My Life in Hiking Boots

Let me first say: I love hiking.

The first time I hiked in hiking boots and not some other footwear was a week long trip into the Grand Canyon with my church group. I was 14 and wore my stepmother’s boots.
In the late 1990s I bought a pair of leather boots at Ross Dress for Less for $15. At that time I was not an avid hiker and those boots lasted for years and years! I felt so cool when I wore them. I took them to S. Korea in 2007. S. Korea is 70% mountainous. Those mountains are steep and the trails are without switchbacks. S. Koreans are avid hikers. Opportunities to hike abounded and I took advantage. There was a small mountain behind my apartment. It took about an hour and a half from the time I left my apartment, climbed the mountain and got back to my apartment. I did this climb several times per week. Once after a long, heel jarring hike I went directly to the shoe store and bought a new pair of boots.


By now I was hiking more often. I joined two hiking groups in my US city. We hiked the urban trails and mountains in the Pacific NorthWest several times per month.

I took the S. Korean boots to Kazakhstan in 2015.
Kazakhstan is mostly flat steppe. But my boots were getting worn. I replaced them that June with a pair of @Salomon’s. I love those boots! Comfortable, waterproof, plenty of toe room, comfortable. Astana is the second coldest capital in the world and I spent most winter weekends outside snowshoeing in -25C (-13F) weather. After a while in this extreme temperature my boots cracked.

No longer waterproof, I kept wearing them. I wore them hiking in the Himalayas, back in the Pacific NorthWest, and Tajikistan as well as Kazakhstan.
On the last hike in these boots, I slipped off a boulder and face planted in a creek. No harm done except to my ego. I had known they needed to be replaced, but now I could delay no longer. My wonderful @Salomon’s had 2 broken eyelets, a broken shoelace I tied back together, worn down heels and almost no tread. How many miles in 3 years had I put on these boots?
Last month I bought a new pair of @Salomon’s recommended by @BackPackerMag gear guide. Now, in Tajikistan, instead of hiking in extreme cold, I’m hiking on dusty, rocky roads. I like these boots and have started keeping a boot diary, logging miles. But I can’t throw the old boots away. Too many memories of great hikes with good friends.

Is anyone else super attached to worn out boots?

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