Of course you have, we all have.
We’re usually pretty good for a while but then inevitably, one day we get home after a long day and kick them off across the room, wet and dirty. Our rationale? If they are such good quality, surely they can take a little tough love and abuse.
And like a lot of people, I have my favourites. As a rough guess, there are about 17 pairs of shoes in my closet. In the average month however, I wear about five of them. They are the everyday worker bees that take the brunt of the wear and tear and never let me down. I have tried a lot of brands and some survive for years, while others are cracked, worn, and leaking before the seasons change.
One standout brand that definitely holds up to some serious punishment is Blundstone.
It was around the year 2000 when I bought this pair and proceeded to wear them almost every single day for more than four years. They continued to look brand new under a layer of mud and dirt and lord knows what else with little (no) upkeep. I loved them with all my heart.
Then one dark day they disappeared. I tore my entire house and car apart multiple times to look for them, with no luck. I never gave up hope that I would one day see them again. Then one day, at a birthday party for my sister, I looked across the room and there they were.
On my sister’s feet.
I didn’t recognize them at first because they were all polished and shiny and mud-free but a mother knows her babies.
Instead of making a scene like I did in 1983 when she stole my Duran Duran t-shirt, I waited until the next time I was at her house and snuck them into my bag when she wasn't looking.
Thus began a string of thefts, that at first was filled with irritation and sibling rivalry, but soon settled into an unspoken, grudgingly accepted, shared-custody arrangement. When I had them, they were put through all manner of horrible experiences. They trekked through water, mud, snow, manure, and urine and were stepped on regularly by thousand-pound animals. They got baked (and not in a good way) on hot sand and froze in the ice and snow.
With my sister, they had an easier life. She didn’t have to do a lot to get them back to presentable; she just scraped them off and conditioned them with a little mink oil before they would make an appearance at the grocery store, the bank, the dentist, even at funerals, and a few weddings.
This went on for well over a decade, until one fateful day last week when it all came to an end. These faithful boots - that have been through so much - had finally had enough. And the only thing that did them in? The rubber soul….oops I mean sole. The rubber sole cracked on one boot. Every other part of the boot has weathered the storm and come through it intact.
Now the time has come to say goodbye. Even though we have had others, you will always be our first. A true original.
Blundstones, it’s time to let you go. You’ve been a good boot. Nay, a great boot and I'm going to miss you very much.