You can see my old hiking boots and my new boots. If you look closely you might notice they are the exact same boot, one pair is just 2 years older than the other pair. I was ecstatic when the store told me they still made my old boot and that they had my size. It's a great boot and has served me well. My old ones were literally held together with glue and duct tape, and they had started to leak. Plus the soles had been worn smooth which was making hiking on wet rocks more treacherous than it should have been. That said by my estimates it took around 1000 miles of trails to finally wear out my boots. During those 1000 miles of hiking I can credit my boots with keeping my feet completely blister free. Good job boots!
It all started back in April of 2004. I had taken a Sabbatical for the summer from my computer programming job and was ready to do some serious hiking. I had just arrived at Glacier National Park in Montana with an old pair of hiking boots. I quickly found out a new pair of hiking boots would be a good investment (at least my feet were telling me this). I decided to go with a high end Asolo hiking boot (FSN 95 GTX). While I was a little doubtful of paying $120 for a boot, I thought it would be worth it if it kept my feet happy all summer. Not only did they keep my feet happy for that summer out in Montana. They also keep my feet happy all of last year and the spring of this year. Considering all that I think it was a $120 well spent. They were even more expensive this second time I bought them, but if they give me another 2 years of joy on the trails it will be well worth it again.
I tested out the new boots today and even though they are the exact same boot they felt weird on my feet. They felt good, but not quite as good as my old pair. That's not surprising to me. I remember having a break-in period with all my hiking boots. I remember my first pair of real hiking boots were leather and they took over 100 miles to really break them in. These new Gore-tex boots have a shorter break-in time, but they still need a few good days of hiking, before they've really formed to my feet. It's good that I got them now since I'll have plenty of time to break them in before my trip out to Washington where I plan to summit Mount Rainier with a friend in August.
It's odd I never really thought about my boots much until I started writing this. But thinking about how many good memories were made while my hiking boots were on my feet is amazing. I better stop now before I go getting too mush-glushy about my boots.
See ya'll on the trails.