(NOT AS) TOUGH AS OLD BOOTS
The toughness of old boots is legendary, but alas not all old boots are as tough as they should be. Made-in-Britain Brashers used to be brilliant, but then they were amalgamated with Berghaus and are now made in China. So I switched to Scarpa, and when I couldn't easily find them locally in France I made the colossal mistake of buying a pair of Mephistos for over 200€. The stitching went within a very few months, but fortunately I was soon back in Scotland on a visit and could buy some more Scarpas.
Then a few weeks ago I looked as the soles of my latest pair and found that they'd gone through. Sure, they still looked big and tough and butch, but the tough rubber that actually hits the road had worn through, revealing itself as a surprisingly thin skin over much softer rubber or even plain old holes. I can't quite understand the logic of this. What's wrong,after all, with thick, tough soles?
Scarpa soles. Perhaps needless to say, I had not been wearing them anywhere very wet for a while.
Ah, well. Never mind. I still had the Mephistos so I had them stitched back together. A few weeks later the sole fell off. Not completely, as you can see from the picture: a finger-width of rubber kept it in contact with the boot at the toe, but until I lifted my toes, the entire sole just stayed on the ground.
Mephistos. An appalling waste of money. The fancy finishing touches, such as the laces threaded through the tongue (in two places) and the hollow heel, are worthless next to decent construction.
So I bought some more boots and... Well, that's for another day. But I was well surprised at how hard it is to find good, hard-wearing, comfortable boots at pretty much any price. Well, until you go to Lobb's. But a pair of their black leather wellingtons is now over £6000: call it 7000€ or $7500. Plus 20% VAT.
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Words and pictures copyright (c) Roger Hicks 2018