Spam, Boots and an Excuse for a Good Photo

Last night someone commented on an old post of this blog. It was an enthusiastic comment – “Great information. I love all the posts” etc. Too bad it wasn’t for real. The post in question was The Perfect Hiking Boot – Part 1, and the commenter wanted to plug a website selling hiking boots (legitimate or knock-offs, I have no idea). The comment came from an IP address in Bangladesh. I consigned it to trash. But this little online marketing trick served a purpose; it reminded me that I never properly wrapped up the story of my search for the Perfect Hiking Boot.

Beinn Eighe mountain trail, Wester Ross, Scotland, July 2011 -- the kind of place hiking boots come in handy

Beinn Eighe mountain trail, Wester Ross, Scotland, July 2011 — the kind of place hiking boots come in handy

Of course, none of us will ever find the PHB, except perhaps the pair we’re buried in, the ones that cushion our feet on the great hike to the afterlife. In the meantime, this is what happened to my search.

I mentioned in Preparing for the Pemi last September that my old Garmonts were on their way to Seattle to be resoled by Dave Page, Cobbler. Well, Dave got back to say they were “too greasy and too soft” to resole. He asked if I wanted them returned. I said to discard them. He said “We will say a few kind words over them”, and warned me against Sno-Seal on dry-tanned leather.

I had been planning to buy new boots anyway, fabric ones to complement the resoled Garmonts. Even if Dave had been able to fix the Garmonts, I couldn’t count on them being back in my hands in time for the Pemi. Somehow five months had evaporated since I started my search for the PHB. So I was in my usual situation, dashing out to make a last-minute purchase. My plan to be a discerning, educated consumer of boots didn’t go the distance.

But the boots I bought – Salomon Quests – did, so far at least. They took me 41 miles around the Pemi; kept me comfortable on many an autumn day-hike; and kept my feet dry on snowy trails this winter. Maybe their imperfections will show this year.

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